President's Message


 Warren Zenker, Gackle
NDSA President



I hope spring is treating you well and calving season is off to a great start. Spring is always an exciting and busy time of year for me, selecting new sires for our herd and watching the newborn calves hit the ground. The legislative session is still in full swing.
NDSA Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson has been there nearly every day lobbying to ensure that decisions made at the State Capitol are in the best interest of our association and our property rights .
A couple of the bills that immediately come to mind are HB 1208, which pertains to the timely transfer of bills of sale, and HB 1291, which clarifies the NDSA’s fieldmen and chief brand inspector uniform summons and complaint authority as licensed peace officers.
Current language already grants the trio full police power, but because the specific language had not been included in the North Dakota Century Code, the NDSA sought clarification in order to avoid confusion. North Dakota State’s Attorney Kathleen Murray echoed the NDSA’s support of the bill indicating that the use of the uniform summons and complaint process expedites resolution in livestock cases, does a better job protecting victims and ensures the rights of defendants. Both bills have passed in the House and Senate and have been signed by the governor.
On a different note, our private property rights were dealt a devastating blow when the Senate voted 17 to 28 to defeat SB 2225. The bill would have established a pilot program for up to five counties and created an electronic database in which landowners could register their land as open or closed for hunting. It would have eliminated the need for landowners to post their property while embracing technology, which would have been a helpful tool for hunters and a building block in relationships between sportsmen and women and landowners. Neighboring states have similar laws already on the books, but without the pro-active database that SB 2225 aimed to create. The NDSA believes that the right to own and enjoy private property is the cornerstone to a free society. As the law currently stands, the burden for posting is placed squarely on landowners.
On a positive note, the NDSA was happy to see the Trump Administration move to withdraw the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States rule, marking a victory for ranchers and landowners who were left with the uncertainty of a misguided regulatory scheme that expanded the agency’s jurisdiction far beyond the original intent of Congress under the Clean Water Act. The signing of the executive order is a step in the right direction for reasserting private property rights and attempting to stop the overreach and land grab of the federal regulation.
I’d like to extend sincere congratulations to Julie Ellingson for being invited by Sen. John Hoven to attend President Trump’s first address to Congress in Washington, D.C., in February. We are extremely fortunate to have a person of her caliber working so tirelessly for our organization.
A retiring farmer turned up at Scott and Sheila Ressler’s place last week. The farmer was preparing to sell his land and needed to rid his farm of animals, so he went to every house in the county .
To the houses where the man was the boss, he gave a horse. To the houses where the woman was the boss, he gave a chicken.
He got to the Resslers’ and saw Scott and Sheila in the yard. “Who’s the boss around here?” he asked .
“I am,” Scott said. “I have a black horse and a brown horse,” the farmer said. “Which one would you like?” Scott thought for a minute and said, “The black one.” “No, no, no, get the brown one,” said Sheila. “Here’s your chicken,” said the farmer. That’s how Scott got started chicken farming!



North Dakota Stockmen's Association * 407 S. 2nd St. * Bismarck, ND 58504 * 701-223-2522 *