At the beginning of the 1900s, wagons like this one at the Big Horn County Historical Museum in Hardin, Montana were used to harvest sugar beets.  It was a very manual process.  The farmer would drive a team of horses pulling an implement called a “puller” through the rows of sugar beets to dig them up.  Next the farmer’s wife, kids, and migrant workers would follow behind picking up pairs of sugar beets and tapping them together to dislodge the dirt.  They would place all of the sugar beets in the same direction.  In a final pass through the fields, the tops would be chopped off of the beets and tossed into the wagon using this fork.

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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Wow, I just learned something new today! Thanks for sharing!

    • I had the most insightful chat with my mother-in-law, the daughter of a farmer and a farmer’s wife of nearly 60 years, to learn all about growing and harvesting sugar beets!


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About Shutterbug Sage

While everyone can benefit from travel, not everyone is in a position to travel the world for a living. is a blog for people with wanderlust AND a real life.


Photography, Travel


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