'Beet Farmin' Mitch' gives inside look at sugarbeet farming through YouTube

Michael "Mitch" Dusek started his YouTube channel to give people around the world a firsthand look at sugarbeet production and daily life on an American family farm.

A man in a blue windbreaker, jeans, cowboy boots and a baseball cap holds a sugarbeet with its top on in front of an International Harvester Tractor.
Mitch Dusek — also known as "Beet Farmin' Mitch" on YouTube, stands in front of a tractor holding a sugarbeet.

When Michael “Mitch” Dusek first started his YouTube channel in 2021, the young sugarbeet farmer from the Red River Valley didn’t know what to expect.

“I just wanted to give folks who are not familiar with farming an opportunity to see it up close and learn how their food is produced,” he said. “I saw another farmer’s YouTube channel and thought ‘I can do this.’ My friends encouraged me to try it, and I figured the worst-case scenario would be that I would only get 100 views.”

Now Mitch, 25, is giving people around the world a firsthand look at sugarbeet production and daily life on an American family farm. He has more than 10,000 subscribers from all over the United States, as well as Canada, France, Australia, England and the Netherlands.

“My channel is called ‘Beet Farmin’ Mitch’ and my goal is to help connect growers to consumers and do my best to correct misperceptions of farming,” he said.

Mitch is a sixth-generation farmer who farms with his father, uncle and two brothers in eastern North Dakota. Their family farm began with Mitch’s great-great-great-grandfather, Frank. Frank was born in what was then known as Czechoslovakia and came to America in 1867. He initially settled in Iowa where he farmed for 13 years. In 1880, he traveled to the Red River Valley by wagon train to homestead a quarter of land.


More about Beet Farmin' Mitch

Today, 143 years later, the family grows wheat, pinto beans, soybeans, corn and sunflowers in addition to sugarbeets. Mitch covers all aspects of the farm in his videos, including agronomy and harvest processes for sugarbeets, sunflowers and pinto beans. His videos also feature hauling sugarbeets to a factory, footage from planting and harvest, and equipment maintenance.

Mitch received the nickname “Mitch” from his brother Casey while in middle school and chose to use it in his videos and in advocating for agriculture on social media.

“Now most of my friends call me Mitch, so I decided to go with that for my YouTube channel,” he said.

Mitch has known since childhood that he wanted to be farmer.

A man walks through a sugarbeet field.
Being a farmer was always the plan for the farmer who now goes by "Beet Farmin' Mitch" on YouTube.

“That was always my dream. One of my favorite childhood memories was riding out to the wheat field with my mom during harvest,” he said. “She had the back of the van loaded up with a crock pot full of tater tot hotdish with salt and pepper shakers to boot. We pulled into the stubble field, popped open the back hatch, and everyone would make their stop at the van when it was convenient. The best part of the whole evening was when I got to ride along in each of the different machines.”

When he was old enough, Mitch's first job on the farm was driving the combine.

“I started driving a pull-type combine when I was in sixth grade,” he said.

After graduating from high school in 2016, Mitch attended NDSU. He graduated in 2020 with degrees in Agricultural Economics and Crop and Weed Sciences.


“In college I commuted back and forth to help on the farm,” said Mitch. “I was advised to find a job and work off the farm for a few years because farming would always be there. However, I just knew it wasn’t the right thing and nothing came of it. There is no place I’d rather be than right here.”

While at NDSU, Mitch met his wife, Jenny, whom he married in 2022.

A man and woman smile into the camera. The woman is holding a sugarbeet.
"Beet Farmin' Mitch" and his wife Jenny pose in a sugarbeet field.

“We met in 2018 and started dating in the fall of 2020. We were part of the same college Christian group and both from small North Dakota towns, so I knew we shared the same values,” he said.

Jenny holds a degree in business administration and is the community development director for the town where she and Mitch live.

“The Red River Valley is very different from the area where she grew up, and she is interested in all aspects of sugar beet farming,” said Mitch. “Since she didn’t grow up on a farm, she asks me really good questions about why we do things a certain way and that helps me to better explain things during filming.”

Jenny, as well as Mitch's brothers, often make appearances in his videos.

“My most heartfelt video is called ‘Beet Farmin’ Marriage.’ Jenny and I filmed it in the tractor shortly before we were married,” said Mitch. “We discussed our shared appreciation of farming and the importance of Christ in our lives and marriage. We uploaded it onto my channel on our wedding day. It got 550,000 views and is my most watched video.”

Mitch, with occasional help from his wife and brothers, does all of the filming for the YouTube channel.


“Seeing young farmers get excited after watching the videos is what it’s all about,” Mitch said. “I am also aware that a lot of kids are watching so my channel is family friendly. There is no swearing. All YouTube channels are required to run at least some ads, but I can control the type of ads to a certain degree. I always use the strictest setting.”

When it comes to video editing, Mitch is largely self-taught.

“I first started learning how to do it when my church asked me to edit a Christmas program video. After that, a friend taught me how to do more things like fade music in and out. Filming is easy, but the editing is harder and takes more time,” he said. “I do all the editing with some simple, free software on my own laptop and the music I use is from the YouTube library, which is public domain.”

Mitch started farming full time in the spring of 2020. One year later he made his first YouTube video, and he has made 50 since then.

“I do my best to be my honest self on my channel. Some days are easier to film than others. Some days go well and at other times, I make some pretty big mistakes. I film everything because anyone who farms knows things don’t always go smoothly,” he said. “Sometimes it is very humbling and difficult to film things like the breakdowns that result from my ‘operator errors.’ However, my goal is just to show all the imperfections and realities of farming. At the end of the day, what is important is growing and learning to become a better farmer and showing people that process.”

The vast majority of comments he receives on his videos are positive and encouraging.

“Jenny and I have been amazed at the overwhelmingly positive response to my channel. I’ve been able to connect with many great people all over the world, including a sugarbeet farmer from France. The positive comments have far outweighed the negative,” Mitch said. “When I have received negative comments, the first couple hit a little deeper than they do now. A lot of times it’s just an emotional, irrational comment and I shake those off pretty easily. However, I always try to understand the context and what the person is saying.”

A painting of a man and a woman in a tractor.
A painting of Beet Farmin' Mitch and his wife, Jenny, in their tractor. It was done by their friend, Gabriella Toquam, who is an architect.

Mitch encourages everyone who loves agriculture to find a way to share their passion and knowledge with consumers.


“Becoming active on social media can be intimidating but don’t let fear of putting yourself out there keep you from doing something. My advice to people who want to do it is to not take anything personally,” he said. “Be willing to accept criticism but stand firm in what you know to be true.”

Transparency is key it comes to advocating for agriculture, according to Mitch.

“Be yourself. You don’t have to try to be perfect or film perfectly. Just share what you are doing to help people understand, rather than to prove someone wrong,” he said. “We all eat, and everyone has different opinions of how our food should be grown. It can sometimes be difficult, but the best thing to do is just be upfront about the challenges you face in farming.”

Mitch also advises people not to get caught up in the numbers.

“It’s not about how many views or followers you have — that’s an easy trap to fall into. Those things aren’t inherently bad, but I don’t want to live for that,” he said. “Just stay focused on your passion and purpose. Everyone is in the same boat. We are our own worst critics and perfection is impossible, so give yourself some grace.”

Unity in agriculture is also something that cannot be stressed enough, according to Mitch.

“I am saddened when a fellow farmer poorly represents American agriculture. I have seen some big names in ag get into wrestling matches on social media and get a little demeaning of other people,” he said. “It’s important to be positive about all ag. Things aren’t always cut and dried or black and white, and I try to encourage ‘gray thinking’ in my videos. It’s important to be balanced because there are no simple answers. Farming varies greatly throughout America and we need to understand this when we advocate. There is some overlap, but we all have different farms with different conditions and challenges that we need to steward.”

Mitch feels that sharing the story of sugarbeet farming, with all its joys and challenges, is a personal calling.


“When it comes to the American sugarbeet industry, there are so many great things to tell. My favorite part of growing sugar beets is the unity and camaraderie that sugar beet harvest brings to the Red River Valley. From local businesses running extended hours to fellow townsfolk helping with harvest, it is something that resonates with most people in this area,” he said. “I’ve had people tell me about how decades ago, they would come to the Red River Valley and help with the harvest or work in the factories. It is a great testimony that I am only one story of the many in the sugar beet industry, and I know the best stories out there haven’t been filmed yet.”

The sugarbeet industry in the Red River Valley greatly appreciates Mitch’s advocacy, according to Harrison Weber, executive director of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

“Mitch’s channel is a great example of the opportunities we have as farmers to share what is really going on out in the countryside,” said Weber. “We, the RRVSGA, are regularly teaching policymakers about modern production practices, and Mitch’s work helps amplify this message to audiences across the US and the world.”

Short of an actual ride-a-long, videos and social media content from growers like Mitch are the best way to give consumers an authentic look into life on the farm, according to Dr. Courtney Gaine, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of the Sugar Association.

“It is fantastic to see the next generation of sugar farmers embracing social media. Consumers are already familiar with our product, sugar, but the more we can connect them with the plants, the process and our people, the more confident consumers will be with sugar and with our industry,” Gaine said. “At the Sugar Association we know we are blessed by our greatest asset — our people — and we need more passionate growers like Beet Farmin’ Mitch who are willing to open up their lives to share the story of real sugar with others.”

Mitch has many ideas for his Youtube channel and future videos. However, he said his biggest goal is to help others find their passions and share the faith that sustains him every day in farming and in life.

“Jenny had Colossians 1:17 inscribed on my wedding ring. It says, ‘He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.’ That is the reason the YouTube channel exists,” said Mitch. “Faith has given me a deeper purpose beyond stewarding a farm and producing food. Although growing food is core to living itself, life is more than food, and I have found the greatest peace in following Christ. It is challenging, but I have tasted, and I have seen that it is truly the sweetest of all things.”

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