Here is a secret fur farmers don’t want you to know: how to get a close look at a mink farm – legally.
by Peter Young (Voice of the Voiceless)
There is an odd trend among the small number of fur farms left in the U.S.: several of them are also cut-your-own Christmas tree farms.
These tree farms invite members of the public onto their property to find the perfect Christmas tree. This invitation could offer the prospective Christmas tree buyer a glimpse of a fur farm rarely experienced outside of Animal Liberation Front (A.L.F.) raids.
One such fur farm is the Gengel Mink Farm. A recent article on Christmas tree farms in the Chicago area stated:
“A mink farm year-round, the 60-acre Gengel site was first planted with evergreen trees in 1964 and has been known to sell up to 500 trees annually.”
The Blueprint fur farm list categorizes the Gengel Mink Farm as being an open, active mink farm.
By their nature, Christmas tree farms encourage exploration of the property to find the perfect tree, offering an otherwise impossible opportunity to see a mink farm up close.
The website for the another tree farm – the Ide Christmas Tree Farm – invites visitors to explore:
“Hike as much or little as it takes to find the ‘Perfect Tree’ for your family.”
What the website doesn’t say is that this tree farm is on the same property as the Charles Ide Jr. fur farm in Downer’s Grove, Illinois. This fur farm is rumored to be closed, but this has never been confirmed. Going tree shopping at this farm would allow anyone to get close to the sheds and confirm its status once and for all.
A third fur farm – Mildbrand Mink Ranch in Medford, Wisconsin – also operates a Christmas tree farm. While this farm appears to be located around the corner from the mink sheds, this would still be one place to not buy a tree this year.
For the others, this is one opportunity that cannot be passed up: mink farmers inviting the public onto their property.
Christmas tree shoppers are invited to send their reports to Voice of the Voiceless.