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Winning Nomination

I nominate the grasshopper Melanoplus sp. and others for inclusion into the Minnesota 150, because of their tremendous impact on agriculture, rural communities, and the environment. Grasshoppers attacked Minnesota farms in 1857, 1858, 1864, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, and again in the early 1930s. In the 1870s the media campaign behind the losses to wheat farmers began a long-enduring process of designating farmers as disaster victims and generating numerous forms of disaster relief. Piles of grasshopper poison--strychnine/cyanide-laced sawdust--were later bulldozed into pits across western Minnesota as the pests departed--creating leaking hazardous waste sites into the late 20th century.
~Bob Quist, Elk River, MN

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