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.


With harvest well underway, the article “Harvest Safety Tips from Nationwide”, discusses various hazards farmers experience during harvest. The article gives several precautions to take before, during, and after harvesting various crops to keep everyone involved safe.  Please Click here  to be directed to the article.  Have a Safe harvest!

(ST. PAUL, Minn.) – Sept. 26, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Grant Herfindahl, reminds farmers and ranchers of federal farm program benefits that may be available to help eligible producers recover from recent heavy rains and flooding. Continue reading on the United States Department of Agriculture’s website.

Continue reading on the United States Department of Agriculture’s website.

Harvest Equipment Inspections

To help increase the likelihood of having a successful and efficient harvest, a pre equipment inspection is a good tool to prevent major mechanical failures and potential incidents from happening in the future.  The inspection is also a good tool to help keep yourself, family, workers, and community safe during harvest.  The following article discusses the benefits an inspection can have on the profitability and safety on the farm.  It also discusses the resources you can use to complete an inspection.   Please Click Here to access the article.

Conaway, R-Texas, chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, visited Minnesota late last week. One of his stops was at Hultgren Farms in rural Raymond, just west of Willmar Saturday afternoon.

Conaway said he looks forward to working with U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the ranking minority member on the committee on the next Farm Bill.

Read the full article at Daily Globe

Harvest Traffic Safety

With an early harvest just around the corner, the additional traffic and roadway hazards are a concern for rural communities.  The article “Everyone plays a role in safety on the roads during harvest” published in Agweek, provides safety awareness and ideas for farmers as well as their families who will be traveling on the roadways.  For those who will be hauling on the pile sites, please view the Trucker safety video on the SMBSC Shareholder website under Communication.  Please Click here to access the article.  Have a Safe Harvest.

Summer time is a wonderful time to work in and enjoy the outdoors.  Unfortunately, additional hazards exist with the warmer weather.  The occupation safety and health administration has a great article which helps a person prevent and if already affected by heat stress, recognize the signs to prevent worsening conditions.  Read the article on the OSHA website.

SMBSC will continue to make meaningful and industry-leading progress in protecting the environment while creating a sustainable food supply.

Sugar co-op prepares for stricter rules

by Tom Cherveny Today at 12:16 a.m.

OLIVIA – Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative is aiming to remain in compliance with environmental regulations it anticipates will become more stringent in the years ahead.

“We’ll watch it real close and keep an eye on the ball,” Gary Hamlin, vice president of operations for the cooperative, told the Renville County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.

Read about our updated to the Renville County Commissioners on West Central Tribune’s website.

Pesticides are chemicals that serve a significant purpose on agricultural land.  Unfortunately, these pesticides may impose negative health factors to the person working with them or people near where they are being applied.  Pesticides should not be singled out as the only chemicals that may cause health issues; some every day cleaning or automotive chemicals may also affect us.  The attached article “Chemical Safety on the Farm” touches several aspects which will help keep you, your family, employees, and others safe from the negative affects chemicals may pose.  Click here to read the article.

A 388-page report, the result of two years of research by 50 scientists has found that genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified organisms (GMO) are safe to eat and pose no health risks. The study specifically refers to cotton, soybeans, corn, sugar beets and canola.

The final sentence of the article wraps it perfectly: “It’s an emotional issue, it’s not a science issue.”

Read on for an excerpt of the article or read the full article on USA Today.