<![CDATA[The Sugarbeet Grower Magazine - Around The Industry]]>Sat, 21 Nov 2015 01:36:47 -0800EditMySite<![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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<![CDATA[2014-15 Gilmore Sugar Manual Available from Sugar Publications]]>Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:26:08 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/2014-15-gilmore-sugar-manual-available-from-sugar-publicationsPicture
Sugar Publications announces the availability of the 2014/15 biennial edition of the Gilmore Sugar ManualGilmore has served as a leading reference source on the U.S. sugarcane milling sector since the early 1900s. In its 2014/15 edition, Gilmore again features comprehensive coverage of equipment, processes and manufacturing data for the cane mills of Louisiana, Florida, Texas and Hawaii.

Along with names and titles of key management, operations personnel and directors, Gilmore carries general company background and specific factory details in such areas as: cane handling and preparation, milling equipment, steam plant, clarification, evaporation, crystallizers, centrifugals, water treatment and sugar storage. Each mill’s listing — which is compiled with the company’s full cooperation — includes a detailed summary of the three most recent years’ manufacturing results.

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Gilmore Sugar Manual also provides basic information on U.S. cane sugar refiners and U.S. and Canadian beet sugar processors. There’s a section profiling key sugar organizations, along with historical U.S. sugar statistics, a general overview of the U.S. sugar industry, and special excerpts from long-ago editions of Gilmore.

The 84-page 2014/15 Gilmore is available for $48.00 per copy, with postage included on domestic orders. (Foreign orders, add $15.00 for air mail postage.) For more information, or to order, contact Sugar Publications at 4601 16th Ave. N., Fargo, ND 58102; email to sugar@forumprinting.com; or call (701) 476-2111.

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<![CDATA[Sweetener Symposium Set for July 31-Aug. 5 in New Mexico]]>Wed, 18 Mar 2015 19:51:44 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/sweetener-symposium-set-for-july-31-aug-5-in-new-mexicoThe 32nd International Sweetener Symposium is scheduled for July 31- August 5 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, located between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Speakers at this year’s Symposium will explore the complex and critical issues facing today’s sugar industry, such as: What is the latest on North American sugar trade? Will regional and global supplies continue to outpace demand, or will the market tighten? What should we expect from the government’s renewed trade agenda? What impact will global sugar subsidies have on the market and domestic producers? How has sugar policy performed and what’s next with farm bill administration? What new developments are taking shape in the food manufacturing industry?

Registration and optional tours are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, July 31 and August 1, with a “meet and greet” reception on Saturday evening. Sunday brings the ASA golf tournament, with a welcome reception taking place that evening. The Symposium’s general meeting sessions are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, August 3-5.

For more details on the 2015 International Sweetener Symposium in New Mexico, visit: www.sugaralliance.org/symposium.

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<![CDATA[ACH Seeds Offering Fluency Agent from Bayer CropScience]]>Wed, 18 Mar 2015 19:51:26 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/ach-seeds-offering-fluency-agent-from-bayer-cropsciencePicture
Bayer CropScience’s Fluency Agent, a new seed lubricant for sugarbeets, is now available from participating independent sales agents of ACH Seeds, marketer of Crystal® Brand beet seed.

Fluency Agent is an alternative for talc, graphite and talc/graphite-blended seed lubricants. The use of seed lubricants in pneumatic planters is a standard recommendation from planter manufacturers. Seed lubricants help reduce friction and improve uniformity of planting. Fluency Agent, as a seed lubricant, helps reduce the amount of total dust and further minimizes the amount of active ingredient potentially released in treated seed dust during planting. By reducing seed dust, Fluency Agent reduces the potential risk of exposure to foraging honey bees and other pollinators if they come in direct contact with the dust.

Seed treatments are a very important tool for sugarbeet farmers, notes Dave Braaten, national product manager for ACH Seeds. One of the key components featured with Crystal Sugarbeet Seed’s Diamond Plated™ seed treatment options, he says, is the use of seed-applied insecticide. To be good stewards of this technology, the management of dust is important, especially with today’s planters. According to Braaten, 100% of Crystal Brand customers use various Diamond Plated seed treatment options on their farms.

“The Fluency Agent is a great product that adds convenience when handling the seed. We see this as a real opportunity for sugarbeet growers across the U.S. to reduce the dust currently associated with talc/graphite seed lubricants, while improving plantability and promoting environmental stewardship,” Braaten says.

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<![CDATA[Schmer Joins Betaseed As Sales Manager in Western Area]]>Wed, 18 Mar 2015 19:51:02 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/schmer-joins-betaseed-as-sales-manager-in-western-areaSugarpub Magazine, dustin SchmerDustin Schmer
Dustin Schmer has joined Betaseed, Inc., as sales manager in the Western Sugar South area, reporting directly to John Dillman, Betaseed regional sales manager. Along with working in the Western Sugar South beet seed market, Schmer also is working with feed beet sales in the High Plains and Florida.

Prior to joining Betaseed, Schmer was employed by WESTCO in Gering, Neb., as an agronomist and later branch manager. He earned a B.S. in agroecology with a minor in soil science from the University of Wyoming. While attending UW, he worked in the weed science lab and at the SAREC Research Center at Lingle. Schmer and his family live in Minatare, Neb. He is based out of the Betaseed office in Scottsbluff.

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<![CDATA[ Knudsen Receives Minn.-N.D. Distinguished Service Award]]>Mon, 16 Mar 2015 14:55:16 GMThttp://www.sugarpub.com/around-the-industry/-knudsen-receives-minn-nd-distinguished-service-award
Above: Bird Island, Minn., grower Keith McNamara (right), chairman of the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota, presents the group’s Distinguished Service Award to Tom Knudsen, longtime vice president of agriculture for Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, Wahpeton, N.D.

Tom Knudsen, vice president-agriculture for Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative of Wahpeton, N.D., received the Distinguished Service Award in January from the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota. This award is presented 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 who have provided other important service or contributions to the sugarbeet industry, locally, regionally or nationally.

A native of Abercrombie, N.D., Knudsen graduated from North Dakota State University in 1977 with a degree in horticulture. Upon graduation, he was hired as an agriculturalist at Minn-Dak by then-ag manager Gordon Rudolph. He was promoted to Minn-Dak agricultural manager and then vice president of agriculture in 1986.

Knudsen has been a longtime member and officer of several sugarbeet organizations, including the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota (starting in 1986) and the International Sugarbeet Institute Committee (1986), the Beet Sugar Development Foundation (1987) and the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists (1987).

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