An Event Worthy of Celebrating

50 Years of International Sugarbeet Institute

Published in the May 2012 Issue Published online: May 13, 2012 Nancy Sanchez

Sweet Talk HatThe 50th celebration of all sugarbeet-ness took place in March at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. With a half a century of consistent focus on this mighty crop, the year of 2012 for the annual event was not to be missed. At least in my view it wasn't. So I went. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Coming from rural Idaho, I found the quaint town of Grand Forks homey and comfy much like my hometown.

The building that housed the massive equipment was grand and filled with everything imaginable about sugarbeet production. I don't think I was able to see every booth or visit with nearly enough attendees, growers and display personnel. But, I finally got to meet Mohamed Khan among many others I speak with or email back and forth. It was a great trip and I am destined to attend again. I am grateful that so many took the time to chat with me about sugarbeet issues.

I really appreciated the Sugarbeet Museum display Allan Dragseth and his committee set up. What fun to see the ancient equipment and the rich history surrounding this industry.

The real surprise this year was the weather. I completely expected to see snow piles and feel the freezing winds.

Being a super non-complainer I was happy to join in with praise of the lovely sunny days so inconsistent with the area in March. Regular attendees confirmed my suspicions when they enthusiastically said this was the year to be here. It is almost never this warm this time of year they said.

With so much to say about the show I chose to include a dandy photo essay in this issue on the show. Conveying the importance of an event that has existed almost as long as me, could be used as a diversion from the serious non-fun political matters and my hats off to you growers who steadily and courageously carry on the work.

There were so many parts of the show that were fun and exciting that I could never say what my favorite was. Good thing I don't have to.

I will say though, I came away with the best-looking hat ever to grace my humble head.

Nancy Sanchez Signature