North Dakota brands set to expire Dec. 31

North Dakota ranchers and producers should begin their operation's brand renewal process, as all brands in the state must be renewed by Jan. 1.

North Dakota ranchers should begin their brand renewal process if they have not already done so. (Rachel Spencer/Special to Agweek)

North Dakota producers should begin thinking about the brand renewal process for their operation if they have not already done so. All North Dakota brands are set to expire Dec. 31.

“A brand is a way for ranchers to identify their livestock, and it needs to be registered with the state in order to legally use it. It is important for people to know that the renewal season is coming up. If they did not receive a brand renewal form in the mail, they should give us a call to make sure we have the correct address on file,” said Steph Hille, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) brand recorder.

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There are roughly 24,000 brand locations in the state of North Dakota, and each location must be renewed by the deadline to sell their livestock in North Dakota.

“Producers and ranchers will not be able to sell livestock with their brand on; there will be a hold at the sale barn,” Hille said.


However, there is a one-year grace period for those who choose not to renew their brand. It is important to note that the renewal of the brand must be made no later than one year after the brand expires.

“Producers can reapply after the grace period, but they are not guaranteed to get their brand again,” Hille said.

Brands are good for five years. All brands in North Dakota expire on the same date, ensuring that all ranchers and producers are on the same renewal schedule.

The brand renewal itself is an easy process.

“Ranchers fill out a brand application and send it into the office and the brand recorder and chief brand inspector go through and make sure there are no exact brands or similar brands already taken on that location. We sent out a renewal form in August, and then last week we sent out a final notice. The brand owners need to sign that, and if they would like to renew for another five years, it's $25 per location,” Hille said.

So far, over 13,000 locations have renewed their brand for the next five years. While producers still have time to get their brand renewals in, it is important to note that the renewal form must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2020.

For more information regarding brand renewal, please visit: or email .

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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