Sugar beet farming has an extensive history in southern Alberta. Sugar beets had been farmed in Ontario and Quebec but with the help of irrigation techniques southern Alberta was found to be an ideal place to grow the crop. The first sugar beet factory in Alberta was built under the Roger’s sugar name at Raymond, Alberta in 1925; near the site of the old Knight Sugar factory. A second factory was built at Picture Butte in 1936, and the largest was opened in 1950 at Taber. Collectively the factories employed hundreds of workers and helped to support the economy of western Canada and reportedly processed 5000 tons of beets daily into sugar during the busy fall harvest season. These factories also produced beet pulp, and dried molasses beet pulp, which are by-products of the sugar production process used for animal feed. The Taber factory is the only one that is still operational and the only sugar factory in Canada that processes sugar beets. XXX
The photographs are of the beet growing and harvesting process as well as the sugar production process and machinery. The photos were taken by J.D. Bodington (1958), Harry Pollard (1947) and a couple apparently taken by Nicholas Morant. The series also includes an educational advertising brochure (connection to the Lethbridge Herald? See page 12), possibly printed around 1950 which talks about what sugar beets are, how they are grown and processed and the value of the industry to the Albertan and Canadian economies.