<![CDATA[The Sugarbeet Grower Magazine - Around The Industry]]>Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:12:19 -0800EditMySite<![CDATA[Lamb Receives Minn.-N.D. Distinguished Service Award]]>Thu, 11 Feb 2016 17:03:16 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/-lamb-receives-minn-nd-distinguished-service-awardDr. John Lamb receiving the Distinguished Service AwardJohn Lamb (left) receives the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota’s Distinguished Service Award from the group’s chairman and Bird Island, Minn., sugarbeet producer Keith McNamara.

Dr. John Lamb, professor and extension soil scientist (emeritus) with the University of Minnesota, received the Distinguished Service Award in January from the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota. This award is presented annually to individuals who have achieved significant accomplishments in research programs improving sugarbeet production; have contributed to effective teaching and educational programs for sugarbeet growers; and/or have provided other important service or contributions to the sugarbeet industry, locally, regionally or nationally.
Lamb was a UM faculty member for 31 years before retiring in June 2015. While he worked on a number of crops, his main research focus and passion was nutrient management to improve sugarbeet production and beet quality.
“John’s research into nitrogen rates to improve the quality of sugarbeets has shown that yield does not have to suffer when fertilizing for high quality,” stated Todd Geselius, vice presidentagriculture with Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative and one of those nominating Lamb for this award. “Additionally, he has collaborated with others to better understand the impact that rotational crop fertilization can have on sugarbeet quality, an area that was not extensively researched previously. He has also conducted a significant quantity of work on the impact of manure applications for several crops, including sugarbeets.”
Lamb was a recipient of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists’ Meritorious Service Award in 2011.

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<![CDATA[Four Generations of Michigan Family Experience 2015 Harvest]]>Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:57:45 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/four-generations-of-michigan-family-experience-2015-harvest
There are many multi-generational families around the nation’s sugarbeet community, and the Sylvesters of Fairgrove, Mich., are among them. Pictured above during the 2015 Michigan beet harvest are Lyle Sylvester (seated), his son, Rich (standing at left, holding his baby grandson, Ivan), Rich’s granddaughter, Madison Gwizdala, and Rich’s son, Mark (right, holding two-year-old Lincoln). Lyle Sylvester is a third-generation sugarbeet grower, thus making Madison, Lincoln and Ivan the futuristic sixth generation.

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<![CDATA[KWS & Monsanto Developing Triple-Stack Herbicide Trait]]>Tue, 01 Dec 2015 19:01:14 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/kws-monsanto-developing-triple-stack-herbicide-trait
KWS SAAT SE and Monsanto Company announced in October an extension of their partnership that will focus on helping U.S. and Canadian sugarbeet growers manage tough-to-control weeds. The new technology will seek to deliver tolerance to three different herbicides: glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. The technology is expected to be commercially available in the middle of the next decade, pending regulatory approvals.

Combining the strengths of two industry leaders in plant breeding and crop management solutions, this announcement marks the second collaboration between the two companies and would represent the next generation of weed control technology in sugarbeets. KWS and Monsanto partnered on the initial introduction of Roundup Ready® Sugarbeets, providing North American farmers with a valuable weed management tool and resulting in the fastest adoption of any biotech crop to date.
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Nicolas Wielandt, head of the KWS Sugarbeet Division, stated: “As a leader in sugarbeet development for almost 160 years, KWS is committed to improving productivity by bringing new technologies and innovation to sugarbeet growers. We are happy to expand the toolbox for the farmer as additional solutions for weed control are needed. We expect this technology will increase the efficiency of sugarbeet cultivation and help to secure the competitiveness of the crop. Our intention is to make this technology available for all seed suppliers by license agreements.”

Doug Rushing, Sugarbeet Industry Affairs lead for Monsanto, said: “Since its adoption in 2007, Roundup Ready® Sugarbeets have helped farmers lower inputs and decrease their impact on the environment by reducing the number of times they have to drive over their fields to apply herbicides. Extending this partnership with KWS illustrates how we’re constantly collaborating to help bring new solutions to farmers, and it shows the importance of working with others to be proactive in weed resistance management.”

“We welcome the development of new tools to help sugarbeet growers manage weeds on their farms,” added John Snyder, president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association. “Our farmers are among the best in the world at producing sugar, and our future depends on the ability to apply new production technology in our cropping systems.”
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<![CDATA[ Jaro Named ‘Sugar Man of the Year - 2015’ by the Sugar Club]]>Tue, 01 Dec 2015 18:54:31 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/-jaro-named-sugar-man-of-the-year-2015-by-the-sugar-clubVic Jaro, Sugarbeet Grower MagazineVic Jaro
Vic Jaro, former president and CEO of The Amalgamated Sugar Company, the nation’s second largest processor of sugarbeets, has been named the “Sugar Man of the Year – 2015.” Jaro, who had a distinguished career in the sugar industry covering 42 years, receives the coveted Dyer Memorial Award at a Sugar Club dinner in New York City on December 9.
Jaro joined Amalgamated Sugar in 1973 as a mechanical engineer at its Twin Falls factory in Idaho and later became plant manager. In 2002 he was named vice president of agriculture for the cooperative; and in 2006 its president, a role he held until he retired earlier this year.

Among his many accomplishments, Jaro implemented a five-year improvement plan at three of the cooperative’s factories that bolstered their strength and profitability. He also led an effort to modernize beet pile management techniques, which helped the cooperative avoid millions of dollars in sugar losses every year. An effort he led to demonstrate the value of utilizing the best agricultural practices resulted in significant increases in crop yields.

Jaro played a major role in the introduction of Roundup Ready® sugarbeets and in the establishment of National Sugar Marketing, a joint venture with Sucden Americas that markets sugar produced by Amalgamated.

In addition to his company duties, he also served on the board of trustees of the U. S. Beet Sugar Association and as chairman of the Sugar Association.

A graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, he served as an officer in the Merchant Marine and Naval Reserve before joining Amalgamated.

Jaro is the 58th recipient of the Dyer Memorial Award, which is sponsored by the Sugar Club, an international sugar forum.

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<![CDATA[Betaseed Supports Youth Safety Events in N.D., Neb. & Mich.]]>Tue, 01 Dec 2015 18:47:26 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/-betaseed-supports-youth-safety-events-in-nd-neb-mich
Betaseed once again coordinated and participated in Progressive Agriculture Safety Day events in western Nebraska and the southern Red River Valley in late September.

The sixth annual event in Wahpeton, N.D., welcomed more than 150 students from area schools. Students participated in hands-on safety and educational training activities, learning the important essentials of many different forms of safety.

The fourth annual event in Mitchell, Neb., welcomed 150 elementary students from the Mitchell and Morrill schools. Through hands-on safety demonstrations and educational training activities, the students learned the important fundamentals of water/canal safety, as well as ATV, fire, grain bin, electrical, drug awareness and bike safety.

The Progressive Agricultural Foundation, dedicated to supporting youth agricultural programs, is North America’s largest rural safety and health education program for children.

Also in late September, Betaseed helped coordinate and participated in its third Project R.E.D. (Rural Education Day) in Sandusky, Mich. More than 500 fourth graders from schools around the area participated in the event, learning about agriculture, sustainable food and general agricultural safety. Betaseed donated bike helmets to all of the participating students who wanted one.

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<![CDATA[McCreedy Succeeds Jaro as President/CEO of Amalgamated]]>Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:00:13 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/-mccreedy-succeeds-jaro-as-presidentceo-of-amalgamatedPictureJohn McCreedy
The Amalgamated Sugar Company LLC announced in May the appointment of John McCreedy, an 11-year veteran of the company, as Amalgamated’s new president and chief executive officer. McCreedy took the helm following Vic Jaro’s retirement after nine years as CEO of the grower-owned company.

“John has been an integral member of Amalgamated Sugar since he joined our team,” stated Duane Grant, chairman of the Amalgamated Sugar board. “John has proven himself to be a true leader and has a clear vision for the company’s future as we continue to work hard for our growers, employees and customers. With John at the helm, we feel confident Amalgamated will continue to have a strong voice and influence in the sugar industry.”

McCreedy joined Amalgamated Sugar in 2004 as general counsel and rose in the ranks to executive vice president prior to being selected president and CEO. A graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law, McCreedy most recently led the company’s reorganization, labor relations and business development efforts, establishing a track record for building strong leadership teams and proving he has the skills necessary to implement Amalgamated Sugar’s vision for the future, the company stated in announcing his selection.

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In addition to his responsibilities at Amalgamated Sugar, McCreedy serves as the chairman of the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality.

“I feel honored to be selected as the new CEO of Amalgamated Sugar,” said McCreedy. “This company and its dedicated employees have a strong legacy of taking care of our growers and employees and providing our customers with high-quality pure, natural sugar. We are committed to ensuring our growers are profitable while also providing our employees with a safe workplace, excellent wages and benefits. I look forward to building upon those commitments.”

Amalgamated Sugar, a grower-owned cooperative, employs more than 1,400 people at its facilities and processes sugarbeets grown in Idaho, Oregon and Washington by its 787 members. Amalgamated produces 10% of the nation’s sugar at its facilities in Nampa, Twin Falls and Paul, and is the second largest sugarbeet company in the country. The company also has a robust feed products business providing pulp and molasses to the regional cattle and dairy industries, and sells processing technology globally through a subsidiary (Amalgamated Research LLC) located in Twin Falls.

Western Sugar Co-op Upgrading Scottsbluff & Fort Morgan Plants

The 2015 crop will be the final one to go through Western Sugar’s Torrington, Wyo., factory (shown above). Under the cooperative’s long-term strategy, Torrington, which was built in 1926, will cease beet processing, becoming strictly a storage and shipping facility. The WSC factories at Scottsbluff, Neb., and Fort Morgan, Colo., are being upgraded and expanded.
Western Sugar Cooperative announced in May its entry into a new long-term credit commitment led by CoBank, a financial services institution that provides credit to agribusiness cooperatives and other rural businesses throughout the United States. This commitment will allow the cooperative to step up its operations investments as part of its long-term strategy to remain cost competitive, WSC stated in a press release.

The cooperative will be investing in newer technology and expanding both their Scottsbluff, Neb., and Fort Morgan, Colo., facilities, while significantly reducing its operating activities in Torrington, Wyo., over the next one to two years.

“This is a very important decision for our Cooperative” said Nick Lapaseotes board chairman of Western Sugar Cooperative. “It supports our long-term mission to serve our customers well. It will also help Western Sugar build a valuable market for our growers.”

“We have been seeking ways to invest in improving our productivity and reliability. These projects at Scottsbluff and Fort Morgan will allow us to make significant improvements in our operations, providing strong financial returns for our growers. It also positions us for future growth,” said Rodney Perry, WSC president and chief executive officer. “It will help us produce more sugar from the same amount of sugarbeets, while using less energy to extract the sugar. Once the projects are complete, we will be processing all the sugarbeets currently processed at our Torrington facility in the other two facilities.”

Perry also commented on reducing the scale of activities in Torrington. “As a long-time member of the Torrington community, we recognize this decision will ultimately scale back our operations there. We very much value the contributions that the Torrington plant and community have made to Western Sugar. Once the projects are complete, we will continue to operate the Torrington facility as a sugar storage and shipping location,” he stated.

The 2015 crop will be the last one sliced and processed at the Torrington factory, which was built in 1926.

The Western Sugar Cooperative was formed in 2002. Its 1,000 grower-owners raise sugarbeets in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming. Processing facilities operated by the cooperative produce retail, food service and food processor sugar in bulk, bags and packets. The cooperative also markets sugarbeet co-products of beet pulp, high-energy molasses and other feeds for livestock.

Haghverdi Joins UN Panhandle Center as Irrigation Specialist

PictureDr. Amir Haghverdi
Dr. Amir Haghverdi has joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center as an irrigation and water-management specialist. He replaces Dean Yonts, the center’s longtime irrigation specialist who passed away in 2012.

Haghverdi will be responsible for conducting research and extension programs focused on water and soil resources for the crops and cropping systems in the Nebraska Panhandle. As part of a multidisciplinary team at the Panhandle Center, he will partner with other UNL faculty and various organizations, agencies and advisory groups.

Haghverdi said he is looking forward to investigating the possibilities of precision farming technology for enhancing irrigation management in the Panhandle: “Due to the significant advancement in instrumentation and measurement techniques in recent decades, new opportunities and challenges have arisen for agricultural researchers and extension specialists; thus, agriculture has rapidly evolved into a data rich field,” he said. “Previously, data collection and analysis was time consuming and expensive, which limited irrigation studies to experimental farms with small plots. In today’s agriculture, precision farming technology allows most farmers in the United States to continuously produce valuable site-specific information. I personally believe the future of agriculture will consist of a dynamic network of individual farmers who learn from their daily occupational practices.” 

Haghverdi’s research background is in agricultural water management with irrigation engineering, soil hydrology and spatiotemporal data mining as the main themes. He earned his first Ph.D. degree in irrigation engineering in Iran.

Currently, he is pursuing his second Ph.D. in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he expanded his research to precision agriculture. His major subject is optimizing cotton site-specific irrigation through remote sensing, GIS and GPS technologies, on-the-go sensors and site-specific wireless sensing systems. Haghverdi received the outstanding graduate student award from the International Society of Precision Agriculture, and has been collaborating with scientists in Belgium, Turkey, Spain, Germany and Iran.

RRV Sugarbeet Museum Harvest Festival Scheduled for Sept. 13

PictureWayne Langen
The Red River Valley Sugarbeet Museum hosts its 11th Harvest Festival on Sunday, September 13. The museum is located along U.S. Highway 2 on the southeastern side of Crookston, Minn. 

Doors open at 10:00 a.m. for viewing of exhibits, including vintage sugarbeet equipment. The traditional pulled pork and potato salad dinner begins at 11:30, with field demonstrations featuring historic beet harvesting equipment starting around 1:00 p.m. Also, a steam engine and threshing machine will be threshing wheat from bundles, and a team of horses will provide power for plowing, wheat bundling and beet lifting demos.

Trailers will take visitors to the demonstration field and then also drive alongside the machines for easy viewing.

The Red River Valley Sugarbeet Museum is honoring Wayne Langen at this year’s festival. Langen is a longtime farmer at Kennedy, Minn., and a former chairman of American Crystal Sugar Company. His father, Odin, was a U.S. congressman from 1959 to 1971. The Langens raised their first sugarbeet crop in the mid-1960s when the American Crystal factory at Drayton, N.D., was built.

For more details on the Harvest Festival, contact Allan Dragseth at (218) 280-8181 or adragseth@rrv.net.

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<![CDATA[Maatz Joins Red River Valley Growers as Executive Director]]>Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:44:31 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/-maatz-joins-red-river-valley-growers-as-executive-directorPictureDuane Maatz
Duane Maatz joined the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association in mid-March as the group’s executive director. The RRVSGA represents 2,700 sugarbeet producers in the Red River Valley of northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota.

A Bellingham, Minn., native Maatz graduated from North Dakota State University. Most recently, he was executive director of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association. Prior to that, he served as president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, Minn., for more than 10 years.

“I am excited to return to the Red River Valley,” Maatz said. “Sugarbeets are a vital crop to the region, and I welcome the opportunity to work in the sugar industry.” 
Maatz succeeded Nick Sinner as RRVSGA executive director.

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<![CDATA[Makin Honored as 2014 ‘Sugar Man of the Year’ by Sugar Club]]>Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:38:44 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/-makin-honored-as-2014-sugar-man-of-the-year-by-sugar-clubPictureEd Makin
Edward Makin, president and CEO of Rogers Sugar and Lantic Sugar in Canada, has been honored as “Sugar Man of the Year 2014.” Makin, an important figure in the North American sugar industry for more than 40 years, received the award on March 31 at a Sugar Club dinner in New York City.

Born in Liverpool, England, Makin emigrated to Canada in 1965, later earning a Bachelor of Commerce honors degree in business administration from Concordia University, Montreal. His sugar industry career began in 1972 when he joined Redpath Sugars in Montreal. After positions in sales, distribution and human resources, he was promoted to president of Redpath Sugars in 1989.

Makin joined Domino Sugar in 1992, serving as president and CEO until 1998. At that time, he joined C. Czarnikow Sugar as senior vice president and director. Makin became president and CEO of Rogers Sugar and Lantic Sugar in 2005.

In addition to his company duties, Makin has served as chairman of the Canadian Sugar Institute, the U.S. Cane Sugar Refiners Association and The Sugar Association, Inc. He also has been a president of the Sugar Club.

Makin is the 57th recipient of the Dyer Memorial Award. The award is sponsored by the Sugar Club, an international sugar forum.

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<![CDATA[ Sims Now Operations Director At UM’s Lamberton Center]]>Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:35:30 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/-sims-now-operations-director-at-ums-lamberton-centerPictureAl Sims
Albert Sims is the new director of operations at the University of Minnesota’s Southwest Research & Outreach Center (SWROC) near Lamberton, Minn.

Sims brings four years of experience as director of operations at the Northwest Research & Outreach Center (NWROC) in Crookston, Minn., to the SWROC. He will direct operations at both the SWROC and NWROC, splitting time between the two locations.

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<![CDATA[ Former American Crystal Sugar V.P.-Ag Stew Bass Passes Away]]>Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:30:53 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/-former-american-crystal-sugar-vp-ag-stew-bass-passes-awayPictureStew Bass
Longtime sugarbeet industry leader Stewart (Stew) Bass passed away on March 23 at age 93. Bass served as vice president of agriculture for American Crystal Sugar Company from 1973 until his retirement in 1986.

A native of the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana, Bass graduated from the University of Montana at Missoula. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as an aviator, flying off aircraft carriers. He was awarded the Navy Cross (the Navy’s highest decoration), as well as two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Air Medals and several Presidential Unit Citations for combat operations in the Pacific arena, mainly aboard the USS Yorktown and the USS Lexington.

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Following the war, Bass worked for the Montana State Employment Service as a farm placement representative, during which he secured labor for numerous sugarbeet farmers. He began working for American Crystal Sugar in 1954 as an agriculturist at the company’s Missoula factory. In 1959 he moved to Crystal’s corporate headquarters in Denver, Colo., as general agriculturist. Bass relocated to Fargo, N.D., in 1973 when American Crystal was purchased by Red River Valley sugarbeet growers and became the co-op’s vice president of agriculture.

Numerous innovative improvementsoccurred during Bass’s tenure as American Crystal vice president, including changes in the company’s beet receiving system, storage, quality enhancement, and in the grower quality payment system.

He also served in various industry leadership positions, including as a director and president of Western Seed Production Corporation, Phoenix; director and president of West Coast Beet Seed Company, Salem, Ore.; director and president of the Beet Sugar Development Foundation; and director and president of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists (from which he received the Meritorious Service Award and Honorary Lifetime Membership Award).

In retirement, Bass devoted considerable time and energy to capturing the physical and oral history of sugarbeet production in the Red River Valley. He helped establish a central collection of sugarbeet material into the archives of the Northwest Minnesota Historical Center at Minnesota State University- Moorhead. Bass also worked closely with author Terry Shoptaugh on Roots of Success, a history book published by the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, and was an editor of Heritage of Growth: The First Hundred Years of Harvest, published by American Crystal Sugar Company. During the last decade of his life, Bass worked as a volunteer at the Fargo Air Museum, which made him an honorary member of their board of directors.

Among Bass’s descendants is grandson Mike Metzger, who currently serves as research agronomist for Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, Wahpeton, N.D.

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