Region's oldest sugar beet farmer passes away at 105-years-old

Earl Mallinger helped produce sugar beets in northwest Minnesota into his early 100s.

Earl Mallinger, 105, passed away this week in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He was Crystal Sugar's oldest beet farmer.

OSLO, Minn. — One of the region's oldest sugar beet farmers has died.

105-year old Earl Mallinger of Oslo, Minnesota, died Wednesday, January 11th, at an Altru Health System hospital in Grand Forks after a brief cancer battle.

He was American Crystal Sugar's oldest, working farmer. He farmed for years in northwestern Minnesota.

WDAY News first told the story of Earl in the summer of 2022, after the town of Oslo threw a big birthday party marking his 105th birthday.

He could be found daily at Kitty's Cafe in Oslo, shaking dice with friends for breakfast. He then would often go out looking at crops in the area.


He told WDAY News Reporter Kevin Wallevand that after years of field work, he is a "windshield farmer now." He laughed about his longevity, joking at one point: "I wonder when it will all end?"

The longtime potato grower was once named "International Potato Grower of the Year."

Amundson Funeral Home in Grand Forks is handling arrangements.

Earl's original WDAY News story from August 18th, 2022 can be found HERE .

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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