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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Veblen Dairies Raided for Illegal Immigrants

A juxtaposition:

(1) One of the latest near-full-page spreads from the Russell Olson campaign touts the increased production of milk in our state and says Olson will keep that milk flowing. I'm still trying to figure out from the ad exactly what Russ did to expand the dairy industry (was he out milking cows himself while our other elected officials were legislating?), but far be it from me to criticize a Republican for running an ad that will alienate the lactose-intolerant.

(2) Our industrial dairy operations won't continue to expand if the Department of Homeland Security keeps paying visits. Yesterday Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raided dairies up in Veblen (originally on KSFY; see this Aberdeen American News article) and arrested 27 people: 14 for immigration violations, 13 for identity theft.

Details aren't in yet, but Madville Times readers will recall that Rick Millner of Veblen is CEO of Prairie Ridge Management, the outfit that runs the Excel Dairy in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, a big confined animal feeding operation that stunk neighbors out of their homes last June. The Minnesota Department of Health declared Millner's Thief River Falls CAFO a public health hazard this month. We'll find out soon enough if Millner's Veblen operations are responsible for polluting our state with criminal labor.

That our growing industrial dairies turn their profits on illegal immigrant labor is no secret. Faced with a proposed CAFO, folks in Grant County were more worried about the potential damage to air, water, and roads. But they also complained that these big dairies provide more jobs to illegal immigrants than to locals, and all those reasons together elicited enough citizen opposition to kill the project.

Farming turned into a factory operation is bad enough environmentally and spiritually. Industrial agriculture based on criminal activity is all the worse. If dairies can't make it without illegal immigrant labor, is that really the kind of industry we want to promote?


  1. delete this please give it up, i think you are vons son

  2. Name: Cory Allen Heidelberger
    Address: 1883 Cottonwood Cove Trail, Lake Herman, SD 57042
    Father: James Ray Heidelberger

  3. give it up, i dont know what you ppl have against dairy farmers

  4. ...and I don't know what you "ppl" have against capitalization and punctuation...

    More importantly, what "ppl" are you referring to? I'm the one writing this blog, no one else. And where do I say anything against dairy farmers? All I'm expressing outrage against here is supposedly patriotic ag-industrialists who use illegal immigrant labor to make their profits. Got a defense for that?

  5. There is no defense for hiring illegals. By anybody. The employers should be fined and jailed, and the employees should be deported. Now.

  6. Gee, what's the problem with illegals doing the work at these milk factories? If they weren't illegal when the workers get sick from working around all the toxic gases the cost to the workmans comp system would be overwheming. This is CAFO economic development. Enjoy it.

  7. I forgot, that there's a village named "Veblen," in South Dakota. (I live in northeastern Iowa.) So, when first glanced at the article, I thought that it referred to the DIARIES of Thorstein Veblen!

    However, the only people who considered immigrants such as Veblen's Norwegian parents to be "illegal," were the Indians.

    A few years ago, some Mesquakie Indians, here in Iowa, wore t-shirts that read, "We've been fighting terrorism, ever since

    My maternal grandfather, Chris Schmidt, was born in July, 1857, the same month and year as Veblen.

    That was a Depression year, and so was 1932, the year I was born.

    (I'm Jerry Baker, and I had to post Anonymous, because the System wouldn't recognize my password.)

  8. Incidentally, if anyone would like to see my blog, it's here:


  9. So what other illegal things is this conglomerate prairie ridge management involved in? What is it going to take to clean up these dairies...literally! How many lawsuits are there out there against this group? I am for bringing in jobs, etc. but lets do it legally...


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