One of the first attempts in America to produce beet sugar was made in Michigan at White Pigeon late in the 1830's. The venture did not succeed though the future governor, John Barry, went to Europe seeking to learn its production methods. In 1888 Dr. Robert C. Kedzie of Michigan Agricultural College
began encouraging farmers in the state to grow sugar beets. At Bay City in 1898 the state's first successful factory opened. Thereafter the Saginaw Valley became the sugar bowl of Michigan.