Measure 5 drew a lot of national attention to North Dakota.
The ballot iniative would have enhanced animal cruelty penalties in the state.
While the ballot iniative was defeated in November, there's new legislation being drafted that addresses animal cruelty.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin has the story.
Most Thursdays and Friday's you'll find Julie Ellingson here at the Senate and House Ag Committee Meeting, representing the Stockmen's Association.
The Stockmen's is also a member of the North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care Working Group-- a coalition drafting a bill to strengthen current humane treatment laws.
(Julie Ellingson / ND Stockmen's Association) "The bill draft is a comprehensive piece. It addresses all animals, strengthens definitions, enhances some penalties and provides an array of options so the penalties can match the appropriate crime."
Ellingson isn't only keeping an eye on agriculture bills,but also legislation addressing property taxes, because ranchers aren't only livestock producers but large land owners, as well as infrastructure needs.
(Julie Ellingson / ND Stockmen's Association) "Not only our members in oil country who are experiencing those needs, but also our members in non oil country affected by roads that have been inundated with water and bridges that need repair."
Ellingson says another main push this session is for more research funding--especially those dollars committed to the beef research program.
(Julie Ellingson / ND Stockmen's Association) "Investments in research is a huge thing for our industry. It helps propel us forward and stay on the cutting edge. So we will also be monitoring those bills and supporting issues to keep our Ag industry strong."
(Dr. Dean Bresciani / NDSU President) "Oil will run out, Agriculture is our number one industry and is here to stay.
Ellingson says for the last 18 months the Stockmen's Association has also been working on rewriting and updating the Agriculture Chapters of the North Dakota Century Code.