Michael Ann Relka

Michael Ann Relka is both an agriculturalist and a farmer. She has worked directly with the growers for Western Sugar for 10 years, helping growers produce a quality beet crop and ensuring that product is able to be processed at the factory. While her job changes throughout the year, Michael Ann is currently scouting fields, making recommendations on fertility and best management practices for growing the best beet crop. She brings these skills home with her too, as she and her husband grow sugar beets in addition to dry edible beans (pinto, great northern), corn and a small amount of alfalfa on their 1000-acre farm in western Nebraska.

The land Michael Ann Relka and her husband farm holds a lot of sentimental value: both her father and grandfather farmed it and she is proud to bring her three children into this family heritage. Her children are proud too! In fact, showing friends her parents sugar beet field was a recent request of their 6-year-old daughter. She appreciates and knows what her parents do for a living!

Michael Ann loves both her day job and farming with her family. Getting to be out on the land, working with amazing people, and spending time with kids in the tractor are some of the perks. “Agriculture is not just a job, it’s a community.”

“There are some amazing people behind that tiny granule of sugar that shows up in your kitchen. As a culture we have used sugar for centuries. It has a heritage on its own. It’s hard to imagine some of the meals that my grandma cooked without that pinch of sugar!”

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