Ranching has been a significant part of Colorado’s history, and the branding process began long before Colorado was a state. Colorado’s territorial government first established agencies for brand inspection back in 1865. Today, these responsibilities lie with the Brand Inspection Division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. They inspect livestock, take in reports of missing or stolen livestock, deal with fencing and open range issues, and maintain a list of all of the state’s brands, both current and historical. These lists are issued every five years in the Colorado Brand Book, which is available to view in our library back to the 1972 book. (For editions older than 1972, contact the Research Center at History Colorado). We also have the monthly new brands lists that are issued by the agency, as well as their monthly report of missing or stolen livestock. You can learn more about the history of livestock branding in Colorado by viewing this video from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
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