Montana brand owners should update address for 2011 rerecord |

Montana brand owners should update address for 2011 rerecord

With brand rerecord just around the corner, the Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) is reminding brand holders to update their mailing addresses.

John Grainger, administrator of MDOL’s Brands Enforcement Division, said updating addresses is the only way brand holders can get a head start.

“With rerecord coming up next year, we’re starting to get a lot of calls and questions about the process,” Grainger said.

It’s basically a two-step process, he added.

“First, make sure the mailing address we have on file is up to date, especially if it changed within the past 10 years,” Grainger said. “Incorrect addresses can delay the delivery of your rerecord notice.”

Addresses can be updated on the Web site; by calling the Rerecord Hotline at 406-444-4999 or secondary rerecord lines at 406-444-3812 or 406-444-9431; or by using mail-in cards available at brand offices, markets and other locations.

The second step, he said, is waiting for your brand renewal notice, which should arrive in late January 2011. Brand holders who do not receive a brand renewal notice by late February 2011 should contact MDOL’s Brands Recorder at 406-444-3812 of the Brands Rerecord Hotline at 406-444-4999.

Grainger said some folks understandably “get a bit antsy” about their brands.

“No one wants to lose their brand and a lot of folks want to get a head start, but that’s not the way the process works,” he said. “You can’t rerecord your brand without a renewal notice.”

In Montana, brands are rerecorded every 10 years. With more than 55,000 active brands in the Big Sky, it’s a big job. It’s also an important job, as brands are a return address for your livestock – brands help prevent loss and theft of livestock, assist with the movement of livestock through markets channels, and are used to identify livestock in animal health emergencies.

In short, brands are rerecorded to keep MDOL’s brands system – generally regarded as one the best in the nation – current, and that helps keep your livestock safe.

Rerecord also allows brand owners to retain ownership of their brands, which is another pretty big deal: Brands are possessions, and often have a family and historic value that can’t be measured by the cost of registration or rerecord fees. Brands that are not rerecorded are vacated and made available to the public, but must be checked for conflicts before being issued. Additionally, vacated brands no longer offered by MDOL may be retired.

All rerecord fees must be paid by December 31, 2011. The fee for rerecording, or renewing, a brand is the same as it was in 2001, $100, and has only been increased once in the past 30 years. That’s $10 a year, which compares favorably to other western brand states.

For additional information regarding brands or brands rerecord, contact MDOL’s Brands Recorder (406-444-3812), Brands Rerecord Hotline (406-444-4999) or public information officer (406-444-9431).


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