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Michigan Sugar annual meeting focused on key policy issues


Michigan Sugar Company emphasized economic growth and partnership with local communities at last week’s annual shareholder meeting in Bay City, while outlining key policy priorities in the coming year. The meeting closely follows a record sugarbeet production season and a recent announcement that Michigan Sugar will invest more than $125 million across its facilities at Bay City, Caro, Croswell and Sebewaing.

“We are on track to keep becoming more efficient and advanced by the year,” said Mark Flegenheimer, CEO of Michigan Sugar. “When Michigan Sugar does well, we’re able to create good jobs across Michigan’s Thumb, invest in our facilities, and boost the local economy in communities we’ve called home for more than 100 years.”

Flegenheimer credited Michigan’s sugarbeet growers for embracing modern technology and best practices to continue boosting yields. Total production during the 2015 growing season topped 5 million tons of Michigan-made sugarbeets – and yield also set a new record at 31.6 tons per acre. To handle the record crop, Michigan Sugar will employ more than 2,300 local full and part-time workers at the peak of production and processing, with more than 1,100 employed at its flagship facility in Bay City.

During the meeting, Luther Markwart, Executive Vice President of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association applauded Michigan Sugar for its leadership on agriculture policy. Markwart identified several critical issues for sugarbeet producers – including the need to maintain a level playing field for trade, maintain a strong federal crop insurance program and ensure policymakers at all levels have information on modern sugarbeet production.