Gov. Noem's veto branding iron

The veto branding iron crafted by Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden that Gov. Kristi Noem used for the first time when she vetoed a bill that would have legalized industrial hemp.

Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden crafted the veto branding iron that Gov. Kristi Noem wielded in a recent video, according to Noem's office.

Noem posted a video to her Twitter page Wednesday in which she explained her reasons for vetoing a bill that would have legalized industrial hemp. The end of the video features close-up shots of a branding iron being applied to the bill, leaving a large “VETO” mark in what appears to be red ink.

Noem’s spokeswoman, Kristin Wileman, said the branding iron is the handiwork of Rhoden, a lifelong rancher and experienced welder from Union Center. The industrial-hemp bill was the first to receive the brand's mark.

Wileman described the branding iron as “a nice nod to the ag background of both the governor and lieutenant governor.”

Noem, a Republican, is not the first U.S. governor to wield a veto branding iron.

Brian Schweitzer, the Democratic governor of Montana from 2005 to 2013, famously set bills afire with a veto branding iron that he heated up before applying.

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Contact Seth Tupper at seth.tupper@rapidcityjournal.com

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