Farm4Profit Founder Tanner Winterhof Visits America’s Sugar Capital
Tanner Winterhof, founder of Farm4Profit, recently traveled to Clewiston, Florida — America’s sugar capital — and learned how the sugar industry is working to enhance agricultural practices and profitability.
“Clewiston stands proudly as the sugar capital of the U.S. and recently, I had the privilege of immersing myself in the sweet world of the U.S. Sugar company. From the meticulous processes at the dike to the sweet ride on the Sugar Express, every moment was a fascinating exploration into the heart of this sugary empire,” said Winterhof of his trip.
Founded in December 2014, Winterhof’s Farm4Profit LLC provides Midwest farms and operators an annual, independent, and unbiased outlet for information related to increasing the profitability of their businesses.
Tanner Winterhof Explores a Crucial Component of Clewiston’s Sugar Production
As Tanner Winterhof arrived in Clewiston — aptly known as the sweetest town in America — his first stop was the dike on Lake Okeechobee, a crucial component in the sugar production process.
“[At the dike] we delved into the importance of maintaining high water quality. Notably, we discovered that the U.S. Sugar company has actively reduced nitrate and phosphorus levels from water in their fields, showcasing a commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Winterhof of his time surveying the dike.
After exploring the dike, Winterhof and his team went to a Clewiston youth center for a “delightful brunch” and a conversation with the CEO of U.S. Sugar.
There, Winterhof learned the company employed 2,500 workers across 245,000 acres. Afterward, Winterhof saw Sugar Mountain — a heaping mound of sugar standing three stories tall in a U.S. Sugar warehouse.
“It was intriguing to learn that raw sugar is only slightly different from the finished product,” said Winterhof. “The meticulous processes involved in sugar refinement became apparent, highlighting the company’s dedication to delivering quality sweetness.”
Winterhof Rides the Sugar Express
Next up on Winterhof’s schedule was a “thrilling ride” on the Sugar Express — a steam-powered train that took him and his team on a scenic tour of the cane fields.
“The landscapes unfolded before us — fields prepped for sugar cane planting, young sugar cane shoots swaying in the breeze, and mature sugar cane ready for harvest,” said Winterhof. “Witnessing the controlled burning of sugar cane, a practice employed to reduce transport volume, added a touch of both tradition and environmental mindfulness.”
His exploration continued with an up-close look at a sugar cane harvester and the John Deere equipment utilized on the farm.
“It was a hands-on experience, offering insights into the technological aspects of sugar production,” said Winterhof.
The trip concluded with a custom-arranged supper featuring local ingredients, a testament to the company’s commitment to supporting the community, with the pièce de résistance — a custom cocktail crafted from local rum.
“Clewiston, the sugar capital of the U.S., had opened its doors to us, offering a taste of its sweetness and a glimpse into the heart of the sugar-making process,” said Winterhof.