MN Town Now Home to the World’s Largest Sugar Beet
Minnesota is now home to the World's Largest Sugar Beet!
For decades, Northwest Minnesota has been home to some of the most fertile sugar beet farmland in the country. Today, the Red River Valley on the border of Minnesota and North Dakota boasts over 500,000 acres of sugar beets, making up approximately 57% of total sugar beet acreage in the U.S.
To commemorate its rich history and agricultural prowess, the little town of Halstad, MN (pop. 600) just added a new addition to the intersection of Highways 200 and 75 with the world's largest sugar beet!
"To commemorate the remarkable impact that sugar beets have had on agriculture, the City of Halstad, Minnesota is commissioning the World’s Largest Sugar Beet!" reads the World's Largest Sugar Beet and Central Park Facebook page. "This monument to the sugar beet industry will be 14 feet high, with leaves that are an additional 7 feet for a total height of 21 feet!"
According to AGWeek, the giant beet was the idea of the family of farmer/businessman Gregg Holte as they sat around a family campfire. "We were looking for something to promote our community, and set it aside, and set it apart from everyone else,” he said. The community was very supportive of the idea, and they hosted their first fundraiser in March 2018.
The final cost of the sculpture was $65,000 -- $30,000 for the sculpture itself and another $35,000 for development of the park around it and an electronic sign for community notices. It's been in place for two months and is already working; people passing through are stopping for selfies with the giant beet!
According to the beet's Facebook page, sugar beets were first grown in the Red River Valley in 1918, and the first sugar beet factory opened in East Grand Forks, Minnesota in 1926.