Anyone who buys and sells livestock for their own business or on the behalf of others must be registered and bonded by the USDA and licensed by the MDA.

NOTE: If you are a farmer/rancher and you only buy replacement animals and sell animals you have bred or raised, you do not need a license.

To get your license:

  1. First, contact the USDA Packers and Stockyards Administration office in Des Moines, Iowa at 515-323-2579. They will send you the  paperwork you need to become registered and bonded.
  2. Once you have obtained a bond, the USDA will notify the MDA.
  3. MDA will send you the forms you need to apply for the appropriate license. You can also download the application from this webpage, however the MDA cannot issue your license until the Packers and Stockyards registration/bonding is complete.

Current license fees are:

  • $300 for each livestock market agency and public stockyard
  • $100 for each livestock dealer
  • $100 for each meat packing company
  • $50 for each agent of a livestock dealer or meat packing company

It usually takes about two weeks for MDA to issue a license processed once we receive all the paperwork, so please plan ahead. If you have questions about the requirements or licensing process, please contact Kelly Anderson at 320-808-4424.