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Kids Change Dead Man’s Mind: Noem’s Dad’s Spirit Supports Selling Family Land for Dairy

Kristi Noem said her dad told her to never sell the family land. Her brothers Robb and Rock Arnold are selling around 250 acres of the family land to dairy corporation Riverview for an $86-million, 12,500-head dairy in Hamlin County. Rock says his sister made those comments long before this opportunity arose and that her dad didn’t really mean what she says she said:

Gov. Noem has said publicly, “My dad always told me, ‘Never sell the land, Kristi. God’s not making any more of it.’” She was referencing her late father, Ron Arnold, who died in a 1994 farm accident.

Rock Arnold told South Dakota Searchlight that Ron Arnold also cared about ensuring local communities thrive and farmers receive a good price for their grain.

“She made that comment way before she knew about this proposed dairy,” Arnold said. “If my dad were alive today — and a lot of people in this room knew him and knew that he was a forward thinker, knew that he wanted to do what’s best for the community — I think he’d be 100% on board with this” [Joshua Haiar, “$86 Million Dairy Proposed on Land Owned by Governor’s Brothers,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.10.04].

Rock, Robb, and Kristi’s mom also supports selling the land:

Gov. Noem’s mother, Corrine Arnold, agreed. She told South Dakota Searchlight that she gave her blessing after “the boys talked to me first” [Haiar, 2023.10.04].

So evidently everyone in the Noem family will put words in the mouth of the dead to justify whatever point they need to make in the moment.

They say it’s hard to get some people to change their minds. But it’s strange—or maybe encouraging?—to see a dead man change his mind. When he was alive, Ron Arnold allegedly said that the family should never sell its land. But now that he’s dead and his kids stand to make a killing, he apparently says from the great beyond that economic development is more important than clinging to those deeds.


  1. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 08:25

    Want to escape the hellhole South Dakota has become for a solidly blue state?

    Our neighbor, Penny did three tours of duty in Iraq and is a burn pit survivor so she needs to visit the VA in Albuquerque three times a week for therapy and it’s just too far from out here in the boonies especially in the winter. If the United Snakes was a whole nation the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and the Veterans Health Administration would be rolled together then Medicaid for all would enable Penny to just go into any hospital for her treatment.

    Listing linked here.

  2. Donald Pay 2023-10-06 08:38

    I’m not sure I disagree with selling the land as much as I disagree with selling the land to another unneeded corporate dairy outfit. Sure, you might make more money selling out to corporate entities, but if you really wanted to sell and honor your father’s wishes, you would find a young farm family who wanted to carry on in the traditional South Dakota farming way.

    When my brother and I sold off my mom’s share of the old family farm in Iowa, our goal was to keep it in the extended family, if possible, or sell it to nearby family farmer. We were able to keep it in the extended family, though we don’t know how long it will remain a family operation. The young’uns don’t want to farm.

    I know there are lots of young people who want to get into farming but can’t because of the massive costs and debt it takes to get into production agriculture.

  3. Bill 2023-10-06 08:41

    Read Milked by Ruth Conniff. Dairy workers are illegal immigrants. I don’t personally have a problem with that, but I thought it was against Noem’s values to let illegals into the USA (Note the South Dakota National Guard deployed at the southern border).

  4. jerry 2023-10-06 08:58

    Concentration camps for not only immigrants from south of the border but can also be used to house enemies of the state. These things are dual use. Don’t ever think that republicans have not gamed this out.

  5. Aaron 2023-10-06 09:11

    Translation: Kristi’s rhetoric was always self serving BS that never catches up with her. Next.

  6. e platypus onion 2023-10-06 10:08

    Wonder what gawd had in mind for Noem and her cheating on her hubby? He?she/it isn’t making anymore Lewd andlustys so go for it while you can?

  7. DaveFN 2023-10-06 11:39

    “You should know what I need before I know what I need.”

    And so grows the family dysfunction over the decades about what the hell was meant by what was said, to the point of confabulation, confusion, and rationalization. Fascinating case study.

  8. P. Aitch 2023-10-06 12:49

    Smart move. Sell SD farmland and buy urban office buildings in Minneapolis or Denver. UOB’s will never be cheaper or more available. And cities will provide cheap capital for conversion to residential units.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2023-10-06 13:53

    P.Aitch– And, as an added incentive, they could hire Grudznick to manage their residential property.

  10. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 14:07

    Who cares? East River is a dead zone and the Big Sioux River is an open sewer anyway.

  11. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 14:10

    $20 says the Venezuelan people these Earth haters hire will last no more than one eight month winter in South Dakota.

  12. Rick 2023-10-06 16:43

    “Who cares? East River is a dead zone …”

    It is? How so?

  13. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 17:13

    Because of the deleterious impacts of livestock production on the environment plant-based diets are replacing animal protein in much of the world and even in the United States as eaters learn the levels of glyphosate, a known endocrine disruptor found in corn sugars and in small grains and hay fed to the creatures people eat, is incompatible with human life.

    Warnings of drought coming from the National Weather Service and US Army Corps of Engineers are prompting farmers to plant less corn. Ethanol being grown for motor fuel is produced by burning diesel fuel. How is that either conservative or sustainable? The number of acres in agroecosystems has tripled since the 1940s but ag practices like tiling have made soils unable to absorb rainfall creating elevated levels of salinity and concentrated animal feeding operations contribute to nutrient runoff.

    Today the Chinese ring-necked pheasant isn’t wildlife but it is a canary in a chemically and genetically engineered corn mine. Pulse crops like lentils, split peas, pintos, black beans and chickpeas or garbanzo beans are legumes that restore lost nitrogen in corn-damaged soils.

    The number of acres in agroecosystems has tripled since the 1940s but ag practices like tiling have made soils unable to absorb rainfall creating elevated levels of salinity and concentrated animal feeding operations contribute to nutrient runoff.

    South Dakota’s socialized dairies are wreaking habitat havoc all along the state’s border with Minnesota and like most of the state, southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa are Republican strongholds where dairies, swine units and other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have devastated water supplies by contaminating wells with nitrates.

    The number of acres in ‘agroecosystems’ has tripled since the 1940s but poor ag practices like tiling have made soils unable to absorb rainfall creating toxic runoff and flooding.

    The state’s governor is a reactionary cracker. Infrastructure is crumbling. Industrial agriculture is smothering wildlife habitat. Churches are girding for gun violence. Meth has replaced alcohol as the state’s drug of choice. Pierre’s culture of corruption and attacks on kids have ended open government. Native wildlife are being exterminated to make way for disease-ridden domestic livestock and exotic fowl. Jails far outnumber colleges. Bankers continue to enslave landowners and the state’s medical industry triopoly operates without scrutiny.

    In my home state of South Dakota 650 cases of chronic wasting disease have been reported since 2001 and in 2022 34 elk and deer were found to be infected; now, South Dakota beekeepers are reporting massive collapses of colonies because of pesticides. In the northern Great Plains songbirds are losing ground to industrial agriculture.

    Over a hundred native species in South Dakota are at risk to the Republican Party including the endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, black footed ferret, northern long-eared bat, the black-backed woodpecker that feeds on bark beetles and a bird that actually walks underwater – the American dipper, just to name a few. Threatened by the increased conversion of native prairie to cropland the most endangered plant in the chemical toilet that is South Dakota is the white-fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) found mainly in tallgrass prairies west of the Mississippi River.

  14. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 17:16

    Did I mention that the number of acres in ‘agroecosystems’ has tripled since the 1940s but poor ag practices like tiling have made soils unable to absorb rainfall creating toxic runoff and flooding?

    The good news? 1,158,000 invasive Chinese ring-necked pheasants were put to death in the state between October 15, 2022 and January 31, 2023.

    After massive failures of the legislature and state agencies the Republican-controlled South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder is throwing up its hands on zebra mussels.

    Endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, catfish and most other aquatic organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury throughout the South Dakota portion of the Missouri River so as those species are extirpated or even go extinct zebra mussels have colonized most of the system. Lewis and Clark Lake is at least thirty percent full of toxic sediment but that impoundment and Lake Sharpe can’t spend money fast enough to reverse the infestation of the imported bivalves in hydroelectric equipment and water courses.

    Diving ducks like the Canvasback, Redhead, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup and the Common Goldeneye feed on the invasive mussels that have been plaguing the mainstem dams in the Missouri River since at least 2004 but they’re part of over a hundred species at risk to the South Dakota Republican Party. To prop up the pheasant industry the state’s Republican governor put bounties on raccoons and skunks also known to feed on the prolific invaders.

  15. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 17:18

    The death of the Missouri River ecosystem in South Dakota began with the European invasion, was accelerated by the Homestake Mining Company and sealed with the construction of the mainstem dams. Today, the Corps has cancelled Spring Pulses on the Missouri River not because of low flows but because the silt is so poisonous it would kill the very species it says it’s trying to preserve.

    Nearly a century of residue from Black Hills Mining District affects millions of cubic yards of riparian habitat all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Although the Oahe Dam was completed in 1962 sequestering most of the silt the soils of the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers are inculcated with arsenic at levels that have killed cattle.

  16. P. Aitch 2023-10-06 17:18

    Yes, Arlo. Anyone could do much worse than hiring grudznick for a high level management position, huh?

  17. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 17:20

    South Dakota’s earth hater junior US senator is leading a crusade to block the US Environmental Protection Agency from identifying non-point sources of pollution deposited into watersheds by his GOP donors.

    Most East River lakes are eutrophic sh!tholes filled with toxic algae and unable to even support fish populations so the Prairie Pothole Region is becoming increasingly threatened by the encroachment of industrial agriculture but more irrigation means pumping fossil water from depleted aquifers mainly recharged by the Prairie Pothole Region.

    So once again the feds are bailing out the locals this time through a grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, a part of the US Fish and Wildlife Service but instead of native bison We the People will pay a few welfare ranchers to run domestic livestock on some of it.

  18. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 17:25

    The Mississippi is the third most polluted waterway in the United States and five of the tributaries of the Minnesota and Mississippi River system rise in South Dakota where Big Stone Lake is filling with silt.

    If South Dakota had a Democratic attorney general she’d sue Montana and Wyoming for the toxic legacy created by Colstrip, Basin Electric and Black Hills Energy. In 2020 Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sued ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute for lying to residents of that state.

    The Big Stone Power Plant in northeastern South Dakota is owned by Otter Tail Power, Montana-Dakota Utilities and NorthWestern Energy. This monster burns 3,500 tons of subbituminous coal every hour so those companies spend millions every year greasing Republican politicians and poisoning waterways.

  19. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 19:29

    I want to believe Rick is Rick Weible. Is that so?

  20. Bob Newland 2023-10-06 19:41

    From the time I started to become aware that I was aware of the waves that passed over us constantly, I observed and experienced the transition of old-line (stolen in violation of extant treaties) land holdings from generation to generation in personal connection with dozens of families of similar state. I am a product of a progenitor who entered, and subsequently influenced the politics, of The Black Hills in 1875 or 1876.

    Just about every family I knew or knew of–in my general age group–whose parents had inherited or accumulated some significant land mass sold out to someone who offered an acceptable offer. Rock and Ron have so done. Despite the inherent nepotism implication, that’s how it will be. People take advantage of favorable forks in the road.

  21. Mary 2023-10-06 19:49

    Land near Castlewood is now worth $344,000 an acre? What????

  22. larry kurtz 2023-10-06 20:02

    Tom Daschle and Bob Dole saw a time when American farmers growing corn to burn as fuel could starve the former Soviet Union of the petrodollars it needed for empire and that is still happening. Yet the Trumpers decry the subsidies making that happen are bad for America while obstructing aid to Ukraine while the rape of the Earth is destroying East River.

  23. Bob Newland 2023-10-06 20:08

    Gee. I never thought of it like that, man.

  24. grudznick 2023-10-06 21:13

    grudznick cannot comment on the existence or lack thereof any potential business dealings involving grudznick.


  25. Nick Nemec 2023-10-06 22:11

    It is easy to put words in a dead man’s mouth.

  26. grudznick 2023-10-06 22:53

    It is not as easy as you may think, Mr. Nemec. Hey, I heard you are having your Blogmore Hunt again this year. Is Mr. PP invited?

  27. Nick Nemec 2023-10-07 08:05

    Grudznick I am not in charge of the invite list to the Blogmore Hunt. My good friend Kevin Woster handles those duties. If Mr. PP shows up he will be welcomed with open arms and fed enough bean laden chili to stay warm for 24 hours.
    The same goes for you, we welcome non hunters who provide good conversation, you could walk along flushing birds for those who are armed.

  28. larry kurtz 2023-10-07 08:43

    Could Pat Powers even waddle into a cornfield?

  29. Rick 2023-10-07 09:55

    “Grudznick I am not in charge of the invite list to the Blogmore Hunt. My good friend Kevin Woster handles those duties. If Mr. PP shows up he will be welcomed with open arms and fed enough bean laden chili to stay warm for 24 hours.”

    And enough “gas” to motor his way back to Brookings.

    “Could Pat Powers even waddle into a cornfield?” LOL!!

    And, no, I’m not Rick Weible.

  30. P. Aitch 2023-10-07 13:57

    It appears that the “Blogmore Hunt” resembles “The Continental”. All are welcome. No political arguments allowed under threat of expulsion. #Nice

  31. grudznick 2023-10-07 18:13

    Threats of expulsion have little effect on grudznick’s close person friend Lar, who has been banned from most establishments at least once and lives on the dark internet dealing in shadows and questionable trinkets.

  32. P. Aitch 2023-10-07 18:38

    Whatcha drinking tonight grudz. That rotgut wine, again? Whew! I can smell your goat breath way down here .

  33. grudznick 2023-10-08 09:13

    Scotch, Mr. Lansing. Scotch. But this morning at the Conservative with Common Sense breakfasting most will drink coffee, although some bring in a little flask of their choosing. The Opening Rant will be about the powers of the President and the Congresses pertaining to war, and the debates over how these policies must come into play this week will be held.

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