Education Resources

Processing and Agricultural Schools

Education

The Beet Sugar Agriculture School is sponsored and directed by the Beet Sugar Development Foundation on behalf of the Member and Associate Member Companies.  It is a self-sustaining school of agriculture technology and practice. The purpose of the school is to provide to its students the basics of sugar beet production, as well as the latest technology and practices.  The course will concentrate on, but not be exclusive to, that area of the country in which it is being held in any year.  The school should increase the knowledge and heighten the awareness of its students to circumstances they may encounter in the area of sugar beet production.

Processing Schools

The purpose of the Beet Sugar Processing Schools is to instruct beet sugar company employees and other technologists in the fundamentals and beyond on factory processes, their application to factory operations and the details of the practical operations of the unit processes.  Since details of equipment and process vary from factory to factory, major emphasis will be given to the most commonly used equipment and practices, but some coverage will be given to other systems still in operation.  The courses are designed to make the student more valuable to the employer and to provide a greater potential for advancement.

View the details for the current Beet Sugar Processing Schools.

Rick Mont

Director of MIBST

Richard C. (Rick) Mont began his career in the sugar industry in 1967, as an Assistant Chemist with the Great Western Sugar Company in Billings, Montana. While with Great Western, he was assigned to their Goodland, Kansas factory where he worked as an Assistant Chemist. Rick played a role in the first Quality Systems Initiative with Great Western Sugar Company in Brighton, Colorado. He assumed the position of Factory Chemist in Greeley, Colorado, and Fremont, Ohio.  While at Fremont, Rick moved into the operations area of the factory as Assistant Superintendent and was promoted to Assistant Factory Manager, managing the juice campaign responsibilities.

In June of 1977, Rick began his 24years with American Crystal Sugar Company, working with the initial Ion Exchange System at their Moorhead, Minnesota factory. Through the years, Rick has filled many production roles with the company, including Assistant Superintendent; Factory Superintendent; Factory Manager at Moorhead, Minnesota; Process Engineer; and General Chemist.  In 1984, he was assigned as Operations Manager in Drayton, North Dakota; in 1988, he was promoted to Director of Total Quality and, in 1992, he was assigned as Manager of Quality Assurance with responsibilities for the research efforts of American Crystal.  During this period, Rick was responsible in changing the focus of the research to that of factory technical support.  In 1995, Rick was assigned as a Special Project Engineer at the Corporate Headquarters.  During this period, he returned to manage the Moorhead factory for one campaign to assist in the training and development of upcoming candidates for similar positions.  In 1997, Rick accepted the position of Production Superintendent at American Crystal’s East Grand Forks, Minnesota factory and held the position for four years.

Prior to his retirement from American Crystal in 2001, he was assigned to the position of Special Project Engineer at America Crystal’s corporate office.

Rick currently resides in Grand Forks, North Dakota with his wife Marilyn.  He is consulting with American Crystal and is focused on the process training programs.

 

Agricultural School

The purpose of the Agricultural School is to provide to its students the basics of sugar beet production, as well as the latest technology and practices.  The course will concentrate on, but not be exclusive to, that area of the country in which it is being held in any year.  The school should increase the knowledge and heighten the awareness of its students to circumstances they may encounter in the area of sugar beet production.

View the details for the current Beet Sugar Processing Schools.

Paul Pfenniger

Director of MIBST – Agricultural School

Paul Pfenninger has spent his entire career working in the sugar beet industry of Michigan.  Starting in 1978 as a Laboratory Director for Michigan Sugar Company, he spent time as Agricultural Manager and eventually as Vice President of Agriculture for his last 22 years. He retired from Michigan Sugar Company in 2016 and accepted the role of  Executive Vice President of Beet Sugar Development Foundation (BSDF) and American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists (ASSBT) in July of 2016.  He was an active member on the Board of Directors of both BSDF and ASSBT as well as the West Coast Beet Seed Company in Oregon – being past President of all three organizations.