BAY CITY, MICH. — Neil C. Juhnke will become president and chief executive officer of the Michigan Sugar Co. on April 3, succeeding longtime president and CEO Mark S. Flegenheimer.

Mr. Juhnke began his career and spent 15 years at American Crystal Sugar Co., Moorhead, Minn., rising to ag operations manager before leaving in 2005. He then helped found and develop Northstar Agri Industries that included the development and construction of a canola processing and refining plant near Hallock, Minn., serving as president and CEO. Most recently he was vice president of manufacturing and operations at Red River Commodities, Inc., a food processing company based in Fargo, ND, with plants in Kansas, Texas and North Dakota. 

He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University in 1990 and completed the Essentials of Management Program at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002.

Mr. Flegenheimer spent 40 years in the sugar industry and was president and CEO of Michigan Sugar Co. since 1998. He announced his retirement last year.

Michigan Sugar Co. is a grower-owned cooperative with about 850 grower-owners who plant and harvest about 160,000 acres of sugar beets in Michigan and Ontario. It has four sugar beet processing facilities in Michigan that produce about 1,200 million lbs of sugar annually.