The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association’s (NDSA) Brand Board has hired Blaine Northrop of Dickinson, N.D., as the new chief brand inspector. The long-time NDSA employee assumes his new duties on Aug. 1, following the retirement of Stan Misek, who had worked for the NDSA for 35 years.
Northrop joined the NDSA’s brand inspection team as a market inspector in Dickinson, N.D., in 1992. He was the inspector in charge at Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange and Western Livestock before he was promoted as west river fieldman and earned his North Dakota peace officer license. In 2008, he moved to Nevada, where he became the chief brand inspector, agricultural enforcement supervisor and, for a time, a co-administrator for the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Among Northrop’s responsibilities in Nevada were supervising more than 100 brand inspectors and agricultural enforcement officers, compiling case logs and investigating livestock crimes. He was also on the team that implemented an all-electronic brand inspection system for the state of Nevada. In Spring 2017, Northrop moved back to North Dakota and rejoined the NDSA’s staff as its deputy investigator.
 As the NDSA chief brand inspector, Northrop will oversee the inspection program; employ, train, supervise and direct the organization’s fieldmen and brand inspectors; investigate infractions related to livestock brand inspection statutes and regulations; and provide inspection services as necessary, among other duties. He will be moving to the Bismarck area and stationed out of the NDSA headquarters.
“While new to this position, Blaine Northrop is no stranger to North Dakota’s livestock producers or law enforcement community,” said NDSA President Warren Zenker. “He has been a valuable member of our inspection team for more than two decades. Our state will continue to benefit from his broad-based experience in livestock identification, investigation and administration as he serves in this new role.”
The NDSA administers the state’s brand inspection and recording programs. The organization has been committed to protecting livestock producers and their property since its inception in 1929, when it established a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those stealing or butchering cattle, horses and mules in North Dakota.