Son of Utah Fur Farming Family Tells His Story
“But the unspeakable misery of their animals cannot be denied.”
The Beckstead family is one of the biggest fur farming families in Utah and Idaho. They are said to own two farms, one in each state.
One of the Beckstead clan does not support the bloody work of his family. In 2001, son Scott Beckstead published this damning indictment of his family and the fur farming business. The article was published in The Oregonian (the largest newspaper in Oregon),
December 9, 2001
Misery on the Mink Farm
by Scott Beckstead
These cold, gray days stir vivid memories for me, childhood images I shall live with forever. Strongest among them are those of pelting season on Grandpa’s mink farm.
My grandfather, gone now for more than a decade, raised minks in Franklin, Idaho. Every fall, my family traveled to Franklin to help my grandparents with what we called “the pelting season.”
I remember the smell. Like all members of the weasel family, minks are equipped with powerful scent glands. They sprayed their musky stench while in the throes of death. That smell permeated everything. Our clothes. Our hair.
I didn’t have the manual dexterity to do the skinning, so I helped with the killing. We killed the females by breaking their necks. The males were not so lucky. They were too big to have their necks broken, so they were g