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Historical Timeline: A Story of Progress

1890 - Henry Oxnard and investors open beet sugar factory in Grand Island, Nebraska.

1891 - Oxnard builds factories in Norfolk, Nebraska, and Chino, California.

1899 - Oxnard opens factory in Ventura County, California. The area around the plant later becomes the town of Oxnard.

1899 - On March 24, four plants are combined into American Beet Sugar Company.

1900 - American Beet opens factory in Rocky Ford, Colorado.

1918 - Crookston-area farmer Carl Wigand ships beets to Chaska, Minnesota, for processing. Over next few years, a number of Red River Valley farmers send beets to Chaska plant, owned by the Minnesota Sugar Company.

1923 - Minnesota Sugar Company announces plans for beet sugar factory in East Grand Forks, Minnesota.

1924 - American Beet buys Minnesota Sugar Company and its plants in Chaska, Minnesota, and Mason City, Iowa.

1926 - East Grand Forks plant opens October 6.

1928 - S.W. Sinsheimer becomes American Beet president.

1929 - American Beet takes control of Amalgamated sugar, which operates several factories in Utah, Idaho and Montana.

1934 - Claude Boettcher elected chairman of the board.

1934 - On August 26, American Beet changes its name to American Crystal Sugar Company.

1934 - Congress passes the Sugar Act, establishing annual quotas for foreign and domestic sugar.

1935 - Growers begin organizing Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

1936 - American Crystal exchanges its controlling stock in Amalgamated and $270,000 for plants in Missoula, Montana, and Clarksburg, California.

1948 - American Crystal plant in Moorhead, Minnesota, opens September 11.

1954 - On August 28, American Crystal dedicates plant in Crookston, Minnesota, its third in the Red River Valley.

1955 - H. von Bergen named president.

1959 - American Crystal closes Oxnard plant.

1962 - Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association hires Al Bloomquist as executive director.

1964 - Grand Island plant closes after 74th campaign.

1965 - American Crystal's fourth Red River Valley factory, in Drayton, North Dakota, opens October 2.

1965 - Missoula plant closes.

1966 - Charles Briggs named president.

1971 - American Crystal closes Chaska plant.

1972 - On January 28, Bloomquist writes Briggs, proposing that valley growers buy American Crystal.

1972 - On April 10, 1,500 growers meet in Grand Forks to decide whether the association should try to buy American Crystal. Seventy percent vote yes.

1973 - On February 15, Crystal Grower's Corporation, formed as a vehicle for merging with American Crystal, approves the $86 million purchase.

1973 - American Crystal growers purchase American Crystal Sugar Company and form a cooperative, uniting the Company and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

1973 - Jack Tanner takes over the American Crystal presidency. William Brekken serves as the cooperative's first chairman of the Board of Directors.

1973 - The cooperative pumps $13.8 million into improvements during its first full fiscal year.

1974 - Arnet Weinlaeder is elected chairman of the board.

1974 - New corporate headquarters open in Moorhead, Minnesota.

1974 - The board approves a $61 million, three-year expansion program.

1974 - The federal sugar program, which had provided a stable market for more than 40 years, comes to an end.

1975 - American Crystal adds its fifth Red River Valley factory in Hillsboro, North Dakota, after a merger with Red River Valley Cooperative.

1975 - Pile splitting, a concept introduced by American Crystal, is now a standard sugarbeet storage practice.

1976 - The Company celebrates the opening of an addition to the East Grand Forks, Minnesota, plant that increases its slicing capacity by 4,500 tons per day.

1977 - In just four years, American Crystal increases beet acreage to 300,000 acres, nearly doubling the acreage planted when the Company was run from Denver.

1977 - An $8 million research center is completed on the outskirts of Moorhead, near the Moorhead factory.

1977 - Legislative protection of the U.S. domestic sugar industry is reestablished with passage of the de le Garza amendment.

1978 - Freeman Winstanley is named CEO for only a few months.

1978 - Charles Shamel is named president and CEO.

1978 - Clark Ewen is elected chairman of the board.

1979 - The company begins using forced ventilation into sugarbeet piles to cool them more effectively.

1979 - Growers vote to implement a Quality Payment System, marking the first time a beet sugar company had paid on the basis of tons and sugar quality.

1982 - American Crystal joins Midwest Agri-Commodities Company, along with Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative and Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, to jointly market beet pulp and molasses.

1982 - American Crystal sells its plant in Clarksburg, California, parting ways with the last of its factories outside the Red River Valley.

1983 - Pat Benedict is elected chairman of the Board.

1986 - Ron Hayes is chosen as president and CEO.

1987 - Clark Ewen is elected chairman of the board for the second time.

1989 - Fred Born is elected chairman of the board.

1990 - Al Bloomquist caps his many years of service to growers by serving as president and CEO.

1992 - Joseph Famalette is named president and CEO.

1993 - E.N. "Cactus" Warner is elected chairman of the board.

1993 - American Crystal, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative and Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative form United Sugars Corporation to cooperatively market their sugar.

1994 - Robert Nyquist is elected chairman of the board.

1995- Marcus Richardson is named interim president.

1995 - Construction begins on the ProGold corn wet milling plant in Wahpeton, North Dakota.

1996 - Daniel McCarty is named president and CEO.

1996 - American Crystal installs a new information system known as SAP, designed to change the way business is done in an increasingly competitive environment.

1997 - Wayne Langen is elected chairman of the board.

1997 - United Sugars Corporation welcomes United States Sugar Corporation, a Florida cane sugar producer, to the cooperative family.

1997 - An employee Suggestion System is implemented. By the end of the year nearly 400 suggestions were submitted on ways to improve the Cooperative's performance.

1997 - Record snowfalls and 13 blizzards, followed by the most devastating flooding in the valley's history, created enormous challenges for the cooperative and its employees.

1997 - ProGold reaches an agreement in which Cargill would manage the plant and market its products.

1998 - American Crystal growers plant a record 492,000 acres prompted by an acreage expansion plan and preferred stock sale conducted in November 1997.

1998 - James Horvath is named president and CEO.

1999 - A $66 million Hillsboro expansion project is brought online, significantly increasing the factory's capacity to slice beets.

1999 - American Crystal enters into an agreement with Betaseed, Inc., as the new Crystal beetseed partner for research and distribution.

1999 - Storage and processing capabilities are put to the test with the largest crop in the cooperative's history-10.7 million tons. Factories process sugarbeets in June for the first time and retool in 53 days-the shortest intercampaign period on record.

1999 - The board approves a 20-foot pile initiative to bolster beet receiving and storage capabilities in order to store more beets at preferred lower pile heights.

2000 - A state-of-the-art $103 million Crystech molasses desugarization facility is completed, turning about 200,000 tons of molasses into top-quality sugar each year.

2000 - The Company forms a Trade and Policy Team made up of senior managers dedicated to finding long-term solutions to ongoing trade and policy issues.

2000 - The first full year of operations is completed for a $7 million Hillsboro wastewater treatment facility, one example of the company's ongoing environmental commitment.

2000 - Due to severely deflated prices and an oversupplied domestic marketplace, American Crystal, along with many other domestic producers, opts to forfeit sugar to the government for the first time in nearly two decades.

2000 - A Payment-in-Kind program (PIK) helped rebalance sugar supply and demand, resulting in about 100,000 acres of sugarbeets (including 33,000 at American Crystal) not being harvested and about 290,000 tons of sugar being removed from the domestic market.

2000 - The company ramps up efforts to promote "Gold Standard" agronomic practices that enable shareholders to grow a better crop, regardless of the weather.

2001 - Robert Vivatson is elected chairman of the board.

2001 - A second PIK program eliminates about 88,000 acres (29,000 at American Crystal), taking an additional 200,000 tons of sugar off the market.

2001 - A major political victory is achieved when a unanimous federal appeals court ruling effectively stops "stuffed molasses" from circumventing U.S. trade laws.

2001 - New seed varieties help triple Crystal Seeds sales.

2002 - "Close the Gap" seminars are implemented to help shareholders narrow the difference between actual and potential crop results by focusing on increasing per acre sugar production.

2002 - A multi-year factory automation initiative is implemented to strengthen the performance and daily operations of the Company.

2002 - The 2002 Farm Bill is enacted, including a marketing allotment program as a means of restoring balance to the sugar market.

2002 - American Crystal purchases sugarbeet factories in Sidney, Montana; Torrington, Wyoming; and Hereford, Texas. The Torrington factory is leased to a Denver-based sugar cooperative, the Hereford factory is left idle, and the Sidney factory is operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary under the name Sidney Sugars Incorporated.

2003 - American Crystal Sugar Company celebrates its 30 year anniversary as a cooperative.

2003 - A new wastewater pond featuring a cover is installed at American Crystal's Moorhead factory to control odors and emissions.

2003 - American Crystal acquires the marketing rights of Moses Lake, Washington, based Pacific Northwest Sugar Company to increase its marketing and production mass.