South Dakota farmers pardoned by President Trump
In one of his final acts, President Donald Trump granted full pardons to Gregory and Deborah Jorgensen, and a posthumous pardon to Martin Jorgensen. All are/were from Ideal, South Dakota.
The Jorgensen family is well known for cattle production and other agricultural enterprises. “I’d say as far as agriculture is concerned, the Jorgensen family stands out as crown jewels in ag technology,” testified Ben Kantack, a South Dakota State University Extension entomologist at a 1996 trial.
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.