When Michigan Sugar started planning to offer tours of their Bay City, Michigan factory, they realized that a huge part of their business was missing — agriculture. Visitors can see beets turned into sugar, but as a grower-owned cooperative, no tour of Michigan Sugar would be complete without the stories of the farmers that make the business possible.
To get the best shots, we crouched in muddy fields, drove for hours through the Thumb of Michigan, and climbed harvesters with one hand on the safety rail and the other gripping a tripod.
Along the way, we heard farmers’ stories. They told us about the importance of family, the challenges of their jobs, and why they enjoy working hard in the field when most people are still slamming the snooze button.
At the outset, the goal of the video was simply to educate factory visitors. But it blossomed well beyond those modest expectations.
Excited by the video’s impact, Michigan Sugar also used it as a marketing and sales tool. It accumulated more than 260 shares on Facebook, was featured during a national sugar beet growers convention, and earned a Gold ADDY award in the 2018 Great Lakes Bay ADDY Awards.