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Volume Fourteen - Issue Seven
England and Lieser
take on historic nokota horses
Article and Photos by Sarah Lieser
Other than being two
Theodore Roosevelt National
of the best natural horsemanship
Park, having bred with the ranch
trainers in Texas, what do Aaron
stock of the area along with some
England and Jack Lieser have in
Canadian draft lines. Today, there
common? The Nokota horse.
are very few of the historic No-
The Nokota horses are
kota horses left in the park.
not mustangs although their
These horses were not
Spanish ancestry is evident. The
officially called the “Nokota” un-
Nokota horse originates from the
til Frank and Leo Kuntz stepped
badlands of North Dakota and
in and began preserving the
is believed by many to be the
breed after watching them being
horse descended from the herds
rounded up from the national
belonging to Sioux Indian Chief
park for slaughter.
Sitting Bull and the other Indian
The two brothers knew
chiefs who surrendered at Ft.
this was an awesome horse with
Buford, ND in 1881. The U.S.
a fascinating history. For years
government confiscated their
they had heard talk of the “park
horses and weapons and while
horses” strength and stamina. Af-
the herds were mostly destroyed,
ter purchasing a few to ride in the
there were some that eventually
great American Horse Race, they
Left: Jack Lieser working with stallion, North Wind. Right: Aaron England working wtih one of the young Nokota horses.
ended up being fenced into the
(Continued on Page 5.)
National animal identification system IS dying
By Karen Brown © 2010
It’s a modern day agribusinesses in the world--
USDA is refocusing its efforts
also work with state and tribal
together on this common cause. traceability approaches that
David and Goliath story come persistence has won out over
onto a new identification
agencies to determine the best
And we succeeded in mak- work best for them. The Fact-
true. In a years long battle mega-dollars. On February 5,
system that will apply only to
methods of tracking animals
ing our voices heard,” states sheet claims any new program
of individual citizens pitted 2010, USDA Secretary Vilsack
animals moved in interstate
based on the unique needs of
McGeary. will “honor the concerns of the
against some of the largest stated in a conference that the
commerce. The USDA will
the agencies, stakeholders, and
In an APHIS Fact- American public and those in
the species.
sheet, February 2010, the Rural America”.
This is a radical
USDA announced that it is Much of the opposi-
backstroke from the National
taking a new approach to ani- tion to NAIS had to do with the
Animal Identification System
mal disease traceability. The financial and reporting burden
(NAIS) in which all cattle,
Factsheet states the new system particularly for small produc-
sheep, pigs, chickens, horses
will be adaptable and flexible ers, the inclusion of non-food
as well as several other
that will “embrace the strengths animals, the specter of main-
species across the country
and expertise of States, Tribal taining privacy in a computer-
would be forced to comply
Nations, and producers” and ized database that would be
with a one size fits all tracking
allow those agencies to use accessible by untold numbers
system utilizing a single type
of electronic identification
(Continued on Page 9.)
with a massive database
and unworkable reporting Horses produce results
Judith McGeary, of
with troubled Children
the Farm and Ranch Freedom
Association (FARFA) says,
Partners for Youth,
therapy program to assist in
“This is a major victory. The
working in collaboration with
the rehabilitation of 168 court-
USDA, the largest of federal
the Bexar County Juvenile
ordered juvenile probationers
agencies, has changed policy
Board and Juvenile Probation
(annually) who have significant
based on the grassroots outcry.”
Department, is establishing
mental and behavioral health
NAIS origins date back nearly
an on-site equine-facilitated
(Continued on Page 7.)
two decades; it’s only in the
past 5 years that the public
became aware of the program.
Resistance was immediate and
grew over the years.
The massive scope
of ongoing opposition from
the citizens was too much to
ignore. The USDA capitulated
on the program in the face of
the multi-millions of dollars
spent to push it through by
companies such as Monsanto
and Digital Angel. “Thank
you to the thousands of people
who called, wrote, organized
meetings, and more. Dozens of
organizations, from across the
country and the full range of
the political spectrum, worked
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