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Ridgeview rancher admits farm program violation

PIERRE, S.D. (AP)--A Ridgeview rancher faces possible prison time after acknowledging he fed his livestock hay that was put up as security for federal loans.

James Petersen pleaded guilty in federal court in Pierre to federal information that charged him with two counts of conversion of mortgaged property from the Farm Service Agency.

His wife, Donna Petersen, is charged with six counts of making a false statement to the Department of Interior in her applications for pasture authorization to run cattle on several Cheyenne River Sioux tribal range units.

Her case is still pending.

James Petersen agreed to pay off his federal loans of more than $375,000 and agreed to be disqualified from all FSA farm programs for five years.

6 Star Midwest Ag\7-B

Date: 1/14/09

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