THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (2024)



To dispel another myth being posited by those who have not examined the facts, the first quote attributed to Noem in relation to the dog having ever bit a person came yesterday — and I would surmise it was included in the release to add a legal defense.Let me explain.The only reference to the young dog and biting a person came in the quote in which Noem said the dog “whipped around to bite me.” Unlike the positions made defending Noem, there is no evidence the dog had bit anyone, lest Noem would have said, the dog whipped around and bit me. It may be semantics in some people’s mind, but the plain reading suggests otherwise. And even still, the dog’s actions do not approach the standard for euthanasia under the State’s “vicious” dog statute.I would add this — if the rationale for Noem’s shortsighted decision was about protecting livestock, it would matter not, for her to offer, that she was “worthless as a hunting dog”. It’s simply a tell on Noem’s part to draw a distinction, implying the dog might not have suffered the same fate if it was a promising hunter.In her statement made yesterday, Noem, like those supporting her acts being the way of life on the farm, referenced South Dakota’s statutory exemption for killing dogs “found chasing, worrying, injuring or killing poultry or domestic animals.”The word “found” is integral to the statute’s interpretation, as its inclusion creates a plain reading that negates the interpretation that you may kill dogs who have chased, worried, injured, or killed poultry or domestic animals. And the distinction is an important one, which implies the exemption is one of present circ*mstances to stop a wayward dog in the act of chasing or killing — in order to protect poultry or livestock.A review and analysis of a national survey of cases on similar statutes backs up the law’s plain reading, as a North Carolina court in the 2019 case of State v. Barnett delineates in whether the dog was killed in hot blood, so to speak, or at a later time, in cold blood; while finding the latter to indeed be an illegal act.In that instance, a neighbor’s dogs had attacked the individual’s stock, and a few hours after the incident had taken place, the owner of the stock drove down the road and ran over and killed the dogs while they were on another property.Now that act clearly may have moral justification to it if all of the facts are considered, but the court said the only fact that mattered was whether the defendant had intentionally ran over the dogs in cold blood or whether it was simply an accident. The defendant pled it was unintentional and was acquitted on appeal for violating the law, as the court lacked evidence to prove, conclusively, that it was intentional.Noem presents a different case. Keep in mind that her dog, by all accounts, had never bothered stock or poultry previously, and did so in this case because it was taken to a farm with chickens, after a hunt, and its owner negligently left open the kennel to allow a young dog and the group of chickens to get together.But make no mistake, Noem shot the dog, with a shotgun I might add, sometime later — both intentionally and in cold blood. Noem drove the dog back to her home; certainly angered by what had just transpired, and perhaps realizing the part she played in allowing the hunting dog to get in with chickens. She then leashed the dog up,walked it to a gravel pit — and with the dog having acted on instinct alone and having no cognizant awareness at that moment as to what was even going on — she executed it.It’s not inconsequential that she did so with a shotgun rather than a rifle; perhaps using bird shot, with it following the hunt — and the little thought given as to whether the dog would suffer due to that callous selection or her profound ignorance.Now read the last 12 words of the statutory exemption allowing a person to kill a dog in South Dakota in the protection of poultry or stock.— CONTINUED —



As to the livestock exemption, such a law allows property owners to take matters into their own hands; a point I wholeheartedly agree with, as a farmer or rancher has a duty to protect the animals entrusted to their care.And in those last 12 words of the South Dakota statute, much clarity is given to the statutory intent, implying that the dog may not be shot on the owner’s own property.That is because the protection of the livestock exemption is one from a defensive posture, again to take care of an individual’s own stock, lest the individual is the dog’s owner. What the State of South Dakota appears to take in its statute is the common sense position that a dog’s owner may not be entitled to use deadly force against a dog who is chasing stock on their own property; seemingly implying that, if that dog is chasing stock, then we know who is to blame — and that owner has a duty to control their dog by training them, penning them, or giving them to someone else who can — but a dog is protected from execution by its own owner’s failure(s).The language further covers the facts at hand, although clearly, it was not contemplated that someone who retrieved their dog to stop a present situation at another’s property — a property that didn’t 14-month old German wire-haired point did not drive itself to that day — would bring it back home and shoot it, and cite this statute to defend themselves.Now while Noem has suggested the incident took place as far back as 20 years ago, it is possible she may get a legal reprieve due to the passage of time since the act; but to avail a procedural defense has nothing at all to do with the substantive facts.And that is where the goat comes in.— CONTINUED —



Goats are one of the few species of livestock that I have not successfully raised. When I was about 4 years old, my grandparents had goats and thought it would be a good idea to grab one out of the pasture and let me lead it at the junior goat show at the County Fair. As it would turn out, the goat, named Hammer Jack, was not ready for his primetime debut quite yet, and neither was I, as we took turns dragging each other around the ring.My next goat venture came about 30 years later when I purchased the goats below — Registered Kiko mates we named Heart and Soul.Six months after, I called the seller and offered for him to keep the money I had paid for them and I would throw in a sack of feed on top of it if I could bring them back to him.If you are considering getting goats, check first to see if your fences will hold water — if they will, they might be able to hold a goat.Based upon the quotes from Kristi Noem, it appears we were about on the same level of knowledge when it came to raising goats. A relevant note is made up front in that Noem’s goat was an intact Billy or Buck — and it does not appear that it was some prized breeding piece, which leads me to this advice: If you have a male sheep or goat, who is not a breeding piece, and particularly if you have children, you should castrate it for a number of reasons ranging from sanitation to risk of injury.We have 14 mature Bulls in our Herd Sire lineup, but it is our 2 Rams in our sheep flock who I keep the closest eye on, as mature male sheep or goats can become quite ornery and they can hurt you, without question.I don’t know why Kristi Noem had an intact goat on her farm and I’m not sure why she allowed her children in with what appears to be a mature billy; but those decisions, without relation, explain the goat’s stench.A male goat will have urine on its beard, its front legs, and its chest, in a mating instinct that goes back as long as goats have been around.That likely explains to Noem why her goat stunk.She then implies the goat was knocking her children down, not causing any physical harm it seems, but getting their clothes dirty.Again, this entire situation underscores how little Noem, and those who support her actions, know about raising livestock.A young child should never be in a pen with a male goat or sheep who has not been castrasted, as they will display breeding and territorial instincts that could cause harm, or even death, to a child by being rammed, with a child right at their level to get injured. If you intend to keep back a male goat or sheep, castrate it to eliminate those instincts for the safety of your kids, or keep those male sheep or goats in a secure pen; if they are not in to breed your females at the time.Kristi Noem killed her bird dog after the incident with the chickens, that was caused by her own negligence. Noem then went straight out to the pasture, got the goat in question, who by all accounts was minding its business doing what goats do, and she brought it back to the gravel pit and she shot it too.The goat, apparently outsmarting Noem, jumped just as she shot; leaving it maimed by the shotgun blast and suffering until she could retrieve another shotgun shell to finish the goat off, who had the misfortune of drawing Noem’s ire on the day she was executing animals.And note the quote from Noem’s daughter; who if the math adds up was around 7 years old at the time. She got off her school bus and asked where Cricket, the GSP, was — to show this dog was no aggressive menace her children feared, but that it was instead the victim of Noem’s own stupidity and temper.— CONTINUED —




THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (10)

Now I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Noem’s initial response, which is likely all that most of her supporters cared to read, noted she killed her pheasant-hunting dog in training and the stinking goat, because that’s just how farmers handle business.Bullsh*t.And that’s where I come into this, as I consider myself a farmer and a rancher, and the last thing I want is for the American public to believe that its farmers and ranchers are a bunch of ignorant savages, although I’ll admit that I’m covering for the ones amongst us who are.But, in a scenario I’ll admit is short on facts, Noem makes clear that she has extended her death warrants to three elderly horses in recent weeks.The likelihood of three horses being in need of euthanasia at the exact same snapshot in time is next to impossible, and I hope you’ll forgive me for not giving Noem the benefit of the doubt given her prior acts.I have heard of two elderly horses being euthanized together if the time for one of them was done and the other may mourn their loss without any other companion. There is a level of compassion in that decision that is certainly understandable, relatable, and if handled in the proper manner, moral. The story on Noem’s horses, and their respective condition at the time of euthanasia, should be examined in more depth. But I will say that she somehow found a way to dig her hole down even further than she was.It also jumps off the page to me to see Noem attempt to capitalize on the buzz created by her actions by encouraging folks who to buy her book to hear more “real, honest, and politically incorrect stories.” With respect to that I’ll say this, no one thinks you’re tough for killing a defenseless animal. There are times on a farm that, due to suffering or circ*mstance, animals must be put down, often for their own benefit. The fact that Kristi Noem seeks the protection of the types of decisions which must be made on a farm as a justification for her actions should be offensive to every farmer or rancher who takes seriously their responsibility and commitment to the animals entrusted to their care.— CONTINUED —

THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (11)

And finally, Noem took one last shot yesterday to, first, promote her book and, second, to reshape the facts.She even gets in a reference to her leadership during Covid, which I’m sure was stellar, but is of no consequence to the firestorm that she has single-handedly created.She then states she makes the best decisions for the people in her life, apparently including killing those animals who may create, for her, an inconvenience or embarrassment.Noem further suggests that she followed the law — otherwise known as a gaslighting attempt to keep her supporters cheering her on, without taking the time to consider that her actions fall outside of the statutory exemptions for protection of stock.Which is why, likely through her legal team, she included yesterday, for the first time I have seen it in print, a new allegation — that Cricket bit people. I would surmise that would have been a leading fact to reveal in her decision to kill the dog, following the return to her property after the hunt — and would be much more relevant than the dog’s hunting prowess, or lack thereof, per Noem’s evaluation.Noem closes by saying the easy way isn’t always the right way; and on that astute point, we do agree.If you review my mentions, you will find plenty of vitriol over this issue, with references to bleeding hearts and a lack of my understanding on what it really means to be a farmer and a rancher in this world. And that’s ok, because I am secure in who I am; and I won’t shy away from something when I believe it is right.I have had some say this will alienate me from the farming community — and serve as a detriment to my legal action demanding President Biden to appoint a full Farm Credit Board. I do not care. I act and I speak on my beliefs as to what is right and what is wrong; and I’ve always tried to be a voice for those who may not have one.The truth is there are some amongst us in the farming community who want a license to do as they please on their own land, and I understand that to a point — but when Kristi Noem makes the case that her story is just a part of the same farm life I have grown up in and lived, I must speak up, lest, by association, others may relate the life I live to hers.My Dad was a dedicated farmer and rancher until he passed away 10 years ago. He hated to see any person or any animal mistreated. I’m not perfect by any means; and I fall short as to my own patience at times in handling stock — but the general population in this country covets empathy and honesty; and I do not want there to be a trust lost there as to what the farmer believes.Kristi Noem does not speak for me — and she does not share in what I believe when it comes to what it means to be a farmer or a rancher — instead, she’s a reckless cowboy, or as it turns out here, a reckless cowgirl — and we are not the same. Dustin Kittle Tennessee Rancher | Agricultural and Environmental Attorney

THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (12)

THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (13)

THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (14)

Dustin Kittle



Thank You | #Justice4Cricket Wow this thread has really taken off — thank you so much for all of the kind words that have been written today.I feel passionately about this; as silly as it may seem, I felt this could be a voice in telling Cricket’s story — because she did not deserve the fate she was dealt.If you want a counter-feeling to the Noem story, we try to post a video each day showing the animals enjoying their day on our farm. We would sure be glad to have you follow along.With my agricultural and environmental law partner @Ashley Posey, we own and operate Snow Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, Tennessee — where we raise cattle, and sheep, and Clydesdale horses.I’ll post today’s video from the farm in the comments below.Thank you,#Justice4Cricket

Based upon your understanding of the facts and the law, should South Dakota Governor @Kristi Noem resign?

AN OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS:When I began researching the Noem matter, I could see early on there were significant inconsistencies in her story.On Saturday, I ran this question through @Grok and posted it to X after doing so. I knew this would be a politically-charged issue and wanted to confirm up-front that my motives were pure. In hindsight, given the insinuations put out there by some on the opposite side of this right now, I am glad this was done.@Elon Musk: A useful X feature could be in keeping Elected/Appointed Judges in check to ensure independent decision-making that is not politically-motivated.

THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (16)

My letter sent today to @Kristi Noem in an effort to create a positive from this. Agree or disagree with what she did, there is no question she has the ability with her platform, if it is genuine and it is reflective, to make a difference for the working stock animals in this country.A huge difference.But she also has the ability to create a lot of harm if she does not get on the right side of this; because a precedent will have been set that we do not view an animal on the farm with the same level of respect as an animal elsewhere; and I just cannot see how that is right.If the truth was told, these are animals who helped to shape this country in a way that would not have even been a possibility without them. Think of the draft horses and the oxen and the mules and the hunting dogs and all the ways in which they have added value to what we are now all blessed with centuries later.I’m sure there will be a pushback on it from those who view livestock as a different class; and I can understand why many will be skeptical of what I am saying but it is absolutely doable to find a balance between operating a farm in an efficient manner and improving our level of animal care and respect.You don’t have to share in the same love for animals that some of us have — but I would hope we all would agree, in light of this story and others we could tell, that we can do a better job in agriculture in certain areas to advance the cause.A lot of farmers preach the desire for having independence and for being left alone, by the government and otherwise, but I am here to tell you that is a tough row to hoe in the Year 2024, if you are expecting a total independence, as if you sell cattle commercially to a buyer, it sure isn’t you who is dictating that price; so you are indeed beholden to someone.The answer is for the farmers who believe in a responsible way of agriculture to differentiate their cause from the rest — not all will agree there is a benefit to the establishment of a set of collective principles in this field.But it is only then that the American public will fully embrace the American farmer, as then their interests are truly and fully aligned, allowing the corporate waste and the lack of transparency, on the ground floor, to disappear. We are losing family farms every single day. And everyone knows it. But no one wants to take the time to figure out why. And it will take time, but I think I have my finger on the pulse of some of the why — and I hope you will continue to follow our work on this and in other areas — as even if you have never foot on a farm, it is a certainty matters come up on farms every day of the year that have a direct or indirect impact on our lives.A lot of these issues cannot be fixed by the farmers and ranchers alone — it will take more of us in society to get it right. And with all of that said, there is a path and an opportunity right now to run it back in the farming and ranching space.I believe we have a consensus of fair-minded and reasonable people who want more transparency in every layer of their individual world and dealings. To that end, it is important to the future of agriculture to restore the partnership that once existed between the farmers and the end users (most everyone else).My hope is that a shared vision will emerge in the common interest we all have to advance the cause of Responsible Agriculture in this country.I will continue writing on that and will encourage discussion and feedback on it all as we go forward.Thank you very much for taking the time to read what are, at times, very lengthy narratives on these issues. I so greatly appreciate all of you who have shared our work on this project and others.— DK

THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (17)

Dustin Kittle



Kristi:As a Tennessee Rancher, I sincerely believe there are pressing questions you should be answering right now; and I am hopeful your recent posts on unrelated matters are not an attempt to deflect from what is an important issue to a lot of people. There is a positive that can still come from this in you being honest and reflective and restoring respect to the working stock in this country. This mindset that they are simply a tool at man’s disposal or that it is acceptable to treat animals a different way because they reside or work on a farm is wrong. And it’s honestly always been wrong but no one else has had the guts to say it.I’m no PETA member or vegan. I am a person who works every day on our ranch where we raise cattle, horses, and sheep — it is what I’ve always done. But I am also an agricultural lawyer, and while morality is a subjective concept, I do believe I have pointed out certain issues as related to the livestock defense in my thread linked below.I am not trying to intervene with respect to criminal liability, and it at least does appear that the relevant statutes of limitation are long since expired, but it comes down to integrity here. And you honestly have a chance to make more of a positive impact than you know if you came out on the right side of this.I’ll stand alongside you; because you are not the only person who is involved in farming or ranching that shares that viewpoint; and I’m not casting stones as much as I am trying to be an advocate for the working stock in this country who honestly deserve better than what they have gotten; but you have the ability to change people’s hearts on the matter.If there is any part of my facts or analysis that you believe I have stated incorrectly, please let me know— but I do hope someone from your team takes the time to read and sees a different perspective; and maybe the opportunity to create something positive from same.Thank you,Dustin Kittle Tennessee Rancher || Agricultural and Environmental Attorney

Rep. Johnson completely missed the point in his comments below, with his words being almost as ignorant as the acts in question. Harm is done by his justifying this, as it sets a precedent that all of this is acceptable on the farm.

Rep. Dusty Johnson defended fellow SD Republican Kristi Noem after she wrote in her book that she shot and killed her 14-month-old dog.“Life is a little different in rural America,” he told me.“I would tell you that people are going to handle those situations differently. I know Kristi. And clearly she handled that, I think, with as much humanity for the animal as was needed.”He added, “I will tell you, there are lots of people in rural America, who if an animal's got to be put down, they would do that themselves. I know most people would go to the vet, but I would tell you that Kristi Noem was not the first or the one thousandth, you know, farmer or rancher that's put down an animal themselves.”

THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (19)

Dustin Kittle



Farm chores and legal work on the Farm Credit case was called for today, but I plan to look into the horse issue with Kristi Noem in more detail in the AM — As I noted in the initial thread, it would be an extraordinarily unique case for 3 horses to have to be euthanized at the same time — but will take a look and will post what I find tomorrow.

THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (20)

THE REAL KRISTI NOEM STORY AND WHY THIS RANCHER CALLS BULLsh*t: by @dustinkittle(Dustin Kittle) (2024)
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