FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 8, 2018 Contact: Rob Clark, Michigan Sugar Company, 989-686-0161
Richard Gerstenberger chosen for key leadership post by 10,000-member, 11-state sugarbeet organization
BAY CITY – Michigan Sugar Company Board Chairman Richard Gerstenberger, who farms in Snover, Michigan, was elected this week as president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association by farmer representatives from across the nation. He’ll serve a two-year term.
Gerstenberger is a longtime leader in Michigan agriculture, having served on the Michigan Sugar Company Board of Directors since 2007, including 10 years as Board Chairman.
“It is an honor and a privilege to lead this dedicated and talented group of farmers, and I am excited about the future of our industry,” said Gerstenberger, who took the helm Feb. 2 during the American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting. “There are challenges in the U.S. sugar market and legislative challenges in our industry, but sugar growers have always worked hard on both fronts, and will continue to do so. The sugar industry in Michigan, and across this nation, is vital to thousands of family farming operations. I look forward to working with the American Sugarbeet Growers Association to preserve the strength of those farms for future generations.”
Gerstenberger is a third-generation Michigan farmer who operates a family farm operation that includes his parents Dwain and Shirley and his wife Linda. Sons Dan (wife Amanda) and Mike (wife Kayla) also farm with them on approximately 3,000 acres in rotation of corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and sugarbeets. The Gerstenbergers also have two daughters – Jennifer and Jillian, and five grandchildren – Clayton, Liam, Kendall, Avery and Bodie.
Gerstenberger is a well-respected community leader in Michigan, having served on the Sandusky Board of Education, the Argyle Township Board of Review and the Michigan Farm Bureau State Dry Bean/Sugarbeet Advisory Committee. He also has been an independent Sales Agent for Betaseed for 22 years, and is a member of Peace Lutheran Church, the Sanilac County Farm Bureau, the Sanilac County Corn Growers and the Michigan Corn Growers Association.
This marks the third time a Michigan sugarbeet grower has been elected to serve as president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association. Ray VanDriessche and John Heussner previously served. With more than 10,000 sugarbeet farmers in 11 states producing sugarbeets, the American Sugarbeet Growers Association is a key voice for sugarbeet growers and U.S. agriculture in Washington, D.C.
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