N.D. chief retires after 35 years of inspecting
Stan Misek, the Chief Brand Inspector for the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association retired after nearly 35 years of service as an inspector and eight years as Chief Inspector, as well as many other roles throughout the years of his service.
“I am busier now working on my own stuff than I was before I retired” Stan laughs before continuing. “Maybe I should get a job again.”
Misek is a third generation rancher, who grew up in Granville, North Dakota, but moved to Bismarck to take on the role of Chief Inspector. His grandfather bought the family ranch in 1949, and his father took it over from them. Stan purchased the place from his father in 2006.
He currently runs around 150 head of cattle and is dealing with the bustle of the late summer season. Stan took a late afternoon break from baling hay to visit about his time with the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.
“October 1, 1983” Misek says without hesitation, was his first day of inspecting brands. “I was working as a yardman at the sale barn and the inspector who covered our area recruited me.” Taking the position fit into Misek’s career plans.
When the previous Chief Inspector retired, Stan put his name in the hat. “I decided something had to change.” Stan said “I was constantly running.” Often times he would leave in the middle of chores when his phone rang for an inspection. “ I either needed to dedicate more time to my place and quit inspecting, or I needed to move up.”
“Ranching is what I have done all my life.” He says. “Inspecting gave me the opportunity to meet new people, and make many friends.”
One of those friends is Mark Kramer, a former co-worker at Minot Livestock who worked with him from 1998 until Stan was appointed Chief Inspector in 2010. “Stan was tough on brand recording, and strict on brands that would blotch, and always about paperwork.” Kramer said. “He was very passionate about what we do.” Stan confirmed his insistence on paperwork being done correctly and filed in a timely manner. “The paperwork is what it is all about. If something isn’t done and done correctly, bad things can happen.”
Misek’s passion for the job is obvious, he enjoys explaining many details of the inspection program – permanent inspections for horses; how freeze branding works well for horses, but not so well for cattle, e-chipping cattle with the use of “smart” ear tags.
The biggest changes Stan sees coming in the near future is a high tech one: e-tagging.
“But there needs to be advancement in the technology.,” Misek said. “It is too easy for them to be removed or lost.” E Chipping for cattle is different than pets. Instead of subcutaneous chips which migrate too much in livestock, producers use an ear tag with an RFID chip embedded into it.
“I think along with hot iron branding for physical identification, the E-tagging will be greatly beneficial.” Misek continued. Canada currently requires all cattle to be ‘smart tagged’, and the U.S., is not far behind in that regulation in Miseks estimation.
Misek looks back on his years carrying a tally book with fondness, and has some unique stories to tell. “ I was snowed in at the sale barn for three days once.” Remembers Misek. “The highways were closed, so there we stayed. I suppose that would be a favorite memory; but they were all good.”
“Stan was always very positive, he had a smile on his face and made others smile too, busy or not he always had time for people.” Says Jeff Schafer, Brand Board Chairman. Stan and Jeff have served two terms together on the Brand Inspection Board, and Jeff Schafer has worked with Stan since 2010.
“For me it was about the people, about helping people work their cattle, knowing who they were before they even got out of their trucks. It is the people who kept me going as long as I did. And I will miss that.”
Of course his ranch chores and haying season swinging into harvest season are keeping him hopping. “I have quit carrying my phone with me about half the time.” Misek says, letting on that he enjoys being unreachable at times. “It doesn’t work where I have been at anyways.”
Taking time with family and exploring the world was his reason for retiring. “After almost 35 years, I needed to start crossing things off my bucket list.” Misek commented. “ A few unexpected deaths in my close family put it in perspective.” I will miss the people, it was always different every day, always some new challenge and always new fun. But for now, I want to live each day as it is.” Misek said.
Missing his cheery demeanor and willing hand seemed to be the common thread from his now former co-workers. “Stan was great to work with. He was always willing to help – you could always count on him to help out when things needed to get done. We will miss him!” says Sherry Shulz, office manager for the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.
“On behalf of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, and myself, I wish him the best in all things. “ Says Jeff Schafer, Brand Board Chairman.
Blaine Northrup was chosen as the new Chief Brand Inspector. He has been an inspector since 1992 and is stepping up from his duties as Deputy Investigator. His two decades of experience among the North Dakota Stockmen as well as his accomplishments as an inspector while he lived in Nevada prepared him well for his new role.
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