Red River Valley Sugarbeet Industry Oral History Project: Interview with Harvey Bloomquist
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Harvey Bloomquist was born in Drayton, Minnesota on September 8, 1924 and then lived on the family farm in Teien Township. The farm was originally purchased by his grandfather Gustav, who was a Swedish immigrant. Harvey went to school in a rural school northeast of Drayton. His father, Arthur, had a contract with American Crystal from 1930 to 1943. After farming with his father, Harvey purchased land of his own in 1941 and grew small grains. He eventually got involved with the Drayton Economic Development Corporation (DEDCO) and worked to get a co-op sugar mill built in the Drayton area. In 1965, after the co-op idea did not materialize, he signed a contract with American Crystal for 75 acres of sugarbeets. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: His early farming days, growing small grains; shipping the beets to East Grand Forks; value of the reliable paycheck; early era machinery and pesticides; waiting for the railway cars to pick up the beets; problems with the crop in the 1930s; the formation of the DEDCO in the early 1960s; how DEDCO generated the idea of a sugar mill in the Drayton area; the politics of securing the sugar mill; growers' group that emerged as potential growers for the mill called Red River Valley Sugar Company; difficulties in securing funding for the new mill; the decision by American Crystal to build a new factory and their work with the DEDCO people; 1962 visit to Washington, D.C. to talk to the agricultural committee about allotments; the Red River Valley Sugar Company's potential growers signing contracts with American Crystal; purchasing equipment after he signed a contract in 1965; how his acreage has increased over the years.
29 pages transcript
Content Category: text
Interviewee: Bloomquist, Harvey
Interviewer: Shoptaugh, Terry L.
Made in: Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 40 (Library Call Number)
AV2000.37.3 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Red River Valley Sugarbeet Industry Oral History Project'