The use of the hot iron for animal identification is a marked tradition in the history of the American West. Cattle owners could separate co-mingled herds at round-up time, and cattle rustlers were more likely to favor unbranded animals.
Kansas began registering brands in 1939, when hot iron branding was the only recognized means of marking an animal. However, the process was eventually modernized; the hot iron in the campfire began to share popularity with the electric iron, and freeze branding – commonly preferred by horse owners – was accepted in 1993.
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, Kendra Frasier of the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Brands Program presents this Prairie Talk on the history of branding and how the tradition is carried on today.
A fun fact.. the very first registered brand was H. Wayne Rogler’s H.