The 28th International Sweetener Symposium, hosted by the American Sugar Alliance, has been scheduled for July 29 to August 3, 2011, at the Stowe Mountain Lodge in Stowe, Vt. Event information is on ASA’s website — www.sugaralliance.org.
Traditionally, about 400 people attend the symposium to hear about timely, significant issues affecting the sweetener industry and to interact with industry colleagues. This year’s event will include a look ahead to the next farm bill, as well as discussion of the U.S. and world market supply-demand outlook and the effects of multinational, regional and bilateral trade agreements on world sugar policies and U.S. commodity programs.
Stowe is in north central Vermont, about 45 minutes from Burlington.
Kevin Hall, a leader in Nebraska’s sugarbeet industry who operates a diversified farming operation near Bridgeport, has been named the annual winner of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research & Extension Center Outstanding Service to Panhandle Agriculture Award.
The award was presented February 15 at the annual meeting of the Nebraska Sugarbeet Growers Association by Dr. Linda Boeckner, Panhandle Center director.
Hall produces wheat, corn, dry edible beans, sugarbeets and sorghum, and also operates a beef feedlot.
He has been a leader in agricultural organizations, especially those related to sugarbeets. One of the initial committee members to organize the growers’ purchase of Western Sugar, he has been on the Western Sugar Cooperative board since its formation and currently serves as the co-op’s chairman.
“Rightly, this award should be given to Kevin and his wife, Vickie, and his parents,” said UNL machinery systems engineer John Smith, who nominated Hall. “His parents, George and Jeanette Hall, have helped him get started and encouraged his progress.”
Smith describes Hall as a leader by example in the Panhandle irrigated agriculture community, always willing to try something new if he can be convinced that it has a good chance of contributing positively to his operation. He’s also willing to share his ideas with anyone. Smith said it’s common for other farmers to look to Hall as an example, and many growers visit with him about his operation.
Hall was the first Nebraska beet grower in recent times to purchase a European-style, self-propelled harvester (Ropa); also one of the first in the United States to do so. In the four years since, two other Nebraska growers have followed his lead.
Hall has participated with UNL on several projects and has allowed faculty to conduct demonstrations in his fields, including direct harvest of dry beans; field-scale comparison of 18-inch and 30-inch row sugarbeets; and comparison of harvest loss and soil compaction between the self-propelled system and conventional methods.
Recently, he has switched from 30-inch rows to 20-inch rows — a major system change but a progressive one — to improve production efficiency.
The Outstanding Service to Panhandle Agriculture Award is given by Panhandle Research & Extension Center faculty in recognition of a person or group who has provided outstanding service to Panhandle agriculture.