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Taste-Test Raises Money For Ferrets

Ferret owner Linda Iroff to taste-test ferret food to raise money for black-footed ferrets and benefit a local ferret shelter.

By Marylou Zarbock
Posted: October 22, 2010, 3:45 p.m. EDT

black-footed ferret and Linda Iroff
© Inset photo courtesy Linda Iroff/Black-footed ferret photo courtesy Marylou Zarbock
Linda Iroff (inset) chose black-footed ferrets and a local ferret shelter to receive funds raised by her soon-to-be-seen taste-testing of Totally Ferret ferret food.

A recent discussion on the Ferret Mailing List that might have ended in a major argument instead became a major fundraising opportunity.
“It started a few weeks ago when there was some discussion of the quality of Totally Ferret food on the FML,” said Linda Iroff, a ferret owner, FML member and co-founder of the International Ferret Congress. “Alexandra from Massachusetts claimed to have tasted some and pronounced it delicious, but [Rebecca Stout] posted that she would only trust Lindaferret's opinion!” (Lindaferret is a nickname for Iroff.)

Stout’s trust in Iroff’s ferret food taste-testing ability stems from an incident at the 2003 International Ferret Congress symposium in Atlanta, where Iroff tasted ferret food in front of an entire audience.

Iroff agreed to taste-test Totally Ferret food, but only if someone gave her dark chocolate. “Dave Rossow took me up on the offer,” Iroff said. “He further suggested that people donate money to the charity of my choice, and I agreed to do it if $150 were raised. I chose Prairie Wildlife Research as the charity.”

Prairie Wildlife Research is a nonprofit organization that works to preserve animals that make their home on the prairie, particularly the endangered black-footed ferret.

Once Iroff committed to the event, plans snowballed. “Renee Downs, and Rick and Candi White both offered matching funds up to $150,” Iroff said, “and last I heard $565 had been raised. Dave bought a webcam and plans to live-broadcast the event!”

Rossow also just posted to the FML that if $750 is raised, he will taste the food, too. Rossow is an FML member, and a volunteer and foster home for Ferrets Unlimited Rescue Service (FURS) in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s possible that both he and Iroff could have a live audience for the event, as Rossow and his wife are considering having the event at their house, with $10 donations at the door going to FURS.

In addition, Isabella Gucci-Jones, the ferret mascot for Totally Ferret, has donated food for the tasting, and a 30-pound bag of ferret food to the shelter of Iroff’s choice. Iroff chose FURS.

April Pietroiacovo, owner of Isabella Gucci-Jones and ferret specialist at Totally Ferret, said that Totally Ferret loves getting involved in silly and fun things like this. The donation was a must. “We felt we had to do something for Linda, not for eating our food but for putting the video on the web for all to see," Pietroiacovo said. "Oh, and we claim no responsibility if she starts wanting to sleep in a hammy and has a sudden urge to run through tunnels.”

Donations are still being accepted, with no specific deadline at the moment. Iroff gave further details about the tasting, “I've committed to trying both the regular active adult TF and the turkey/duck/venison versions, but not promised to eat any specific amount! It looks like we'll be reporting live on webcam, and I'll provide a write-up review for the FML of course.”

For more information about donations or for updates on the taste testing, visit our forum or join the FML.

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Taste-Test Raises Money For Ferrets

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Reader Comments
Posted: 10/23/2010 12:27:13 AM
Well, "I" just wanted to point out how much you enjoyed it! As I recall, you came back for more. I think with this amount of money, you should eat more than a nugget or two! I want to see a close up of the bite, chew and swallow. Not that I'd ever think you'd cheat. Surely Totally Ferret tastes much better than what I put in your mouth.
Rebecca Stout, Chattanooga, TN
Posted: 10/22/2010 1:33:50 PM
I just want to point out that the food tasting at the 2003 IFC symposium was inadvertent!
lindaferret, Oberlin, OH
Posted: 10/22/2010 1:01:39 PM
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