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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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