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Dogs and donkeys make it possible to protect livestock and coexist with predators

by Trinity Gruenberg

The Crow Wing River Basin Forage Council’s winter meeting was held on Thursday, January 20 at the Verndale Community Center.

Lynn Minzer, Chengawatana Community Farm from Palisade, and Tim Nolte, Sebeka farmer, discussed the animals they use as livestock guardians.

Minzer has over 200 acres, half forested, the other is open pasture, hay, and wetland with frontage on the Willow River. She owns cattle, pigs, sheep, and chickens.

In 2009, she got her first livestock guardian dogs. They were the Great Pyrenees cross.

In 20 years, she’s only lost one lamb to a predator, a bald eagle. She’s surrounded by wolves, coyotes, cougars, foxes, and bears. The dogs have kept her animals safe from predators.

The livestock guardian animals enable predator-friendly ranching as the farmers recognize the predator’s role in a healthy ecosystem. . .


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