Dave Olson, Published January 15 2012
A brief history of American Crystal Sugar Co.1890 – Henry Oxnard and others open a beet sugar factory in Grand Island, Neb. The next year, Oxnard builds factories in Norfolk, Neb., and Chino, Calif.
1899 – Oxnard opens a factory in Ventura County, Calif. Later that same year the four plants are combined into American Beet Sugar Co.
1923 – Minnesota Sugar Co. announces plans for a beet sugar factory in East Grand Forks, N.D.
1924 – American Beet buys Minnesota Sugar Co. and its plants in Chaska, Minn., and Mason City, Iowa.
1929 – American Beet takes over Amalgamated Sugar, which has factories in Utah, Idaho and Montana.
1934 – American Beet changes its name to American Crystal Sugar Co. That same year, growers begin to organize what will become the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.
1948 – American Crystal opens Moorhead plant.
1954 – Company opens plant in Crookston, Minn., its third in the Red River Valley.
1965 – American Crystal’s Drayton, N.D., plant opens.
1972 – In April, 1,500 sugarbeet growers vote to decide whether the association should attempt to buy American Crystal. Seventy percent say yes.
1973 – Crystal Grower’s Corp. formed as an entity to merge with American Crystal, OKs $86 million purchase.
1973 – American Crystal growers purchase American Crystal Sugar Co. and form a cooperative, uniting the company and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.
1974 – New headquarters opens in Moorhead.
1975 – After a merger with the Red River Valley Cooperative, American Crystal opens its Hillsboro, N.D., factory.
1981* – Union workers go on strike. Strike lasts 28 days.
1982 – American Crystal sells Clarksburg, Calif., plant. Remaining factories are all in the Red River Valley.
1993 – American Crystal, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative and Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative form United Sugars Corp. to cooperatively market their sugar.
2002 – American Crystal purchases plants in Montana, Wyoming and Texas.
Source: American Crystal Sugar Co. website