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Sugarbeet Growers Magazine February 2014 : Page 13

Connecting the Generations M ulti-generational tradition and strength lives on in many family operations around the U.S. sugarbeet community — including the Wambekes of Deaver, Wyo. Paul Wambeke, a third-generation beet grower and current board member of the Big Horn Basin Beet Growers Association, was kind enough to send The Sugarbeet Grower these photos from the Wambeke 2013 harvest. The above photo, taken on the last day of a wet harvest, shows the Pryor Mountains of southern Montana/north-ern Wyoming in the background. The photo below shows what the Wambeke clan fondly refers to as “The Three Amigos.” Pictured, left to right, are: Paul’s uncle and beet truck driver Ray Cooley, who is the youngster of the trio at just 80 years of age; another uncle, Fred Wambeke, the 84-year-old defoliator operator; and Paul’s dad, Frank, who runs the top saver at the spry young age of 86. “There’s lots of years of experience and knowledge between them,” Paul af-firms. “I hope everyone has the oppor-tunity like I have had to work with family and take advantage of what their generation has to share.” The Wambekes have always grown for the factory at Lovell, Wyo., starting when it was owned by Great Western Sugar Company, then Western Sugar Company (Tate & Lyle) and now the Western Sugar Cooperative. “We are still raising beets on the farm that my grandfather homesteaded,” Paul says. Thank you, Paul, for sharing these great photos and the story that goes with them! O THE SUGARBEET GROWER February 2014 13 Photos: Paul Wambeke

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