Red River Valley Sugarbeet Industry Oral History Project: Interview with Eddie Bernhardson
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Eddie Berhnardson was born in March 1928 in Comstock, Minnesota to Elvin and Florence Bernhardson. His birthplace was the farm his grandfather had owned. His grandfather, Lars Bernhardson, emigrated from Sweden in 1868 and homesteaded in the Comstock area in 1869. Eddie was educated at Comstock and Rustad, graduating from Comstock High School. He worked on his father's farm for many years before going to Moorhead in 1962 to take a job as a county agent for the Minnesota Extension Agency. He worked there until his retirement in 1990. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Early sugarbeet contract with American Crystal; the variety of crops the family grew; the labor-intensiveness of farming; why sugarbeets were an important crop for the farmers; how the beets were delivered to the railroad cars and later to the factory itself; waiting for the railway cars; migrant workers housed upstairs in the granary; planting, thinning, hoeing and weeding by hand or with horses; how federal legislation guaranteed a price and guaranteed an income; benefits of being a sugarbeet farmer during rationing in World War II; use of prisoners of war as laborers; father's relinquishing of beet contract in the 1950s; brother's regaining of the contract in the 1970s; how machines replaced many of the labor-intensive tasks; crop rotation; work as a county agent and weed control; vulnerability of the sugarbeet crop; importance of all sugar producers having a united front to face government actions; importance of Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers organization; increased dollars for research and education; employment available in sugarbeet industry.
33 pages transcript
Content Category: text
Interviewee: Bernhardson, Eddie
Interviewer: Shoptaugh, Terry L.
Made in: Moorhead, Clay County, Minnesota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 40 (Library Call Number)
AV2000.37.2 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Red River Valley Sugarbeet Industry Oral History Project'