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Published April 09, 2012, 09:52 AM

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American Indian leader testifies against wolf hunt in Minnesota

By: Agweek wire reports, Agweek

American Indian leader testifies against wolf hunt in Minnesota

• ST. PAUL — A Mississippi American Indian leader objects to a wolf hunting season that appears near passage in the Minnesota Legislature. She joins several Great Lakes-area tribes in opposing wolf hunting and trapping proposals. Chair Sandra Skinaway of the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa told a Minnesota Senate committee about her concerns, but said the issue flew under the radar and she missed testifying to a House committee. “In the Anishinaabe creation story, we are taught that the wolf is a brother to original man (Anishinaabe) and the two traveled together throughout the earth naming everything,” she testified. “Once this task was completed, the creator told the wolf and original man that they now had to take separate paths but said that whatever happened to one would happen to the other and that each would be feared, respected and misunderstood by the people that would later join them on earth. “Because of that relationship, the health and survival of the Anishinaabe people are tied to that of the wolf.” Federal officials removed the wolf from the federal endangered species list on Dec. 28. Minnesota officials immediately began considering a wolf season. Among supporters of a wolf season are farmers, who want to keep wolves from killing livestock. Skinaway said she understands that, but animals die for many reasons, such as other animals killing them and cars hitting them. “The point is, the wolf is not the only species that kills domestic animals and should not be one of the reasons for a public killing of the wolf,” she said.

Briefly . . .

Poet CEO: Poet president Jeff Lautt has been promoted to chief executive of the nation’s largest ethanol producer. The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based company says that founder Jeff Broin is stepping down after 25 years as chief executive but will continue to lead the company’s board as executive chairman. Broin says that he wants to spend more time with his family and take on new challenges. He says he’ll continue to be involved in strategic direction for the company but is leaving the day-to-day operations to Poet’s management team. Broin will continue to speak out on behalf of ethanol and agriculture as co-chairman of the industry group Growth Energy. Lautt joined Poet in 2005, serving as president since 2011. He says he will do his best to build on the company’s success.

Beef industry: The beef industry performed its own version of a football blitz the week of March 25 as it began to target in on media quarterbacks reporting on lean, finely textured beef (LFTB) produced by Beef Products Inc., which has a plant in South Sioux City, Neb. Negative mainstream media reports on BPI’s LFTB product began in early March with an ABC News report. The topic of “pink slime” as some are calling it, really picked up speed though when Bettina Siegel, a Texas mom and blogger, launched a petition against LFTB in school lunch programs on the website Change.com. Her petition received instant support from other urbanite moms and national media outlets took the story and ran. The onslaught of negative media attention caused several large supermarket chains to pull their orders with BPI and soon the company was making an announcement it would suspend operations in three of its processing plants — Garden City, Kan., Amarillo, Texas, and Waterloo, Iowa — putting 650 jobs at risk while the company figured out how to combat the national media buzz. While BPI execs went to huddle, the beef industry and several high-ranking officials in rural states made themselves available to play defense. Multiple cattle producer groups sent out media statements supporting the use of LFTB. Land grant universities offered facts and resources about the product, the American Meat Institute created a simple, but effective video explaining the process that makes LFTB, tours were given to governors and lieutenant governors at the BPI plant and friends of the meat industry helped throw together a massive picnic in support of BPI in mere days.

Hog dispute: A dispute over hogs at a Hutterite colony in South Dakota led to a colony resident being arrested for allegedly chasing a man with a loader. Officials with the Brown County (S.D.) Sheriff’s Office were at the scene for about 24 hours April 3 and 4. The 21-year-old man who was arrested allegedly drove a front-end loader at a worker for a private security firm hired by one of two disputing factions at the Hutterite colony. The two groups have been battling in recent years over control of the colony near Stratford, S.D. They are at odds over which branch of the Hutterite religion to follow. A judge in November 2010 ordered dissolution of the colony but the state Supreme Court earlier this year overturned the decision.

• >b>Stolen steers: A Montevideo, Minn., man has pleaded guilty to stealing steers from a Madison, Minn., feedlot. Twenty-three steers were taken from Robert Ludvigson’s farm on Jan. 29. Richard Kenneth Nelson pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing stolen property. Investigators found the missing cattle, worth about $40,000, at livestock auctions in Pipestone and Benson, Minn., with Nelson’s name listed as the seller. When confronted, authorities said Nelson admitted to selling the animals, but said they were his. Nelson faces up to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

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