Founder of Recently-Raided Iowa Fur Farm Dies

January 3, 2012
Animal Liberation Frontline
by Peter Young

Palmer Erickson lived to see something that was long overdue:  in his final days, anonymous liberators opened cages and released 1,500 mink from his fur farm. Erickson died of esophageal cancer this week, shortly after this action.

Since at least the 1950s, Palmer Erickson and his sons have imprisoned and killed thousands of mink and fox every year on their farm in Jewel, Iowa. After 60+ years, Erickson passed away on January 1st.

Fur farmers should take note: you may persist unimpeded for years, even decades, but there is a good chance the ALF will find you eventually.

No claim of responsibility was made for the October raid, but the action bore the mark of the Animal Liberation Front: cages opened and animals freed in an overnight action. The incident followed the model of 80+ other fur farm raids over the past 15 years. It was the fourth clandestine action carried out (or appearing to be carried out) by animal liberators in Jewell or the surrounding areas since 1999. The Hawkeye Mink Cooperative, Scott Nelson mink farm, and Isebrands fur farm (owned by relatives of Erickson’s) have all been targeted.

His obituary read, in part:

“On June 12, 1955, he was united in marriage to Marilyn Weih of Tipton, Iowa. Palmer and Marilyn resided outside of Jewell on a farm their entire married life, where Palmer established the Erickson Mink Ranch.”

Erickson narrowly escaped not living to see animal liberators deliver a small amount of justice for his victims. He died having experienced first hand in some of his final days what compassionate raiders are willing to do to bring freedom to 1,500 of the animals he held captive.