Media Contact:
Stacy L. Bettison
612.807.6337

Renville, MN – July 21, 2017. Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC), a farmer-owned producer of refined sugar and sugar beet co-products, announced today it has reached an agreement with its labor union for a five-year labor contract.

The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International AFL-CIO/CLC, Local 369 has voted to accept SMBSC’s offer, the contract effective July 23, 2017, which calls for an increase in wages over five years. Other terms include updates to pension benefits, pension lump sum death benefits and life insurance benefits.

“Our union workforce – which constitutes approximately 400 employees – is critical to the success of our organization,” said Steven Domm, president and chief executive officer of SMBSC. “We respect our employees’ right to collectively bargain, and we are very pleased that both parties came to the table and worked in good faith to reach an agreement that ensures another five years of strong relations and meets both the needs of our valued union members and our organization as a whole. This is a win for our
employees, farmers and community.”

About SMBSC. Founded in 1975, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative is a producer of refined sugar, liquid sugar, pulp pellets, molasses and separator molasses solubles from sugar beets. Owned by approximately 500 farmer shareholders raising nearly 120,000 acres of sugar beets, the Renville,
Minnesota-based facility slices 3.6 million tons of sugar beets each campaign, producing 800-900 million pounds of sugar. www.smbsc.com
###

Over the last year, we have posted several articles which enhance safety on the farm and in the community.  The following link has several videos on topics that we have previously posted.  To see how some of these directly affect us each day, please access this link (Click Here) to be directed to the National Farmers Union.

Planting Safety

Rural roads can be dangerous to travel, especially during planting and harvest.  An article from Nationwide discusses some of the additional hazards rural areas face, as well as some key actions to take to heighten safety.  Please click here to be directed to the article.  Have a Safe Planting Season.

Farm planting safety tips

With planting season upon us, it is an optimistic time of year.  It can also be a dangerous time as well.  Roadways not only being operated on by motor vehicles, but also farm vehicles can cause hazards on the roadways but also on the farm site as well.  An article written by the United Soybean Board has an excellent article on planting safety.  Click Here to be directed to the article.

Spring Driving Tips

Additional hazards exist on Minnesota’s road ways during spring time weather.  The Minnesota Safety Council has an article that provides tips to help drivers be more alert in a variety of situations.  Please Click Here to be directed to the article.  Safe Travels!

Grain Bin Safety

With spring shortly upon us, it is a good time to discuss grain bin safety.  The article titled Grain Bin Safety by Grinnell Mutual Insurance discusses items to be cautious of when loading grain for transport.  Please Click Here to be directed to the article.

Working outside in Winter

Winter as we have seen this year has thrown us various types of precipitation.  Even though the precip. changes, the cold is still here.  In the following article by the University of Maine, several ways for people to stay safe while working outside in the cold are discussed.  Please Click Here to access the article by Maine University.

Winter Driving Tips

With the season of freezing temperatures upon us and precipitation in various forms causing hazardous roadways, additional preparation and attention is necessary to keep us safe.  The follow article discusses several tips that will enhance ones safety when on the roadways.  Click here to be forwarded to the article.

Storage and handling is an integral part of work that each farm operation is use to.  Unfortunately, it is the cause of debilitating injuries and fatalities each year.  Provided by the University of Missouri Extension service is an article that offers various practices to help keep yourself, family, and workers safe during handling and storing of grain.  Read the article from the University of Missouri Extension service by Clicking Here.

Three Decades of Sugar: Kelvin P. Thompsen

 

A Completed Tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative

Kelvin Thompsen, pictured in 2013, near Renville, MN.

Kelvin Thompsen, pictured in 2013, near Renville, MN.

On October 1, 2016, Kelvin Thompsen returned to what he did as a boy growing up in Illinois and Wyoming – working in agriculture. On this sunny day it was harvesting milo on a South Dakota ranch to help out a family member. Grungy, sweaty work is no big thing for Kelvin – the dirtier the better. It was the perfect way to spend a few days – working outside, helping others, with ample time to reflect on what was and plan for what’s next.

October 1, 2016 also marked the day he completed his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative. Two years ago Kelvin announced his planned departure from the cooperative, so he could usher in new leadership and set a course for the next phase of his career. Kelvin served as President and CEO for the cooperative since 2009, and has worked in the beet sugar industry since 1983.

(more…)