America’s sugar producers met with 300 members of Congress

In the span of two weeks, over 70 of America’s sugarbeet and sugarcane producers met with 300 offices in the House and Senate.

Sugar producers came to D.C. from across the country including California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

I’m blown away by the opportunity to be here. You always hear Farm Bill this and Farm Bill that, you don’t really get what it means for your family, your farm, and your community, until you learn about the policies,” said Kyle Zenon, 5th generation sugarcane grower from Louisiana and a passionate advocate for young farmers like him. “I’m fighting for something bigger than me and I’m proud to be representing farmers back home.”

Sharing perspectives from the farm with members of Congress is critically important every year but even more so as the 118th Congress prepares to renew the Farm Bill. Since the last Farm Bill in 2018, there are over 200 new members in Congress.

Farmers educated lawmakers and their staff on how no-cost sugar policy keeps households and food manufacturers supplied with an essential food ingredient – made right here in America.

America is one of the few countries with a diverse growing region that supports both sugarbeet and sugarcane. Our sugar companies are farmer-owned cooperatives, employee-owned, and family-owned businesses, and support good jobs in both urban and rural communities.

Sugar producers get loans that are repaid with interest – not subsidies. As a result, Americans enjoy a resilient sugar supply chain with timely delivery of sugar for food manufacturers and consumers. Without sugar policy, domestic sugar production and food security would be put in jeopardy. Family farms would be driven out of business and jobs in urban and rural communities would be eliminated.

“Without strong sugar policy, my rural community would look vastly different,” Wade Hanson, 4th generation sugarbeet farmer from Minnesota, told members of Congress. “Sugarbeets have been in my family for generations, and I hope to give my kids the opportunity to work on my farm alongside me and eventually take over as the next generation.”

Sugar policy has widespread bipartisan support because it works.

Sugarbeet and sugarcane producers generate more than $23 billion in economic activity each year supporting more than 151,000 jobs. Our family farmers and skilled workers are proud to provide quality made-in-America sugar for 330 million Americans.

Through education and advocacy, we will continue to fight for strong sugar policy that puts American consumers and producers first.