Red River Valley Sugarbeet Industry Oral History Project: Interview with George A. Sinner
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: George Sinner, the son of Albert and Katherine Sinner, was born May 29, 1928, in Fargo, North Dakota. He grew up on his father's farm near Casselton, North Dakota, attended Casselton schools through the tenth grade, and continued his education at St. John's University in St. Cloud, Minnesota, receiving a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from that university in 1950. In 1951 he married Elizabeth Baute; the couple had ten children. He served in the air force during the Korean conflict, and after his discharge from the service in 1953 he formed a farming partnership with his brother William and brother-in-law Ellery Bresnaham [Sinner Bros. & Bresnahan]. In addition to being a grower, his involvement in the sugar beet industry over the years included positions on many local and county boards, and president of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association (1975-1979). He was active in North Dakota state politics, serving in the state senate (1962-1966), house of representatives (1982-1984), and was elected to two terms as governor of North Dakota (1985-1993). After leaving the governor's office, Sinner took a position with the American Crystal Sugar Company as Vice President of Publicity and Government Affairs in Moorhead, Minnesota, which he held at the time of the interview. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Sinner's discussion of the sugarbeet farming and the industry includes a review of early (1930s) methods of beet cultivation, equipment, and shipping; activities of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association [RRVSBGA] and the controversies between growers and buyers on the effect of excessive nitrogen on the sugar content of the beets and payment for pulp-weight versus sugar content; and the benefits to both growers and buyers of the cooperative organization. He also discusses the RRVSBGA organization and reasons for the sale of the American Crystal Sugar Company and cost per share to the growers; the advantages and disadvantages of a merging of the MINN-DAK and Southern coops with American Crystal Sugar; international marketing; Cuban sugar; and the affect of the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] on supply and demand of many food commodities and on the migrant labor situation in Minnesota and the Southern border.
28 pages transcript
Content Category: text
Interviewee: Sinner, George A.
Interviewer: Shoptaugh, Terry L.
Made in: Moorhead, Clay County, Minnesota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 40 (Library Call Number)
AV2000.37.9 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Red River Valley Sugarbeet Industry Oral History Project'