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Tooling Up To Stop Thieves
Popularity of that Farm Bureau sponsored farm and ranch crime prevention program you've been hearing about is spreading like a prairie fire.
It was first launched on a pilot basis in Grundy County, Iowa, in January, 1976. Within a matter of months, it was organized statewide and has since been adopted by 12 other states. They are: Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas, Utah, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Oklahoma. Nine other states have expressed interest in the program, according to Dale Johnson, associate director of publications for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
In states with active programs, the necessary equipment for stamping and engraving equipment can be obtained at reduced cost through the Farm Bureau Federation. Or, you can buy the necessary equipment direct.
A marking tool for stamping a 10-digit identification code on tractors, plows, disks and other equipment is available from Minneapolis Molds and Engraving Co., 1519 Central Ave., Minneapolis, Mn. 55413 (ph. 612 781-3383). The holder sells for $22.00, plus $12.65 for 10 diemaking digits and two blank spacers. Because they buy in volume, Farm Bureaus sponsoring statewide programs are able to offer marking and stamping equipment at discounted rates. In Iowa, for example, the Statewide Crime Prevention Program, headquartered at 5400 University Ave., West Des Moines, offers the marking or stamping tool for $30, including tax. They also offer a homeowner's kit, including an engraving tool for marking TV sets, appliances and so forth for $6, and grain confetti for "branding" grain at $17 for a 5 lb. package, enough for 30,000 to 40,000 bu.
In most states with active programs, the effort is co-sponsored by Farm Bureau, the Sheriff's Association, Highway Patrol and several insurance companies.
If your machinery or other equipment is stolen, there's no assurance it can be returned even if it's recovered - if there are no permanent serial or other identification numbers. Stolen property that can't be positively identified can't be used as evidence against a suspected burglar.
Here's how the coding and identification (ID) system works:
Each farm's ID number is composed of 10 characters and is registered with the county sheriff's office. Federal, state and county agencies concerned with the transportation of stolen property across state lines receive a directory which enables them to quickly locate ID numbers.
For instance, if you were a John A. Doe, of David City, Neb,, your number would be NB0250306D. The NB is for Nebraska, "025" for Butler County and "0306D" indicates you were the 306th farmer participating in the program whose last name begins with D.
Brochures are available from participating Farm Bureaus which show where to stamp your ID number on various pieces of machinery and equipment. It's recommended that you place it on more than one place on most equipment, including some out-of-the-way location known only to you.

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1977 - Volume #1, Issue #4