U.S. sugar production spans hundreds of communities in 22 states, supports 142,000 jobs, and pumps $20 billion a year into rural America.
At the American Sugar Alliance, we often cite big, national figures like these to drive home the importance of maintaining a strong sugar policy and supporting an important industry that helps feed the country.
But sometimes, national figures don’t tell the whole story about the close-knit sugar family, or just how important the individuals who make up that family are to the communities where they live.
A news report this week from the Red River Valley said it all.
A community came together Tuesday to help the family of a man who recently passed away. Steve Moen not only left his family behind, but also tons of beets to harvest.
What should have taken seven to eight days turned into a one-day operation as more than 60 friends and neighbors pitched in to make sure Moen’s beets were harvested one last time.
Harvesting took around 10 hours and the beets were taken to the Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative in Wahpeton to be processed into sugar.
“It’s just tremendous. Everybody who lives around here. It’s a close community. Everybody wants to help in any way they can. It’s just been an outpouring of support and it’s really nice to see that everybody’s willing to help the family in a time of crisis like this,” said Andy Finkral, a member of the Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative.
Thank you, members of the Galchutt, ND community, for everything you do. And thanks for reminding all of us in Washington, DC, what makes agriculture and the U.S. sugar family so special and worth fighting for.