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The Sugar Beet Industry

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  • Rocky Ford Factory

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    The American Beet Sugar Company built the Rocky Ford Factory in 1901.
    Rocky Ford Factory
  • Sugar Beet Field
  • Sugar beet loading

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    A young man helps load sugar beets in Northern Colorado, c. 1920
    Sugar beet loading
  • Boiler Room, Fort Collins Factory
  • Beet Field Workers, 1926

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    Benito Gonzáles and Francisca and Francisco García worked in Greeley beet fields in the 1920s.
    Beet Field Workers, 1926
  • Mexican Workers in beet fields, 1943



Sarah Deutsch, No Separate Refuge: Culture, Class, and Gender on an Anglo-Hispanic Frontier in the American Southwest, 1880-1940 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987).

Rubén Donato, Mexicans and Hispanos in Colorado Schools and Communities, 1920–1960 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007).

Moon-Ho Jung, Coolies and Cane: Race, Labor, and Sugar in the Age of Emancipation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

April Merleaux, "The Political Culture of Sugar Tariffs: Immigration, Race, and Empire, 1898–1930," International Labor and Working-Class History 81 (July 2012).

Dena Markoff Sabin, How Sweet It Was! The Beet Sugar Industry in Microcosm: The National Sugar Manufacturing Company, 1899 to 1967 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1986).

Paul Schuster Taylor, Mexican Labor in the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1928).

Dennis Valdés, "Settlers, Sojourners, and Proletarians: Social Formation in the Great Plains Sugar Beet Industry, 1890–1940," Great Plains Quarterly (January 1990).

Additional Information: 

Eric Brown, "Weld Farmers, Organizations Renew Call for Immigration Reform as House Continues to Punt on Issue," Greeley Tribune, July 9, 2014.

Colorado State University Libraries, Colorado Agriculture Bibliography

Colorado State University Libraries, Great Western Sugar Digital Collection

Fort Collins History Connection

Dan Frosch, "Inmates Will Replace Migrants in Colorado Fields," New York Times, March 4, 2007.

Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).

University of Northern Colorado, Colorado Oral History and Migratory Labor Project

Zaragosa Vargas, Labor Rights Are Civil Rights: Mexican American Workers in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).