Education ResourcesProcessing and Agricultural Schools
The Beet Sugar Agriculture School is sponsored and directed by the Beet Sugar Development Foundation on behalf of the Member and Associate Member Companies. It is a self-sustaining school of agriculture technology and practice. The purpose of the school is to provide to its students the basics of sugar beet production, as well as the latest technology and practices. The course will concentrate on,
but not be exclusive to, that area of the country in which it is being held in any year. The school should increase the knowledge and heighten the awareness of its students to circumstances they may encounter in the area of sugar beet production.
The purpose of the Beet Sugar Processing Schools is to instruct beet sugar company employees and other technologists in the fundamentals and beyond on factory processes, their application to factory operations and the details of the practical operations of the unit processes. Since details of equipment and process vary from factory to factory, major emphasis will be given to the most commonly used equipment and practices, but some coverage will be given to other systems still in operation. The courses are designed to make the student more valuable to the employer and to provide a greater potential for advancement.
View the details for the current Beet Sugar Processing Schools.
William (Bill) Gough
Director of MIBST
Having grown up on a sugarbeet farm and involved in FFA in High School, Bill Gough has been involved in sugarbeet production, harvesting, storage and processing his entire life. He contracted to raise sugarbeets for Michigan Sugar Co., Croswell factory, starting in the Carsonville High School FFA in the mid 1960’s and continued raising sugarbeets through the late 1980’s when he was promoted to Agricultural Manager for the Michigan Sugar Company, Carrollton District. As the Ag Manager he was responsible for managing Agriculturists, Agricultural Operations, beet transfers and beet receiving stations located in Gratiot, Saginaw, Tuscola, Bay, Midland, Genesee, Shiawasee, Lenawee and Monroe counties in Michigan along with several Northern Ohio counties. Previous to that he was an Agriculturist for the Sebewaing District with growers in Huron and Tuscola counties. He became a grower owner when Michigan Sugar transitioned into a cooperative in 2002. In 2003, Bill accepted the opportunity to become the Factory Manager for the Caro Factory of Michigan Sugar Company.
Bill has been a member of the ASSBT since becoming an Agricultural Manager. He has also been a lecturer for the McGinnis Institute of Beet Sugar Technology since 2010.
Bill graduated from Michigan Technological University with a degree in Biological Sciences and from Saginaw Valley State University with a MBA in Management. He is married with one son and two grandsons.
After working for Michigan Sugar Co for 37 years, Bill and his wife, Christine, retired and have relocated to northern Michigan on the banks of the West Branch of the Muskegon River. He is enjoying life along the river, which includes watching the wildlife (deer, bears, and the occasional beaver and bob cat). He also enjoys hiking the miles of trails located on the thousands of acres of State and Federal lands in the area and RV camping with family and friends.
The purpose of the Agricultural School is to provide to its students the basics of sugar beet production, as well as the latest technology and practices. The course will concentrate on, but not be exclusive to, that area of the country in which
it is being held in any year. The school should increase the knowledge and heighten the awareness of its students to circumstances they may encounter in the area of sugar beet production.
View the details for the current Beet Sugar
Director of MISBT – Agricultural School
Anna Murphy grew up in Centennial, CO, a city in the suburbs of Denver, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI). Her grandfather was a farmer in South Dakota; however, she did not set foot onto a farm under her first day of graduate school. Murphy attended Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO) where she received her master’s degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics with a focus on detecting genes for drought tolerance in wheat.
Murphy saw her first crop of sugar beets in 2011 while assisting with the harvest of some research plots for Syngenta and shortly after was fortunate to be hired with Syngenta as a sugar beet breeder. She has utilized marker-assisted breeding techniques to select for and improve sugar yield and disease tolerance to Aphanomyces and Fusarium. In addition, Anna has had roles in both Product Evaluation/Management at Hilleshög Seed and Supply Management at Magno Seed.
Ten years later, Murphy is the new Executive Vice President (EVP) of the Beet Sugar Development Foundation (BSDF). She is also the EVP for the American Society of Sugarbeet Technologists (ASSBT), where she has maintained membership since 2013. Murphy works out of the organization’s Denver office and started the position in January of this year. A big part of the BSDF mission is to advance sugar beet production through leading educational programs, and Murphy is looking forward to directing the MIBST Agriculture School in Bloomington, MN this July.
Murphy currently resides in Berthoud, CO, and her and her husband are the parents of three children under the age of five. When she’s not working, she enjoys hiking, biking and spending time outdoors with family and friends. The family also enjoys traveling and trying new restaurants.