Here's a salute to a great industry.

From a former Sugar Producer editor

Published online: Jun 16, 2010 Feature Gary Rawlings, former editor
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I am very proud of the United States sugarbeet industry. Since the days as a kid when I worked in the green-leafed fields, to the days I edited this magazine for Harris Publishing Inc., I have been proud.

This industry has been a survivor, whether its getting through weather challenges, price or political situations, it has endured.
I salute the fraternal (and, yes, the sorority) of members who have taken the highs and lows and kept on plugging along.

This industry is not only a survivor, but one with positive attributes that make it shine as an example to similar agricultural endeavors as one that won't be denied and one that will continue moving forward.

Processing technology and production methods have advanced and will continue to improve, enabling growers to produce more tonnage and higher sugars and obtain more finished product for the financial investments made.

It was very rewarding to see growers join into cooperatives to take over both the growing and processing ends of the industry. This has enabled them to continue to beat the cost/price swings and remain in business.

Those who have stood for the industry in the halls of Congress, spoken to the media and at home have made a big difference, gaining the attention of a nation and bringing great rewards.

I challenge you to continue forward, at the risk of continued struggles-something everyone faces in life-so that you will remain part of moving a nation forward with the sugar that is needed for literally hundreds if not thousands of uses in our nation's culinary schools, food service and for varied other food uses.

Maybe you aren't appreciated by some but you are by your neighbors, your states and the agriculture leaders of this nation. They understand that without your labors and investments, families, communities and states will suffer.

Improve your operations as you can, update equipment when necessary and continue working together as an industry and you cannot fail.
You bring sweetness to the world and the world needs more of it.