'World's largest sugar beet' on display in Minnesota

The statue is meant to commemorate the impact sugar beets have had on agriculture.
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Northwestern Minnesota is home to one large sugar beet statue. 

The statue, created by Minnesota artist Josh Porter, stands 21 feet tall – the beet itself is 14 feet tall and the leaves add another 7 feet, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the giant beet, which was commissioned by the city of Halstad.

The statue is designed to commemorate the impact sugar beets have had on agriculture, the Facebook page says. The first sugar beets were grown in the Red River Valley in 1918, and now they're grown on more than 500,000 acres in the area and the sugar beets grown in the Red River Valley make up around 57% of the total sugar beet acres planted in the country.

According to Ag Week, which this week published the story behind the "world's largest sugar beet," businessman and sugar beet farmer Gregg Holte came up with the idea for the statue at a family campfire. 

The community along with the Halstad Business League has been raising money to build the statue since 2018, Hillsboro Banner reported. The statue was finished about two months ago. In June, an electronic sign was added next to the beet, which will display community happenings, according to the Halstad Business League's Facebook page

Porter formed the giant sugar beet around a cement-mixing truck drum. Porter has made other roadside attractions in Minnesota, including the 12-foot tall Paul Bunyan at the Brainerd Welcome Center, according to Roadside America.

You can find the self-proclaimed "world's largest sugar beet" at 33 Third St. W in Halstad, about 33 miles north of Moorhead.

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