BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is warning producers and businesses regulated by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) not to pay any fees directly to individuals who claim to be NDDA inspectors.

“No fees are collected by NDDA staff in the field,” Goehring said. “Fees for registrations, licenses and other services are billed through the department's office in Bismarck and mailed directly to the producer or business.”

Goehring said the Kansas Department of Agriculture has recently received reports of a person impersonating a department employee and accepting a check from a business to renew its license. Other Kansas businesses have reported people asking for cash to conduct food safety inspections.

“This is the sort of scam that can spread quickly,” Goehring said.

Goehring said producers or businesses should not pay money to anyone claiming to represent an NDDA inspector and attempting to collect fees.

“You should report the incident immediately to local law enforcement and call NDDA at (800) 242-7535,” he said.

NDDA regulates pesticides, fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia, veterinary medicines, animal feed including pet food, livestock dealers and auction markets, beekeepers, state-inspected meat processing plants, dairy farms, dairy plants and dairy haulers.