Earlier this week, President & CEO of Amalgamated Sugar, John McCreedy, and Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association President, Randall Grant, had the opportunity to present to Idaho’s House and Senate Agriculture Committees regarding the current state of the Pacific Northwest’s sugarbeet industry.
Mr. McCreedy began his presentation with a brief historical overview of Amalgamated Sugar; from its founding date in 1897, to the purchase of the Company by the area’s sugarbeet growers in 1997. He also discussed the current operations and agronomic scope of the Company.
Mr. McCreedy also shared the Company’s newly established Mission, Vision, and Core Values, which emphasize the necessity for safety, continuous improvement, integrity, respect and accountability.
Details on Amalgamated Sugar’s sustainability platform were also shared with the committees, and Mr. McCreedy spoke about the importance of genetic engineering and GMOs. “Our grower-owners are innovative, with an eye on the long-term future of their farms and factories, and GMOs are just one of the many tools that help them remain successful and sustainable,” said Mr. McCreedy.
The Company has two major legislative priorities, which were outlined by Mr. McCreedy. The first issue shared with the committee was transportation. Since sugarbeets are grown across such a broad region of Idaho, it is critical that the Company can transport beets to factories using the safest and most efficient trucks. The second issue is education. There are many jobs at Amalgamated Sugar that require technical education and specialized skillsets that are becoming harder to find. The continued difficulty in finding qualified employees should be addressed from the beginning; starting with more vocational education in high school.
Mr. McCreedy spoke briefly regarding the nutritional element of sugar and walked legislators through a sample “Daily Condensed Report” to demonstrate the key items the Company looks for when assessing the daily operations of Amalgamated Sugar factories.
Mr. Randall Grant also addressed each committee. He spoke about his farm operation and role with the Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association. “Our region’s crop in 2018 was the best beet crop in the United States,” said Mr. Grant. “We had excellent yields at more than 40 tons per acre and we averaged about 18.5% sugar content. We’re on track to produce 2.3 billion pounds of sugar from last fall’s harvest, which would be a record.”
Both the Senate and the House Ag Committees expressed their gratitude to Mr. McCreedy and Mr. Grant for their presentations