American Crystal Board Elects Kragnes Chairman

D .kragnes David Kragnes, 53, was elected chairman of American Crystal Sugar Company's board of directors at the cooperative's December 1 reorganization meeting. Kragnes was elected to the board in 1995 and previously served as the board's vice chairman. A farmer since 1972, Kragnes farms near Felton, Minn. He serves on the Board of Directors of United Sugars Corporation, the Board of Governors of ProGold Limited Liability Company and is also a director for the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.

M .astrup Michael Astrup, 52, a director since 1996, was elected vice chairman of the board at the same meeting. Astrup has been a farmer since 1976 near Dilworth, Minn. He serves on the board of directors of United Sugars Corporation and is a director of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.

Tstadstad G. Terry Stadstad, 62, Grand Forks, ND, formerly the board's chairman, retired after serving American Crystal for 12 years on the board, four years as vice chairman and the last year as chairman. Stadstad served on the Board of Directors of United Sugars Corporation, Midwest Agri-Commodities Company and on the Board of Governors of ProGold Limited Liability Company.

P .mahar Patrick Mahar, 62, Cavalier, ND, went off the board after serving his 12 year term limit. Mahar previously served as president of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, Fargo, North Dakota, and as president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, Washington, D.C. He is also on the Boards of Directors of United Valley Bank and Farmers Co-op Elevator, both of Cavalier, ND, and serves on the Advisory Board of Directors of the Bank of North Dakota

J .bitker Jerry Bitker, 57, a director since 1996 and a farmer since 1974 near Halstad and Ada, Minn., voluntarily retired from the board after serving three terms.

J .brainard John Brainard, Brian Erickson, and Robert Green joined the board as newly elected directors. Brainard, 46, has been a sugarbeet grower since 1998 near Ada, Minn. He is a past director of the Minnesota Farm Bureau and has served as a member of the executive committee of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

B .erickson Erickson, 57, farms near East Grand Forks and Ada, Minn. Along with growing sugarbeets for the past 20 years he also serves as Chair of the East Grand Forks Economic Development and Housing Authority.

R .green Green, 51, a graduate of the University of North Dakota and a sugarbeet grower since 1976 near St. Thomas, recently completed 12 years as a director of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. He also serves as a director of the Wells Fargo Bank in Grafton, ND.

Other members of American Crystal's board include: William "Buzz" Baldwin, St. Thomas, ND; Rick Borgen, Perley, Minn.; John Gudajtes, Minto, ND; Curt Haugen, Argyle, Minn.; Lonn Kiel, Crookston, Minn.; Francis Kritzberger, Hillsboro, ND; Jeff McInnes, Hillsboro, ND; Ronald Reitmeier, Fisher, Minn.; Jim Ross, Fisher, Minn.; and Neil Widner, Stephen, Minn.