Galen Lee, President of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, addressed the audience at Agri-Pulse’s Farm Bill Summit last week. The sugar industry is currently dealing with lower sugar prices than when Jimmy Carter was in office, so the importance of a strong safety net can’t be understated.
“While we are smaller than other crops we still support 142,000 jobs in 22 states,” Lee states. “And we still pump 20 billion dollars per year into rural economies. Remember most sugar companies in America are cooperatives, meaning they are owned and operated by farmers, so we have a lot on the line. If sugar is not profitable we loose more than our farms. We loose our businesses, our markets and our local economies.”
It’s already happening for the sugar industry, as evidenced by the Hawaiian sugar industry. Steps taken now to write the farm bill have real consequences for our families and communities, says Lee.
Listen to his complete remarks here: [wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/agripulse-farmbill-17-sugarbeets-lee.mp3″ text=”Remarks from Galen Lee, American Sugarbeet Growers Association”]
Photos can be found on the Agri-Pulse website. Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit photos