Renville, MN – May 7, 2021.  Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC), a shareholder-owned producer of refined sugar and sugar products, announces it has hired Jeffrey Rustvang to be the Vice President of Government Affairs.

David Bieging, SMBSC’s Washington, D.C. Liaison, will be retiring in December 2021 after 21 years of service to the shareholders of SMBSC and sugar industry.  Rustvang and Bieging will work together to ensure a smooth transition into Bieging’s retirement.

A native of Fargo, North Dakota, Rustvang attended North Dakota State University.  He earned a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management with a minor in business.  Upon graduation, he moved to Washington, D.C. to serve on North Dakota Senator John Hoeven’s agriculture policy team.  While working for Senator Hoeven, Rustvang had the opportunity to learn more and grow great admiration for the sugar industry while working on the 2014 Farm Bill. 

Rustvang gained further political experience while serving as the Government Affairs Manager for the U.S. Beet Sugar Association (USBSA) in Washington, D.C.  USBSA purposes include the collection and distribution of authentic information concerning the sugar industry, encouraging the interchange of ideas to members of Congress and to Federal agency officials, and promoting the honorable, economical, efficient, and useful conduct of the beet sugar industry in the United States.  Rustvang advocated for U.S. Sugar policy in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Rustvang will join SMBSC from the office of Congressman Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, where he served as the State Director since 2019.  “We are very pleased and excited to have Jeff join our team.  His knowledge and experience will be invaluable to serve as a voice for the 500+ SMBSC farm families to state and federal lawmakers,” said Steven Domm, SMBSC President and CEO.

SMBCS is deeply grateful and proud of Dave’s many years of SMBSC representation in Washington, D.C.  He has played a vital role in the success of U.S. Sugar policy over the last 20+ years.  Bieging has guided SMBSC through some challenging times, including the recent disaster assistance program that was implemented after Crop Year 2019.  Rustvang said, “I have been fortunate to work with Dave over the last eight years and couldn’t imagine a better person to learn from regarding sugar policy, and the innerworkings of Washington.  Dave is respected throughout D.C. and the sugar industry.  He is exactly the kind of person you look for in a friend and mentor, and I am honored to be able to call him just that.  There is no doubt our growers, and our cooperative are in a better place today because of the hard work of Dave Bieging.  Dave leaves big shoes to fill, but I am excited for the opportunity to ensure that SMBSC has a strong, respected voice in Washington, and St. Paul just as we had with Dave Bieging.”