Sugar Producer

May 2010 Sugar Producer

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Grower Feature by NANCy SANChEZ Visiting With the New 2010 ASGA President Russ Mauch in Barney, N.D. LOOKING BACK AT THEIR LIFE ON THE farm, Russ and Mary Mauch fondly recalls that they bought a farm in 1981 and rented some of his father’s ground. They have been farming for 29 years and grow for the Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative in Wahpeton, N.D. Before embarking on a life as a sugarbeet grower, Mauch was a banker and Mary was a bank examiner. Graduating from NDSU with an agricultural degree, he later accepted the opportunity to go out of the country and participate in an International Exchange event that was organized under the presidency of Jimmy Carter. “I spent six months in Hungary, which was a great learning opportunity. We exchanged agriculture knowledge and provided special trading rates.” Mauch says he enjoyed the six months in Hungary and remembers fondly the activities he participated in. “I picked grapes, worked in a dairy and worked on a hog operation. I also herded sheep and got to travel around to different farms. The way their operations were organized and functioned were very different from what I was used to seeing. 12 Sugar Producer May 2010 They were all cooperative farms and owned by the government.” When he returned home, he chose to enter the banking industry. For two years he worked as a commercial and agriculture loan officer. Then after realizing that was not what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he started farming. “I went into debt to start farming and have been in debt ever since.” Only a farmer can say with a smile that they are taking on one of the biggest gambling debts of their lives and hope to enjoy every season of it. JOINT VENTURE Farming in the Red River Valley is enhanced with the joys of raising children. Mauch and his wife have three daughters: Tina, 26, Tori, 23 and Sky, 20. Tina is working in Minnesota selling radio advertising. Tori is studying for her CPA and Sky is studying Business Management at UND in Grand Forks. It appears that the Mauch daughters are doing their own thing seeking careers away from farming. However, this editor believes it is terrific to encourage our children to get an education. Armed with knowledge, a bachelor’s degree and family support, the

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