American Crystal Sugar Company
Hillsboro Processing Plant
GPS: 47.434612, -97.062921
American Crystal Sugar Company (ACSC) is the sugar producer in the Red River Valley along the ND/MN border and also operates a facility in Sydney, MT serving the beet growers in the Yellowstone River Valley. ACSC is a grower cooperative.
In a typical harvest, ACSC will acquire 11 million tons of sugar beets. These beets will arrive at the processing plants in 550,000 truckloads, each truckload representing the harvest from one acre of farmland. The beets come from the 2,800 growers who are members of the cooperative.
The Hillsboro Factory
Our work site was the Hillsboro Factory, one of ACSC’s seven sugar beet factories. This factory was built in 1973 with major upgrades in 1997 and 1998. The Hillsboro Factory operates six piling locations: Hillsboro, Midway, Ada (north), Ada (west), Waukon, and Reynolds. We worked at the Hillsboro piling location where there are six pilers.
Here are some of the gee-whiz numbers:
Capacity: 2,500,000 tons
Average daily production: 1,425 tons
Employment: 225 year-round employees
Number of member growers: 492Number of acres planted: 70,757Tons of beets processed: 1,402,421Packaging / Warehousing
Number of different labels and products packaged: 24 labels, 4 pound packagesHundredweight (100 pounds) packaged: 1.5 MillionHundredweight (100 pounds) bulk shipments: 7 MillionBy-products sold annually
Bulk Pulp pellets: 96,000 tons (cattle feed in USA, Europe, and Japan)Molasses: 100,000 tons (cattle feed & fermentation)
Now you can wow your friends at cocktail parties with useless trivia until their eyes glaze over or until they go back to talking about their neighbors.
Posts about the Sugar Beet Harvest
FIRST DAY IN NORTH DAKOTA
Hillsboro, North Dakota, we have arrived
GETTING READY FOR WORK
Some paperwork to get us started
ON THE JOB TRAINING
A trip to the Hillsboro factory for some OJT
TEN DAYS OF WORK
Notes and pictures on our ten days of work
A quick summary of the annual campaign of sugar beet processing
THE SUGAR BEET
Bigger than a coconut, smaller than a football. Here is the story on the sugar beet
I was very impressed with the big machine we worked on. I thought you might like to learn more.
THE SUGAR BEET PILE
How big is a pile that contains 90,000 tons? Here are some pictures and figures
DOWN AND DIRTY: GIVING BACK THE TARE DIRT
Harvesting root crops produces dirt. How to handle and dispose of it is an interesting side story
A LOOK AT THE SUGAR INDUSTRY
A $20 billion industry with 142,000 jobs in 22 states. Take a look at the Sugar Beet Industry
AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR COMPANY
Get a closer look at the company providing this workamping opportunity.
EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT PROFESSIONALS
If you are a workamper interested in short term hard work for big bucks, here’s the link