Our growers are the heart and soul of Western Sugar Cooperative. Over 850 Shareholders/growers own 134,150 shares of our cooperative. Our 4th and 5th generation growers are an example of our Cooperative’s deep-rooted passion for making a positive impact within our communities. The commitment to provide exceptional quality crops has been passed down through families. Our growers’ experience, wisdom, obligation to their trade, and grueling hard work makes them experts in their field. Local growers are a large part of a community’s character and help preserve the agricultural heritage of that area. We are proud to be a part of our communities’ growth and to be grower owned. 

How to Join the Cooperative

To become a member of the Western Sugar Cooperative a grower must first purchase one common share from the Cooperative. The common share also entitles the Shareholder to be a voting member. For each acre of beets a Shareholder elects to raise each year they must own or control one Patron Preferred Share. Since the Cooperative is a closed Cooperative, the Patron Preferred Shares can only be purchased from existing Shareholders on the open market. From year to year Shareholders may have extra Patron Preferred Shares due to rotational needs and may  lease those to other Shareholders on a temporary basis.

For further details contact a local Agriculturist or the Director of Shareholder Relations at the Denver office, please.

To buy or to sell Western Sugar Cooperative Patron Preferred Shares through FNC Ag Services please click: Share Transaction Services

Our Growers

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Board of Directors

  • Nick Lapaseotes

    Mr. Lapaseotes is a 3rd generation beet grower in Western Nebraska, who after college came back to the family farm in 1982. He has been farming sugar beets for thirty three years. He and his brother have a farming, feed yard, and cow calf operation. He has served on the Nebraska Sugarbeet Growers Association for … Continued

  • Ric Rodriguez

    Mr. Rodriguez, 56 years old, Vice-Chairman of the Cooperative Board, representing the Lovell District. Resides in Powell, Wyoming, Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Montana State University-Billings. He was raised on a farm and has been a beet grower for 36 years.

  • Lyle Bjornestad

    Mr. Bjornestad is the past vice president of the Big Horn Basin Beet Growers Assoc. He is a current member of the University of Wyoming Powell R&E Center Advisory Board. He worked at the R&E Center for 18 years, conducting research on sugar beets, barley, dry beans, and alfalfa. He has been farming sugar beets … Continued

  • Brian Armstrong

    Mr. Armstrong is a third generation farmer from Big Springs, Nebraska. He has served for six years on the NebCo Sugarbeet Growers Association, the past two as President. He is also serving as Sec/Tres for the Big Springs Fire District. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics. He … Continued

  • Mark Kimmel

    Mr. Kimmel is a third generation beet farmer. He has been involved in raising sugar beets for 18 years. He is currently serving on the Alliance Evangelical Free Leadership Board and the Westco Board of Directors.

  • Brett Nedens

    Mr. Nedens graduated from Dickinson State University in 2000 with a degree in Business Administration and Agriculture. He returned home to the family farm in Hardin, Montana to work full-time after graduation. Along with sugar beets, Mr. Nedens’ farming operation consists of irrigated malt barley, winter wheat, and alfalfa. He also raises dry land winter … Continued

  • Joe Amen

    Mr. Amen is a third generation sugar beet farmer and one of the original members of the Cooperative Board of Directors since its inception in 2002. He is currently serving the board as Secretary and as Chairman of the Audit Committee. He serves as the Chairman of the Administrative Committee at his church. He graduated from Colorado State … Continued

  • Greg Lackman

    Mr. Lackman started farming in 1980 after graduating from Montana State University Bozeman with a degree in Agriculture Education. His farming operation consists of raising sugarbeets, corn, wheat, malt barley, alfalfa hay and alfalfa seed. He has been a member of the Southern Montana Sugarbeet Growers Association since 1980, serving as a board member for … Continued

  • Alan Welp

    Mr. Welp and his family farm south of Wray Colorado.  He is a fourth generation farmer who has a passion for the sugarbeet industry. Alan has represented his local beet growers as a Director on the Colorado Sugarbeet Growers Association for the past 15 years. The past 14 years he has represented all of the Colorado Growers at … Continued