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U.S. Sugar Corp. time line

1931: Automotive pioneer, industrialist and philanthropist Charles Stewart Mott founds U.S. Sugar Corp. by purchasing the bankrupt Southern Sugar Co.

1941: Sugar industry in Florida becomes profitable.

1960s: The sugar industry in America grows substantially after the U.S. embargo on goods from Cuba.

1962: U.S. Sugar increases production with the opening of its second mill, Bryant Sugar House, on the southeastern rim of Lake Okeechobee.

1980s: Florida becomes the largest sugar-producing state in the country, with U.S. Sugar the largest producer in Florida.

1983: The company takes its stock off the market and offers 47 percent of company shares to employees.

1985: The company converts its cattle operation into citrus groves, planting more than 29,000 acres of orange trees.

1991: U.S. Sugar pleads guilty to eight counts of violating the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act involving improper handling of hazardous waste and agrees to pay a $3.75-million fine.

1994: Southern Gardens Citrus, a U.S. Sugar subsidiary, begins processing orange juice. The company shuts down subsidiary South Bay Growers, which employed more than 1,300 people for picking and packing vegetables. As the only sugar company exclusively using rail transportation to transport sugarcane to its mills, U.S. Sugar purchases South Central Florida Express railroad.

1997-98: The company transitions to 100 percent mechanical harvesting.

1998: U.S. Sugar's Clewiston refinery opens as the first fully integrated cane sugar refinery built in the United States.

2002: The company buys Alcoma Groves, increasing total citrus groves to more than 32,000 acres.

2005: Robert H. Buker Jr. is named president and CEO.

June: U.S. Sugar announces deal to sell its land to the state of Florida for $1.75-billion.

Compiled by Times researcher Will Short Gorham. Sources: U.S. Sugar, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, EPA, wires

U.S. Sugar Corp. time line 06/24/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 5:05pm]
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