Reader upset over brand inspection handling
July 18, 2008
I’m writing this on July 4th and thinking how fortunate I am to have been born, raised and lived in western South Dakota for 70 years, and to have lived in a time when government interference was at a minimum.
On the other hand, I am very disgusted over Gov. Rounds’ handling of the brand inspection. He and his appointees on the brand board have seen fit to take over brand inspection from a program that has worked well for everyone involved for decades. They say they can do it better and cheaper. We’ve heard that old song and dance before, but has it ever worked that way? Rounds fired the previous brand board in the dead of night and let some insinuations circulate that there had been some wrong-doings, but no charges were ever brought. This left a lot of people wondering about the integrity of the members that were fired. When that didn’t fly he put the political spin on his actions by saying he was replacing them to relieve them of any pressure. Anybody that knew these men know that spin for what it was – politics and votes.
The new board of Rounds appointees wanted the South Dakota Stockgrowers to run the inspection program for two percent profit as opposed to the six percent the Stockgrowers offered. How many contractors hired by the state work for two percent profit? By the way, if any of you need a lawyer, there is one on the new brand board you might hire. I’m sure he will work for two percent profit. However, you might want to get this figure in writing before you sign any papers.
I’ve been a local inspector for 35 years and probably haven’t broken even financially on the deal, but have done it as a convenience for neighbors as most of the local inspectors have done. No more! I will not work for Rounds and his appointees.
I’m sure over the years mistakes have been made. When livestock is inspected in temperatures from -30 to 110 degrees, winds from 0 to 50 mph, in rain, snow, and sleet and, with manure and mud covering the hides of cattle and horses, it will happen. But not very often and if the new board tells you it won’t happen now, they will try to snow you with a lot of other things too.
East River doesn’t have brand inspection, but to have all producers in SD have equal protection under the law, shouldn’t they have the same protection by Rounds and his appointees? That certainly would seem to be the fair thing to do.
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Do you remember when right and wrong used to enter into politics instead of money and power? Rounds claims the legislature doesn’t always go along with him because of ignorance. We evidently don’t elect very good legislators or the pot is calling the kettle black.