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Protect your herd and yourself from cattle theft

Crooks and criminals in America's farm country are turning to an old crime — cattle rustling. While it sounds like something out of a pulp novel, today’s cattle thieves and fraudsters rely on fast transportation and the internet to aid in their crimes. This edition of the Beef Roundtable looks at protecting your herd from fraud and theft.

This edition of the Beef Roundtable looks at a problem as old as the cattle business itself—rustling. But modern-day cattle thieves combine technology and fast get-aways with the traditional tactics of rounding up someone else’s cattle and taking them for their own.

Two battle-hardened experts offer advice on what you can do to not become a victim of theft or fraud. Guests for this edition are Scott Williamson, a special ranger and regional supervisor for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) and Cody James, director of the Animal Industry Division and chief of the Livestock Inspection Bureau for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.  

Williamson spent eight years as a brand inspector and deputy sheriff and the past 22 years as a TSCRA special ranger, investigating all agricultural criminal activity. Scott is commissioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation as a ranger and is also a certified peace officer instructor in both Texas and Oklahoma. In addition, he and his wife run a yearling operation.

James is law enforcement certified and applies law enforcement expertise in the livestock inspection program to deter livestock theft. He instituted an increased presence and awareness of brand inspectors statewide, using a combination of easily identifiable vehicles, extra patrols in the back country and community outreach, that has resulted in a significant drop in the number of missing or stolen livestock. Since 2013, Utah has experienced a 60% decrease in the number of stolen livestock reports.

The Beef Roundtable is a joint project with BEEF and Purdue University. It’s a monthly video podcast that features some of the top leaders in the beef industry co-hosted by Ron Lemenager, Extension beef specialist at Purdue University and BEEF Senior Editor Burt Rutherford.

In addition to being available on, the sessions can be viewed at, on the Beef Roundtable YouTube channel and iTunes

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