Five Buckles


Scott Ressler
Environmental Services Director


We have received a WORKS few calls concerning the future of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule recently. As many of you know, on Feb. 28, President Donald Trump signed an executive order urging the EPA to withdraw the WOTUS rule. Scott Pruitt, the recently confirmed EPA administrator, acted quickly to issue a notice to comply with the Trump Administration order.
However, after the EPA successfully completes a withdrawal of the current rule, they are still required by the Supreme Court to establish a rule to clarify the Clean Water Act’s ambiguous “waters of the United States” language. The NDSA will work in cooperation with the EPA and the North Dakota Department of Health during the future redrafting and comment phase. We believe this involvement is vital to ensuring the new rule brings clarity to the WOTUS issue without placing an undue burden on farmers and ranchers.
Beef producers are some of the most positive, optimistic people I know. Ranching can be a rewarding profession, and who could disagree that we are providing the most delicious, wholesome and safe protein product out there. Most beef producers have assembled a “team” to help accomplish their work on the ranch. That team could be seen as similar to a basketball team.
Our daughter Stray was fortunate to be part of the Mandan Strikers third-grade traveling basketball team this winter. The team was made up of nine girls, it was their first introduction to the excitement of tournament basketball. Like ranchers, they needed to maintain their positive attitude and remain optimistic. For a team that had never played together before, they had a great year. The Strikers placed second and third at a few tournaments, but their first and only championship of the year remains the highlight.
They lost to the team they were to face in the championship twice in previous tournaments leading up to this game. From the tipoff, you could see it in all of the girls. They were focused and determined to have a different outcome, and that’s just what happened. Seeing the girls succeed was a proud moment for all of the Striker parents.
Similarly, as beef producers, getting to see the results of last year’s mating decisions, we remain upbeat and determined to keep the “team” together and succeed with this year’s calfcrop.
A while back when NDSA President Warren Zenker’s daughter Jordan was five years old, she climbed on his lap and studied his balding head. She ran her fingers along the deep wrinkles on his face and neck and asked, “Did God make you?” Warren answered, “Yes.” Jordan wondered, “Did God make me too?” Warren again replied, “Yes.” Jordan shrugged her shoulders and said, “Don’t you think he’s doing a better job now than he used to?”   
North Dakota Stockmen's Association * 407 S. 2nd St. * Bismarck, ND 58504 * 701-223-2522 *