New director named for SD Brand Board |

New director named for SD Brand Board

Carrie Stadheim
Assistant Editor
Tri-State Livestock News
Debbie Trapp, new South Dakota Brand Board Executive Director. Photo courtesy Debbie Trapp

A Midland, SD, woman was recently chosen to take over the Executive Director position for the S.D. Brand Board, whose office is located in Pierre.

Debbie (Jones) Trapp, who ranches with her husband near Midland and also worked as a fiscal manager for the Secretary of State’s office until being hired by the S.D. Brand Board, said that Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, was her first day on the job. She will train under the retiring director, Larry Stearns for another six weeks before she works independently in the role.

Trapp said she and her husband Mike, who is also a foreman for the local rural electric co-op, own cattle and horses and they also own registered brands. She reports that they hot brand their own cattle and horses for ownership identification. While she is familiar with accounting procedures and the financial “side of things,” she said she looks forward to learning more about the policies and procedures of the board, and is also excited to be “back working with ag producers.”

Belvidere, SD, rancher and past South Dakota Stockgrowers Association President Kenny Fox is encouraged that the brand board selected Debbie to take over management of the agency. “She will be a breath of fresh air,” Fox said.

“I’m encouraged that Debbie was willing to take the job and I think she’ll do well. She’s a very conscientious person and has a good ranching background. I think she brings finance experience, which is really good, because there is a lot of accounting work that goes on there, and she also understands the livestock business, which is equally important,” said Fox.

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, Trapp accompanied Stearns to the capitol to hear discussion on a bill that would provide for annual brand inspections on qualifying rodeo stock. “Today HB 1187, regarding permits for rodeo livestock, was voted on and passed out of the Senate Ag and Natural Resource Committee,” Trapp said. “No opponents testified against it so that was good to hear,” she said.

According to the Brand Board website, the board exists for the following purposes

• To provide livestock owners with a system of livestock identification through brand registration.

• To assure proper ownership of livestock by brand inspection at time of sale or prior to removal of livestock from the ownership inspection area.

• To investigate livestock loss or theft and apprehend persons accused of violating brand laws.

The website also states:

“The Brand Board Office maintains a record of over 26,000 registered livestock brands. It also provides for the transfer of brand ownership, the registration of new brands and the renewal of registered brands. Every five years all brands registered in South Dakota are renewed by the brand owners. After each renewal period the Brand Board publishes a Brand Book of all currently registered brands.

“The Board provides livestock ownership inspection which is required at auction markets and at public and private sales located west of the Missouri River in South Dakota. Inspection is also provided at designated points located outside the South Dakota livestock ownership inspection area.”

Retiring director, Larry Stearns said he has served in the position for over five years and “it’s time to make a move. I’m old enough that I don’t need health insurance anymore,” he joked, then added that he doesn’t expect any more staff changes in the near future.

He said he will stick around until a March rules hearing and an April legislative review are out of the way and then he’ll be done.

Stearns and two of the brand board members hosted the top three job applicants in an interview before selecting Trapp for the position.

Brand Board members are appointed by the governor. They include: Chairman Wanda Blair, Vale; Curt Mortensen, Fort Pierre; Bart Blum, Reliance; Lyla Hutchison, Wounded Knee; and Scott Vance, Faith.