Spirit Lake Nation considering hog farm

St. Michael, North Dakota (AP) 9-07

Developers are considering a hog farm on the Spirit Lake Nation reservation, and not all members of the tribe are happy about it.

Theresa Allery, a board member of the Native American People Cooperative and coordinator for Hog Hoop Barn Development, said officials hope to use federal grant money to produce organic vegetables and build the hog facility.

Daryl Dukart, general manager of Cloverdale Growers Alliance, a group of growers who produce for Mandan-based Cloverdale Foods Co., said the reservation project would include nine barns that each could handle about 200 pigs. Each barn would handle three batches of pigs a year, he said.

“We can turn out 4,860 pigs annually,” Dukart said.

They likely would be imported from Canada, raised in the barns and then shipped to Cloverdale’s processing facility in Minot, he said.

Bill Patrie, director of the Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, said the pork could be marketed as “Native American-raised hogs” and sold to tribal casinos in the state.

Dukart said straw would be put on the floor of the barns to reduce odors and help heat the structures, which would have tarps for roofs.

“Hoop barns are the least expensive way to get into hog production that we could find,” Patrie said. “They are environmentally friendly and inexpensive.”

Tribal member Frank BlackCloud said he worries about damage to the environment from the hog farm. He said he has seen hog farms on other reservations, and “I hate to see a nightmare like that up here.”

Patrie said officials are only gauging interest, and have not yet even identified possible sites for a hog farm.

Tribal member Noreen Cavanaugh said she would not hesitate to fight a hog farm. “I would be willing to initiate a petition against it,” she said.

Information from: Devils Lake Journal,