John Richmond, former president and CEO of Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, was honored as “Sugar Man of the Year 2010” during a May luncheon of the Sugar Club in New York City.
Richmond’s nearly four-decade career in the sugar industry began as a management trainee with Holly Sugar Corporation in 1973. He held several positions with Holly (later Imperial Holly), including vice president of operations and later managing director of Imperial Holly, in which post he was in charge of 11 beet sugar factories and cane sugar refining operations.
The Kearney, Neb., native became president/CEO of Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative in 2001, guiding the company until his retirement in 2008. That tenure included Southern Minn’s purchase of Holly, thereby providing the Minnesota co-op with additional marketing allocations. Richmond thus also became president/CEO of Holly, which was renamed Spreckels Sugar.
Richmond, who graduated with a degree in chemistry from Kearney State College, served as president of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists, the Sugar Processing Research Institute and the United States National Committee on Sugar Analysis. He also was an instructor at the McGinnis Institute of Beet Sugar Technology.
“Although you retired in 2008 and reside in Colorado Springs with your wife, Sharon, you remain active in the sugar industry as an advisor to the cooperative,” read Richmond’s Sugar Club citation. “Your reputation as a sound thinker is widely respected, and your good humor is legendary.”
RRV Sugarbeet Museum Hosting 7th Harvest Festival on Sept. 11
The Red River Valley Sugarbeet Museum celebrates its 7th annual Harvest Festival on Sunday, September 11. The museum is located on the southeast side of Crookston, Minn., at the former Crookston Implement site.
The festival begins at 11:00 a.m., with a roast pork dinner starting at 11:30. Sugarbeets will be harvested with vintage equipment, with wagons provided so the public can ride alongside the old-time harvesters and view the operation. New this year will be a restored “Harvall” beet harvester, built at the American Crystal factory in East Grand Forks, Minn.
The 2011 Harvest Festival also will honor Al Bloomquist, well known to everyone in the Upper Midwest sugarbeet industry. Bloomquist was instrumental in Red River Valley growers’ purchase of American Crystal Sugar Company in the early 1970s, later serving as vice president and president of the cooperative prior to his retirement.
For more information on the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Museum and this year’s Harvest Festival, visit www.sugarbeetmuseum.com.
John Smith Retires After 30-Year Career at UN Panhandle Center
John Smith, well-known machinery systems engineer at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center, retired at the end of June after a 30-year career with the university. During his three-decade tenure in the Panhandle, he worked extensively with machinery manufacturers, farmers, commodity groups and his university peers to improve farm machinery systems for field production of crops — particularly tillage, planting and harvesting systems for sugarbeets and dry edible beans, two of western Nebraska’s major irrigated crops.
Smith became involved in testing sugarbeet planters for growers, prior to the planting season, during the mid-1990s when he and a colleague developed an electronic planter test stand. “That gave us the ability to measure planter performance with numbers as opposed to a visual subjective view of the planter,” he noted.
Smith also worked on transplanting of sugarbeets and helped develop planter improvements for their use with this crop. In recent years, he also conducted research on zone (strip) till production of row crops, which has expanded considerably in the region.
Among his many outreach activities have been Smith’s valuable contributions to The Sugarbeet Grower — both as an author of research results and as a resource person for other articles.
After growing up on a farm in Ohio, Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tri State College in Angola, Ind. He worked for six years as a design engineer before returning to school, receiving a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Wyoming. After two years with Parma Company, he joined the UN Panhandle station in 1981.
50th International Sugarbeet Institute Set for March 14 & 15
The 2012 International Sugarbeet Institute is scheduled for March 14 and 15 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. Next year’s event marks the 50th anniversary of ISBI — the largest sugarbeet industry trade show in North America.
Companies desiring preliminary exhibiting information for the 2012 International Sugarbeet Institute can contact exhibits coordinator Bob Cournia at (218) 281-4681. Other ISBI-related inquiries should be directed to Dr. Mohamed Khan, organizing committee chairman, at (701) 231-8596.