The day the bank closed

The day the bank closed.

The main cash crop for the farms around Brighton Colorado was the Sugar Beet.  There were three beet checks and the last one of the year was the last Friday in October.

The Sugar Beet Check was the one the farmer used to settle the accounts with the suppliers who helped him raise the crop.

There were three checks and the first two were usually spent to defray the labor cost to get the beets ready for  the growth period that got the beets grown big enough for harvest.  We planted them as early as the ground was warm enough to have the seeds germinate and they kept on growing until they were finally stopped by frost.

The sugar beet seeds grew in a cluster so that when the beets came up in the spring they needed to be thinned so that the beet could grow separated from others in order for it to reach its optimum size.   If the beets were not thinned, the tonnage for the crop would not pay the expense of growing it.   If the beets were allowed plenty of room and nutrients for growth they could become much larger and of course were more valuable. 

The worker who thinned the beats would use a short handled hoe and work either stooped over, or worked on his hands and knees and removed the beets so that the beets were 8 to 12 inches apart.

When the beets were thinned they were cultivated with either a horse drawn device or a tractor that had knives that cut the weeds that naturally invade any crop.  The second cultivation put a small ditch between the rows of beets so they could be watered with irrigation.  Then they might need to be cultivated another time and maybe had to be gone through with a hoe to remove the weeds. 

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Sugar beets farming story

 Sugar Beets

One of the major crops in his development of agriculture in Colorado was the sugar beet and it had a major impact on the economy and brought many different racial segments to the population.  These are the recollections I remember with great joy in thinking about the ways working in the sugar beet fields gave me some jobs and allowed me to meet countless other people who were in the sugar beet business. 

The sugar beet was first and foremost a cash crop which meant it would return more dollars per acre than most other crops…  The disadvantage was that it needed a factory to process the sugar from it.  Unless there was a factory the common farmer had no way to refine the sugar.

The Sugar Beet Factory in Brighton, Colorado was built in the early 1900s.  It was started by getting farmers to give some money to begin the construction and I am sure there were some wonderful stories about the faith and vision and foresight of the men and women who conceived the idea and made it happen.  There were factories in Germany and I am sure some of the German immigrant farmers could see the opportunity to have a crop that would give those cash…

The other factor was the railroad which went through Brighton on its connection between Denver and Laramie Wyoming.  That line was completed in 1872 and became a wonderful way for farmers to get their produce to the Denver market.

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Template to guide your thinking

I had six honest serving men

They taught me all I knew

Their names were, What and Where and When

And How and Why and Who

This is a template to guide your thinking. It has a universal application to any task which requires your thinking and planning for your next action.

These six questions if used properly will give you the answer to virtually any problem you will encounter. The simplest way I know to teach about the skill of making good decisions is to provide an example.

This is the way I became a valuable trouble shooter for the company I worked for. Our job was to supply new, different and effective treatments for all manner of animal enterprises on farms. We had unique and valuable answers to improve the profit for any farmer who depended on his animals to make him some money.

The circumstances for my first meeting with the farmer were usually potentially very challenging because the farmer was very unhappy. His cows were sick and he had spent some money for what he thought was going to be an answer to his problem. Now that money is gone and the disease problem has gotten worse and his monetary losses were severe enough that his farm would be facing bankruptcy.

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