sugarbeet speaker

Dan Colacicco, American Sugar Alliance economic consultant and keynote speaker at ISBI

FARGO, N.D. – The 57th annual International Sugarbeet Institute (ISBI) is slated for March 20-21 at the FargoDome in Fargo and will feature keynote speaker Dan Colacicco both days, according to Mohamed Khan, chairman of the show and Extension sugarbeet specialist for North Dakota and Minnesota.

Colacicco will be speaking at 11 a.m. each day of the show.

An economic consultant to the American Sugar Alliance, Colacicco specializes in federal growers support programs. He spent 36 years at USDA, including 20 years providing economic and policy analysis for the Farm Service Agency’s sugar, dairy and honey programs. During the last 14 years at USDA, he was responsible for the administration of the domestic sugar program as director of the Dairy and Sweetener Analysis Group. He was responsible for the regulations and implementation of the domestic sugar program, which included the Sugar Loan Program, Sugar Marketing Allotment Program, Sugar Payment in Kind Program, Feedstock Flexibility Program and the sugar information collection system.

Prior to his commodity work, he was a conservation analyst and helped develop the Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Programs. His agricultural experience includes picking pineapples on Lanai, Hawaii, where he went to prep school. He received his bachelor’s in economics and Ph.D in agricultural economics from the University of Maryland.

One of the appeals of the show is the requirement that all exhibitors must have products or services related directly to sugarbeet production. This assures visitors that they will be rubbing elbows with those truly interested in the growth of the sugarbeet industry.

The ISBI is the largest exhibit of sugarbeet equipment and related products and services in North America. The show is held in Grand Forks and Fargo on alternating years. Show hours for this year’s ISBI are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 20 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. the following day.

The show started in 1963 in Crookston, Minn., and eventually grew into a two-day trade show and educational institute for all growers. It became international in 1980 when Manitoba growers joined forces with the show.

Kahn expects over 3,000 growers and others associated with the sugarbeet industry will attend this year’s show, which will also involve over 120 trade show exhibitors. Advancements in equipment and production methods have become consistently bigger and more sophisticated through the years. This show will contain more than $3 million worth of machinery and equipment that is used in sugarbeet production.

The doors for the show open each day at 8:45 a.m. and admission to the show and parking are free. The show will begin with a free breakfast each day, and those attending the show are encouraged to stop by the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association booth for a free ticket for a hot dog lunch, Kahn said.

The ISBI organizing committee consists of exhibitor representatives, sugarbeet specialists from NDSU and the University of Minnesota, each of the three Upper Midwest sugar cooperatives (both grower and company representatives), and the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

Questions regarding the 2018 International Sugarbeet Institute should be directed to Dr. Mohamed Khan, ISBI committee chairman, at (701) 231-8596 or