With roots dating back to 1897, Amalgamated Sugar Company strives to stay on the cutting edge of all things sugar. To ensure future generations will continue to be involved with the industry and to encourage future talent to seek careers in the industry, they offer the Amalgamated Youth Sugarbeet Program. The Amalgamated Youth Sugarbeet Program encourages youth ages 8-18 to be involved with sugarbeet production. Program participants can raise two shares of sugarbeets in conjunction with their family farm. Local sugarbeet grower’s associations administer the projects and ensure completion of requirements. These projects are an excellent opportunity for the youth in the Amalgamated Sugar growing region to gain experience in raising sugarbeets.
Project Requirements are as Follows:
- Contract and grow two Snake River Sugar Company shares of crop.
- Complete a research project.
- Participate in the Presentation Fair.
- Attend six club meetings.
- Complete Youth Grower Record Book
- Exhibit a sample of three sugarbeets at county fair.
A sugarbeet presentation fair is held for the youth to present their research topics. At the beginning of the growing season, participants select a research topic of their choice from a list that is provided by the local grower association. In addition to growing the crop, the students create a tri-fold presentation board includes personal information, details about the research topic, and information on their sugarbeet crop. They then present their research project while using the presentation board. The participant’s age determines the length of the student’s presentation. As the student grows older in age, the presentation time increases. Agriculture professionals, Amalgamated field staff, and personnel from various seed companies volunteer as judges at the presentation fair.
Judges interview participants with questions that pertain to their sugarbeet crop, research topic, and generally common knowledge questions about raising sugarbeets. Also, participants enter three sugarbeets from their crop at a county fair where their beets compete for best quality, uniformity, and size.
The Amalgamated Youth Sugarbeet Program is a fantastic program that teaches the local youth about raising sugarbeets with the hope that they will be the next generation of sugarbeet growers. Also, participants can earn college scholarships, develop public speaking skills, and gain personal interview experience. Youth are the future of the sugarbeet industry; programs such as this are essential for sparking student interest that may open the door for their future career in agriculture.