Trump Pardons South Dakota Ranchers

President Donald Trump, in one of his last official acts as President, granted full pardons to Gregory and Deborah Jorgensen, and a posthumous pardon to Martin Jorgensen, Jr., all from Ideal, South Dakota and Jorgensen Land and Cattle.

The statement from the White House reads:

Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) support clemency for this family, which has an exemplary record of service to their community. In the 1980’s, Gregory and his father, Martin, gathered a group of South Dakota cattle producers to market and sold processed beef. The Jorgensen’s marketed their beef under the Dakota Lean brand and sold the premium product as heart-healthy and antibiotic- and hormone-free. When demand outstripped supply, Gregory, Deborah, and Martin mixed in inferior, commercial beef trim and knowingly sold misbranded beef.

Since their convictions in 1996, the Jorgensen’s have served their community devotedly. Gregory was elected twice to the Tripp County Board of Commissioners and spearheaded infrastructure projects to improve access for Native American communities. Deborah is a lifelong member of a non-profit dedicated to promoting educational opportunities for women. And Martin was named National Beef Cattleman’s Association Businessman of the Year. The Jorgensens have shown remorse for their previous action, and in light of decades of exemplary public service, they are well deserving of these pardons.

“Ideal Pioneers,” the memoirs of Martin Jorgensen, Jr., and a history of Jorgensen Land and Cattle Co. was published in 2017, written by former BEEF editor Joe Roybal. The book is available on Amazon and is described below. Martin Jorgensen, Jr, passed away in August, 2019.

Jorgensen Land & Cattle (JLC) is located on the rolling short-grass prairie of south-central South Dakota. Headquartered in Ideal, SD, JLC is a unique synergy in which 20,000 acres of cropland and pasture underpin a world-class beef cattle program that annually markets around 3500 commercial Angus bulls. It's estimated that 100,000 calves bearing Jorgensen genetics are born each year. The patriarch is 93-year-old Martin F. Jorgensen Jr., the son of homesteading parents who first broke this prairie sod in 1909. Growing up in the destitution and hardship of the Great Depression and Dirty '30s, Martin stands at the center of a remarkable story that spans four generations of achievement and service. This book is a combination of his memoirs, as well as a history of JLC and the Jorgensen family. It's the story of a remarkable man and family, and their growth, challenges and successes as their agricultural operation evolved from a simple homestead at the turn of the 20th Century to one of the world's top farming and livestock operations.


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