Sugar Producer

March 2020

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Page 12 of 23 13 Brothers Tim and Tom Clark have always been sugarbeet farmers. W Worland during the Great Depression to work in the area's sugarbeet fields, and beets have continued to sustain the family ever since. Tom and Tim's father, Frank Bentley Clark—Ben to those who knew him— began farming in the area in 1950, and settled in on the current farm in 1960. "We were still pretty young then," says Tom, "but make no mistake: My brother and I have both been involved in farming from knee-high on up." In the mid-1970s, Ben Clark began handing more control of the farm to his sons, and by 1980, they firmly held the reins. The farm expanded over the next few years, eventually growing just over 800 acres of sugarbeets—one of Wyoming Sugar's biggest producers. In addition to farming, the Clarks also owned and operated a 6,000-head cattle- feeding operation. Over the last decade or so, Tom and Tim have scaled back the operation a bit; they sold the feedlot last year, and currently farm about 200 acres each of sugarbeets and alfalfa, 300 acres of corn, and 100 acres of malt barley. A lot has changed over the years, but at least two things have not: the importance of sugarbeets to the community, and the Clarks' dedication to growing them. "Beets are vital to the Worland area," Tom says. "We need this factory here. Year in and year out, the beets have treated us pretty well." He and his family have done their best to return the favor. Tom himself is currently the chairman of the board for Wyoming Sugar, and has served on the board of the Lower Hanover Canal Company for 25 years. And, of course, the Clarks are always on hand to help out their farming neighbors. Like it was for growers in much of the country, 2019 was a difficult year for many Wyoming Sugar farmers. A big freeze hit in early October, followed by lots of moisture. The Clarks managed From Knee-High on Up By Tyrell Marchant Photos courtesy Clark Enterprises

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