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Hakala Communications Inc. Corporate and Institutional Histories


Produced for American Crystal Sugar Company’s 100th anniversary. 224 pages, ©1998.

SUMMARY: The Red River Valley is known for its limitless horizons. So is American Crystal Sugar Company. A Heritage of Growth tells the fascinating and turbulent story of the nation's largest producer of beet sugar. The farmer-owned cooperative traces its roots to factories built during the 1890s by European experts who made sugar by day and rolled dice for drinks at night. The history explores the evolution of a distinctive business—from a time when every beet was touched by at least two pairs of hands to the present when the process is almost totally mechanized and farmers rely on computers, satellites and cellphones. The book examines important business decisions, such as American Crystal’s role in the formation of a marketing cooperative that sells 25 percent of the nation's sugar. It details the politics that have always been a part of sugar, from Teddy Roosevelt to Castro, and the ongoing struggle to keep heavily subsidized foreign sugar from being dumped in the U.S. at prices well below cost.


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