The state Agriculture Department is preparing to take over grain elevator licensing and inspection from the Public Service Commission.
The 2019 Legislature passed the measure to make that transfer.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said his office is working on the transition.
"That means visiting with the PSC, and starting to fully understand what's going to have to move," Goehring said. "It also means we will start hiring in the near future."
Goehring said his office will have to “hit the ground running” later this year, when the transfer becomes effective. And he said he will be working with South Dakota’s agriculture department, which has grain inspections in its portfolio. Goehring said in many ways, South Dakota mirrors North Dakota.
"The types of elevators, the brokers, the buyers," Goehring said. "We will try to make sure we're covering everything correctly."
Goehring said he also plans to spend some time with the industry – including producers, elevators, roving grain buyers and brokers.
"We want to get a good idea of what rules have to be written, and how they will best serve everyone's interest, and provide the best protection we possibly can," Goehring said.
Goehring said the program should be a good fit.
"Thirty-eight other states have a grain inspection program," Goehring said. "And 34 are in agriculture departments.
"I think we can do this," Goehring said.