A Profile of the Fargo, N.D.-Based USDA-ARS Sugarbeet Research Team
Unlike sugarbeet growers, who harvest the fruits of their labors every year, those who conduct basic research on this crop may not witness the commercial payoff from their work for a decade, two decades — or even longer. While we all need a certain amount of patience and persistence in our jobs, no one relies on such traits more than public scientists like Larry Campbell, Karen Fugate and Melvin Bolton.
The following discussion of the timing and methods of sugarbeet harvesting appeared in an 1898 U.S. Department of Agriculture publication titled “Special Report on the Beet Sugar Industry in the United States.” The section from which these excerpts were taken was written by field agent Charles Saylor, who during 1897 visited every state and locality mentioned in his report, inspecting farms and factories and interviewing growers and sugar manufacturers.
As of 1897, sugarbeet factories were in operation in the following locations: Alvarado, Watsonville, Los Alamitos and Chino, Calif.; Lehi, Utah; Eddy, N. Mex.; Norfolk and Grand Island, Neb.; and Rome, N.Y. Factories being readied in time for the 1898 sugarbeet crop included Salina, Crockett, Santa Maria (Betteravia) and Hueneme (Oxnard), Calif.; LaGrande, Ore.; Ogden, Utah; Bay City, Mich.; and Binghamton, N.Y. The report also indicated that a factory was being built at Dunkirk, N.Y., for the 1899 crop.