Shannon Heads Co-op — “Gerald Shannon was elected president of the Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative at a recent board meeting.
“Shannon has been general manager of the co-op since its inception in 1973, and the change in job title results from a by-law change approved by the co-op in December.
“In other business, former Minn-Dak president Earl Davison, Tintah, Minn., was elected chairman of the board; James Link, Wahpeton, vice chairman; Lawrence Deal, Doran, Minn., secretary; and Alvin Hansen, Baker, Minn., treasurer.”
Read our entire issue and back issues. Click here.
Redroot Pigweed Still Leads As Worst Sugarbeet Weed — “Results from the annual [Minnesota-North
Dakota] cultural practice and pesticide use survey . . . held few surprises, showing that redroot pigweed still leads the parade of most wanted (dead) weeds in sugarbeet fields. Kochia problems have increased in the last two years. It now ranks a distant second to redroot pigweed, just ahead of common lambsquarters.
“Another factor pointed out by the survey is the greatly increased use of postemergence herbicides. And that was really no surprise to Allan Cattanach and Alan Dexter, who conducted the survey. Cattanach is sugarbeet specialist and Dexter is sugarbeet weed specialist, North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota. . . . ”
Fitzsimons Moves Easily From Farm to Legislature to Representing Growers / By Ross Collins — “Richard W. Fitzsimons had stood up for rural Minnesota for 24 years as a state legislator from Argyle and nearby Warren. He cared
for the land, true, but the land told more to Fitzsimons than crops and cattle. It also told of archaeology and of history, of the ancient nomadic tribes trudging under a glacier of his imagination, of Indian wars and settlers’ plows. It was his hobby, history, and his devotion at the capitol. And perhaps more than any other person of the past three decades, Fitzsimons was keeper of Minnesota’s past.
“ ‘I would say if you were to point out the legislator who has had the greatest impact on our programs in the last 30 years, it would be Dick Fitzsimons,’ said Russell Fridley, director of the Minnesota Historical Society since 1955.
“The point is, Fitzsimons, the Argyle farmer first elected a conservative state representative in 1952, was a history buff, and a powerful one. He’d been on nearly every committee the house offers, but for ten years beginning in 1963, he was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. . . .
“That was an extremely powerful position he had, and he was very influential,’ said Moorhead attorney William Dosland, another former legislator. “Fitzsimons, 61, now living in Moorhead and executive director of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, laughs when told that. But he doesn’t deny it.
“When I was in the legislature, the income to the state was exceeding the degree of growth,’ Fitzsimons said. ‘There was money available — each biennium brought in more money than was expected.’ . . . .
“In November 1975, the senior member of the legislature announced his retirement. It was to be the beginning of a new life, but one still tied to his two former ones: farming and politics. He became executive director of the sugarbeet growers association, a lobbying and information group for farmers.
“With this job I have rather close contact with the legislatures of Minnesota and North Dakota, and in Washington,’ he said. ‘So I never really left the political arena.”
Nebraska Claims Honor of First Successful Sugarbeet Factory in the United States / By William F. Rapp — “According to some historians, Nebraska has the honor of having the first successful sugarbeet factory in the United States. If we define the word ‘successful’ to mean a factory that operated every year since its construction, then the factory at Grand Island, Nebraska, deserves the honor, as this plant operated from 1890 until 1964, a total of 74 years. . . .
“Grand Island was a community settled largely by immigrants from Germany, many of whom had an agricultural background and were familiar with the sugarbeet industry in Germany and France. In 1887, Henry Koenig and several of his friends decided that possibly the land in the Grand Island area could produce a good quality sugarbeet. Seeds were imported from Germany and France and test plots were laid out. These initial tests showed that beets grown in the Grand Island area had a sugar content of 18%. . . .
“The Grand Island group continued their sugarbeet tests in 1888 and 1889. The results of the tests were so satisfactory that it was decided to build a beet sugar factory at Grand Island. A total of $100,000 was raised by public subscription. With this incentive, Koenig and his committee began a search for processing equipment. They were able to locate a defunct factory in Canada and to purchase it for $210,000. . . .
“The plant was completed by late summer of 1890 and the first campaign was in the fall of 1890 when the plant produced 20,000 one hundred pound bags of sugar. The Grand Island beet sugar factory was known as the Oxnard Beet Sugar Company until 1934 when it was sold to the American Crystal Sugar Company. The factory ceased operation in 1964.”