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Noem’s Brothers Defy Dad’s Advice, Plan to Sell Land to Riverview Dairy

“I was raised by a dad who often reminded me, ‘Kristi, we don’t sell land, because God’s not making any more land….”

Kristi Noem has often invoked that admonishment from her father in her political storytelling. I thus initially found it hard to believe this announcement from one of Kristi’s Hazel neighbors that Kristi’s brothers Rock and Robb Arnold are selling some of their land:

Vanessa Namken, FB, 2023.09.25.
Vanessa Namken, FB, 2023.09.25.
Vanessa Namken, FB, 2023.09.25.
Vanessa Namken, FB, 2023.09.25.
Vanessa Namken, FB, 2023.09.25.
Vanessa Namken, FB, 2023.09.25.

But Namken says she received her information from Riverview itself, and Kristi and the boys’ sister Cindy Grantham confirms the planned sale in a response to Namken’s post:

Obviously, Vanessa is drawing attention to an important public meeting for the Hazel community on October 3rd.

Once Rock and Robb learned they had a viable site for Riverview, they have contacted people personally, visiting them in their homes or on the phone as much as they possibly could in the past two weeks. They have answered questions, given information, and done any requested research asked of them. I think many Hazel community members, whether they are fans of the dairy or not, would attest to this fact.

As is apt to happen, once they had spoken with more and more people personally, word traveled organically in social circles (sometimes along with some misinformation), and it became clear it was time to reach a broader audience and have a meeting for anyone the Hazel community. Flyers were posted and distributed. My guess is it never even crossed their minds to post to social media because they don’t use it. Personal interaction is their preference [Cindy Grantham, FB comment, 2023.09.27].

Hmmm… Rock and Robb must have already burned through the $346K in Trump farm welfare checks and $600K in coronavirus relief funds that kept their businesses afloat.

Riverview, one of the largest dairy corporations in the United States, milking cows and imperiling groundwater in five states, including Arizona, isn’t hurting for cash. Zippia reports their 2022 revenue was $230 million, and just last February, Riverview received a friendly $4.4 million from Rock and Robb’s sister’s Office of Economic Development to expand a nearby Kingsbury County. It’s good to see those government dollars turn over in the community and benefit wise participants in the free market.

The public meeting Tuesday, October 3, 6 p.m. Central, Hazel Fire Hall, will be a good opportunity to hear from Riverview just how big a dairy they plan to build on the Arnolds’ land. It may also be a chance to hear from Rock and Robb just where God started making new land so they can justify abandoning their dear departed dad’s advice and selling off their family’s closely held heritage.


  1. P. Aitch 2023-09-30 05:56

    More milk for more low quality mozzarella cheese for more low quality Tombstone frozen pizzas . 🍕 C’mon! Use Vermont as a model. Vermont has the same agricultural operations but produces some of the world’s best cheese and some world class ice cream.

  2. Richard Schriever 2023-09-30 06:09

    A co-worker of mine reminded me while telling stories of his year abroad studying in Italy, that real mozzarella is made from water buffalo milk, not cow’s milk (illegal to label as mozzarella in Italy). Water buffalo yield around 18 pounds of milk/day, while confined Holsteins yield about 50/lbs./day. My contribution to a discussion on this was that like most things made in the US – compared to their original – our “mozzarella” is just a cheap knock-off. We are exactly the sort of manufacturers a typical MAGAT used to project onto Japan and currently projects onto China as being.

  3. LCJ 2023-09-30 07:22

    Wonderful news for Hamlin county !
    Another large dairy is being built 7 miles south of Castlewood. Big thanks to forward thinking ag producers in Hamlin county!

  4. CK 2023-09-30 07:22

    Who will work in this dairy?

    Kristi won’t like that answer…

  5. LCJ 2023-09-30 07:24

    7 north of C-wood

  6. e platypus onion 2023-09-30 08:27

    OTOH, 110 acres of Missouri farmland sold last week for a new record of $34.5k per acre, beating the old record by over 4k per acre. Local farmer, no investor, bought it.

  7. sx123 2023-09-30 08:35

    Hold on. Economic development money to dairy, possibly buying land from governors brothers?

    But legislator, who’s daycare got covid funds (way less than $4mill) got publicly reprimanded and has to pay back the money?????????

    On the surface, I don’t see a difference between the two.

  8. sx123 2023-09-30 08:38

    Oh, and where is my $4mill of free govt money? I want to build something and supply jobs?

    Such a joke. Capitalism is dead in this country.

  9. jad 2023-09-30 08:43

    The govs son-in-law must be getting a cut in this also

  10. jerry 2023-09-30 10:11

    Mr. Schriever, correcto mundo! “Fresh mozzarella is a sliceable curd cheese that originated in Italy. Traditionally made from the milk of water buffalo (not North American buffalo or bison, as many mistakenly think), its delicate, milky flavor is highly prized. Fresh mozzarella is considered to be one of the healthier cheeses, due to its low fat and sodium content.1 Water buffalo’s milk mozzarella is more nutritious than cow’s milk mozzarella, with higher concentrations of calcium, protein, and iron, as well as being lower in cholesterol.”

    Better for ya too! Nobody is gonna rustle these rascals. $40.00 a gallon for their milk. This would be real economic developement

    In Vietnam, I saw little kids working these animals in the rice paddies with no problems. So you can put these to work in the fields too. That way you don’t need that dirty fuel or those dog gone electrice engines that scare the hell out of republicans. I am not sure about the flatulence though, so don’t get to close, that is for the immigrants to deal with.

  11. grudznick 2023-09-30 10:21

    Way to criticize a couple of probably swell fellows, Mr. H. Your NDS is showing bad today.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-09-30 10:32

    Grudz, if anyone should be criticizing the Arnold brothers, I would think it would be Kristi and the spirit of their dad, who said, never sell the land.

  13. sx123 2023-09-30 10:47

    “NEVER sell the land!”*

    * unless the buyer is offering a boatload of cash. i.e. don’t be dumb

  14. jerry 2023-09-30 11:04

    Prolly a bribe in plain sight. Nothing to see here, just a boatload of cash to the govs family. I wonder if the Saudi’s are involved in the money tree bidding like they have been with trump.

  15. larry kurtz 2023-09-30 11:16

    It’s important to remember that Ronald Arnold died in a grain bin incident because he wasn’t very smart.

  16. Noem's nemesis 2023-09-30 12:32

    “Kristi, [Arnolds] don’t sell land, because God’s not making any more land….” When Arnolds had enough land, God switched over to making guns for them.”

  17. P. Aitch 2023-09-30 13:02

    As a teenager I worked the overnight shift making mozz and parm and a little romano at the now shuttered Saputo Cheese plant in Big Stone City. It wasn’t the MOST physical job I ever had but it was in the top five. As a future chef it, along with the summers spent as a hired hand on a farm that milked 50 head, pastured 50 head of Angus, and planted a section, was essential to my complete culinary education. As a pre-teen I spent summers on a farm outside of Hazel.
    Any questions for my worthy assistant, today?
    *Mozz is an easy cheese to make at home. Especially if you have a cow in the garage. #grins

  18. sx123 2023-09-30 13:20

    Of all the land in SD, that is THE land to do the dairy on. What luck!

  19. Arlo Blundt 2023-09-30 14:33

    Governor Noem has left the farm….will she abandon her trucker hat???

  20. O 2023-09-30 16:28

    six123, don’t worry, capitalism will kick back in alive-and-well as soon as it’s time to calculate profits (after socializing the costs).

  21. Ryan Kelly 2023-09-30 16:45

    Kristi Noem lied about following her father’s advice. Among many other things, apparently. Who knew?

  22. Ec 2023-09-30 16:47

    This apparently what is the new norm, I wanted to take over our family farm but my oldest sister kept me from having the chance to continue the tradition of farming the family farm. So now 40 years later it is still my most desirable dream what a despicable thing to happen to that family, at some point they will regret it, all for money. You can have millions, but guess what you can’t take it with you when you die. There is no way to get around dieing. Hope you enjoy while you can.

  23. Lakkan 2023-09-30 17:40

    “I was raised by a dad who often reminded me, ‘Kristi, we don’t sell land, because God’s not making any more land….”

    Oh puuuleeeese, Barbie. Forgive me while I lose my lunch over more of your pious BS. The” family oriented” Corey- affair fake Christian doesn’t fool anyone. Norm’s a total fraud. Trump will never make you his VP, despite all your many cosmetic enhancers, Kristi. Kissing the ground he walks on and just dumb enough for him, and so unable to challenge him, she’s the same type of grifter and narcissist. Can’t have 2 in the same boat..go back to the farm…

  24. Jake 2023-09-30 18:18

    She’s toasted. Pure-simple. (But, of course, “she looks so GOOD on a horse” that I have to vote for her”! Grudz, et. al. GOP voters that were hoodwinked by her first governor’s run for office.

  25. Arlo Blundt 2023-10-01 14:12

    Where is Byron in all this?? If Kristi has a partnership in the old home place, he must share in that interest. Doesn’t he??….Goodness, it’s complicated.

  26. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-10-01 18:25

    Arlo, it would be interesting to review the incorporation papers and deeds and see if the Arnolds have ever dealt Bryon into the family holdings. They wouldn’t necessarily have to.

    Plus, I seem to recall that Kristi sold her shares back to her brothers, so I don’t think she’s a technical partner in Racota Valley Ranch or the other government-subsidized operations. But I could be wrong.

  27. grudznick 2023-10-01 18:29

    Anything is possible, Mr. H, but unless we know and it’s any of our business it’s just reckless speculation.
    Probably they have hidden, Democratic Party backing, and are hiding it.

  28. P. Aitch 2023-10-01 18:53

    Your Governors Father, being a white, South Dakota male of German heritage no doubt had different instructions for his sons than instructions he had for a daughter. He probably told her not to sell because she’s a female and thus is inherently inferior to her brothers, in his hierarchy of children.

  29. grudznick 2023-10-01 18:56

    For once, Mr. Lansing’s ethno-racism might be spot on the johnny.

  30. Arlo Blundt 2023-10-01 19:01

    Grudznick…you’re babbling insanely…grab control of yourself….”hidden Democratic Party backing???'” Last time I checked the Democratic Party had a buck 75 in its’ treasury. Your loyalty to the Rodeo Goddess has turned into Noem Induced Absurdity.

  31. grudznick 2023-10-01 19:16

    There are Democratic Parties with actual money, Mr. Blundt, outside of South Dakota. In some states, the Democratic Parties are well organized and have at least average levels of competence. Probably, it wouldn’t surprise any of us if the National Democratic Party was in league with these Arnold fellows’ land dealings.

  32. larry kurtz 2023-10-01 19:30

    Hey grud, howz that cranial rectitis treatment working?

  33. grudznick 2023-10-01 19:36

    I gotta say, Lar, the advice you gave is really helping.

  34. cathy 2023-10-01 20:31

    That land quote is such a cliche…they even used it on The Sopranos.

  35. Kevin Bishop 2023-10-02 08:24

    What a poorly written story. Full of misleading facts and writers opinion. Is journalism dead at the local level now too?

  36. Jet Johnson 2023-10-02 14:36

    God makes more land all the time. Have Republicans gotten so backwards on science that even basic volcanic activity is completely foreign to them?

    Or what about all the land that is being uncovered as global temperatures rise and the polar ice caps melt? I guess that’s more of a zero sum, given that that’s also reducing a lot of land.

    Also, when God isn’t making more land, people are. There are dozens of areas in the United States where “new” land has been manufactured. New York, Chicago, Miami…Then outside the United States, China is building artificial islands to extend its territorial jurisdiction, and Dubai is building islands so they can continue spending money on stupid projects.

    Turns out that the conventional wisdom from homespun quotations like this are actually not so realistic. Who woulda thunk it

  37. O 2023-10-02 15:27

    God isn’t making any new 6000-year old land?

  38. Arlo Blundt 2023-10-02 15:36

    Grudznick–You are whistling in the dark…if you told me the National Democratic Party was investing in the Summit Pipeline, I might grant you some creedance. The Arnolds and the Governor, are too small potatoes to attract their investment.

  39. e platypus onion 2023-10-02 15:52

    magat gawd made magats all victims. Just like in their fever dreams.

  40. grudznick 2023-10-02 16:58

    Well, Mr. Blundt, it does help that you’ve acknowledged the Democratic Party invests in things. I figured they did. With their big, dark money.

  41. Arlo Blundt 2023-10-02 17:42

    Grudznick–No Mr. Grudznick, YOU asserted that the Democratic Party invested in things. I acknowledged that possibility, its probably true that both Republican and Democratic National Parties invest surplus funds. Whether they invest in private companies, where a good deal of risk exists, I do not know. I think the National Parties invest in low risk financial instruments, bonds for example. There are thousands of these instruments out there, currying investment from “Institutional Investors”.

  42. grudznick 2023-10-02 18:14

    I do think the Democratic Party probably invests in things, and you helped me understand that Mr. Blundt. I might be foggier than normal today, for I had a light breakfast, but I think you and I are on the same page.

  43. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-10-02 19:53

    Kevin B, what a poorly written critique, full of, well, nothing.

    1. Kevin does not disprove any of the facts presented. (Did Kristi not say what she said about her dad? Did her dad never actually admonish his kids never to sell the land? Did Cindy not say that her brothers are considering selling their land to Riverview?)

    2. Kevin does not explain how facts can mislead.

    3. Kevin does not explain what harm arises from the writer including the writer’s opinion.

    4. My opinion is, obviously, obvious. Kevin had no trouble spotting it. I assume other rational readers are similarly capable of distinguishing the (substantiated, sourced, unchallenged) facts I present from the opinions I draw from those facts. Readers are thus capable of forming their own opinions from the facts presented, indicating that no real harm is done from including obvious opinion in this journalism.

    Kevin doesn’t stick around to provide a detailed, thoughtful, and specific rebuttal. He just does the drive-by, perhaps to soothe the discomfort caused by encountering facts and opinions to which those facts may lead that upset his preferred worldview.

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