With 40 years of dedication to Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, please join us in celebrating Ken Dahl’s retirement. His story on where he came from and why he stayed is just another example of the great employees at SMBSC.KenDahl2

After finishing his two year agronomy degree, Ken had multiple job choices, predominantly in the fertilizer field. Ken knew there would be multiple opportunities down the road for a fertilizer position, but he was not sure when another sugar beet position would come forward, so he gave it the good ol’ college try.

As an agriculturist, Ken worked with growers to learn the business. He was part of the first planting and harvesting of SMBSC’s beet crop. In addition to checking fields, he worked to recruit hand labor as well as “doctor” the plants. With each year, new challenges were presented.

Ken was a part of SMBSC’s evolution. From increasing environmentally conscious systems to more than doubling the number of shareholders, Ken was an integral part of SMBSC’s success. When asked about the changes that occurred throughout his 40 years with us, Ken reflected on two areas: communication and technological upgrades. In Ken’s words, “The dissemination of information has evolved from just face-to-face meetings to e-mail, phone calls.” The efficiency gained from these mechanisms has helped position SMBSC better for the future.

KenDahl3Ken’s reflection is just part of his story. His tenure at SMBSC was full of personal relationships and special stories about the good old days. No matter which employees Ken was working with, he could bring up a memory focused on the great quality of people who work at Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative.

Retirement will no doubt bring new adventures for Ken and his family, especially his three grandchildren. For the first time in 40 years, Ken plans to enjoy more than just the harvest in the month of October. A crisp walk among the amber and orange leaves dripping with the early morning dew will no doubt offer Ken plenty of time for reflecting on his memories and experience at SMBSC. Congratulations, Ken.