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Sugarbeet Growers Magazine March 2014 : Page 16

What Beet Growers Need to Survive Panel Replays Presentation to New York City’s Sugar Club for ASGA Meeting Participants never met a farmer,” Erickson contin-ued. “They all trade our commodity, but they just don’t [interact with] farm-ers. This was our attempt to explain what we go through.” Provided below are summaries of each presenter’s comments to the Sugar Club — and ASGA — audiences. Kelly Erickson: Challenges Faced — Having just come through the har-vest season, “mud” was the first chal-lenge Erickson explained to Sugar Club members. He showed images of trucks being pulled through muddy fields, of a beet cart being off-loaded manually after tipping in a soaked field. He also talked of frost. “If you wake up in the morning, look outside, and it’s below freezing and snowing, you’ve got a big problem,” he told the sugar traders.’ “What do our customers want?” Er-ickson asked. “They want a quality sugar that meets their specifications; assured supplies; sugar stored by a re-liable seller and delivered ‘just in time’ – and multiple sellers, domestic and foreign, to assure quality supplies and competitive pricing and terms.” Yet there are obvious threats to the overall sugar supply chain. Weather is a big one, be it a hurricane in the Gulf region or extreme cold in the North. Then, too, there are facility disasters, such as warehouse fires. Erickson pointed out that beet sugar accounts for 56% of total U.S. sugar production and 41% of total do-mestic sugar deliveries. The nation’s sugarbeet crop covers 1.2 million acres in 11 states. “We’re the lowest-cost beet producers in the world, and we are committed to constant innovation and investment in all aspects of our busi-ness,” he emphasized. B ack in mid-November, just as the 2013 farming season was conclud-ing, four sugarbeet growers — Kelly Erickson, Rick Gerstenberger, Galen Lee and John Snyder — traveled from their homes in Minnesota, Michigan, Idaho and Wyoming, respectively, to downtown New York City. Their pur-pose was to attend a dinner meeting of the Sugar Club, an international forum of traders and large customers of sugar. But the trip wasn’t just about din-Buying or Selling Beet Stock? FNC Member FINRA, SIPC Ag Stock LLC 4050 Garden View Drive, Suite 103 Grand Forks, ND 58201 701.780.2828 ner and conversation. The four beet grower/leaders were in Manhattan to inform Sugar Club members about what’s involved in producing the sugar-beets whose sugar they trade and buy. It was an opportunity for the growers to tell their story directly to the users of their commodity — to reach out and inform about the challenges and risks inherent in producing this crop. By all accounts, their presentation was very well received. The four growers provided an en-core presentation in early February. Only this time they were in front of their colleagues at the annual meeting of the American Sugarbeet Growers As-sociation. As Kelly Erickson, outgoing ASGA president put it, “We have sched-uled this presentation with you be-cause it’s our message to our customers that they need to understand what it takes to provide the safe and reliable ingredient that they demand. “The people we gave this presenta-tion to [in New York City] probably had The FNC advantage:  Current market pricing  Signed written contracts  Escrowed funds  Assistance with transfer documents Below: Grower panel presenters, left to right: Kelly Erickson (Minnesota), Rick Ger-stenberger (Michigan), Galen Lee (Idaho) and John Snyder (Wyoming). This information does not constitute an offer to buy nor a solicitation to sell. FNC as Stock LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Farmers National Company Member FINRA & SIPC. *based on acquisitions. 16 THE SUGARBEET GROWER March 2014 Photo: Don Lilleboe The leader in sugarbeet stock brokerage since 1994. *

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