MOORHEAD, Minn. — David Mueller of Cummings, N.D., has been elected board chairman for American Crystal Sugar Co., the nation’s largest sugar producer, owned by some 2,800 sugar beet growers.
Mueller was elected from the board in an annual reorganization meeting, after the company’s annual meeting on Dec. 5 in Fargo. American Crystal owns five factories at Drayton, and Hillsboro in North Dakota, and at Crookston, East Grand Forks and Moorhead in Minnesota. The co-op also is a co-op member of United Sugars Corp., for marketing sugar and of Midwest Agri-Commodities, for marketing byproducts. American Crystal Sugar also is majority shareholder in ProGold LLC, a corn sweetener maker; and is the sole owner of beet sugar processor Sidney (Mont.) Sugars, Inc.
Mueller had been the company’s vice chairman for the past two years. He has been a director from the Hillsboro factory district since 2009. He replaces former chairman Curt Knutson, a Fisher, Minn., farmer, who had served his maximum terms.
Also at the reorganization meeting, Kelly Erickson of Hallock, Minn. was elected vice chairman. Erickson is a former president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, and was president of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. Erickson also has been president of the Kennedy (Minn.) Farmers Elevator Cooperative, and the Kittson County Hospital.
Erik Bakke of Ulen, Minn., was newly elected to the board, representing the Moorhead factory district. Bakke had served 12 years on the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association board, as well as the American Sugarbeet Growers Association board. He replaces Bill Hejl, of Amenia, N.D., who termed out after serving as a director since 2007. Hejl had served on regional and national beet grower boards, but also as president of the World Association of Beet and Cane Growers.
Scott Knutson of Fisher was elected to the board representing the Crookston factory district, replacing Curt Knutson. Scott Knutson has served on boards of the Fisher Co-op Fuel and Hardware, the Eldred (Minn.) Farmers Elevator, and Andover Township. Scott also operates KB Manufacturing, which specializes in agriculture-related electronics. KB Manufacturing, which specializes in agriculture-related electronics.