Features International Sugar Journal

A sweet tribute to Jack Roney’s influential career in sugar

As Jack Roney, the esteemed Director of Economics and Policy Analysis at the American Sugar Alliance, prepares for his well-deserved retirement, we have been reflecting on the immense impact that Jack has had on our industry.

His career in service to American agriculture has spanned nearly 50 years. First at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and then as the Washington Representative for the Hawaiian Sugar Planters. We have been privileged to have Jack at the American Sugar Alliance since 1996.

Jack skillfully led our industry through Farm Bills, advocated for sugar’s interests in policy proposals and trade negotiations, volunteered his expertise to Capitol Hill, provided critical economic analysis and importantly, became a dear friend to everyone he has ever worked with.

There has never been an issue that is too complicated for Jack; he approaches every challenge with both a deep understanding of the sugar industry and his characteristic Irish cheer.

In total, Jack worked on nine Farm Bills, six of which were during his time with the sugar industry. And when Congress or the U.S. government needed an expert on the sugar industry, their first call was almost always to Jack Roney. He served on the Sweetener Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade and testified countless times before Congress and other government agencies.

Part of Jack’s success has been his passion to ensure the U.S. sugar industry remains strong and viable to ensure U.S. sugar farms and cooperatives can be handed down to the next several generations, preserving an important way of life, good jobs and an important economic driver.

Jack is also well known throughout the global sugar industry. He frequently presented on international panels and was recognized as an international expert who understood the complexities of the world market and global sugar policies.

With credentials like these, it is no wonder that Jack is beloved by so many in the sugar industry. The American Sugar Alliance asked people to share their appreciation for Jack, and below is a small sample of the dozens of tributes we received:

L-R, Jack Pettus, American Sugar Cane League; Vickie Myers, American Sugar Alliance; Jack Roney, American Sugar Alliance; Phillip Hayes, American Sugar Alliance; Luther Markwart, American Sugarbeet Growers Association; Dr. Courtney Gaine, The Sugar Association.

“The presentations you’ve made in testimony and at conferences have been the gold standard by which everyone else’s presentations or testimony were measured, and very few ever measured up to yours.” – Paul Ryberg, International Sugar Trade Coalition

“It’s hard to imagine this industry without you and your contributions have been so great, so numerous and so varied.” – Andrea Kavaler, LMC International

“Your breadth and knowledge in this industry is second to none… and more remarkable is the degree of respect and appreciation that the participants in the sugar industry have for you.” – Dr. Rob Johansson, American Sugar Alliance and former Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

“We have been delighted to enjoy your company all of these years and to be enlightened by your extraordinary insights into the economics of the North American sugar market.” – Humberto Jasso, Mexican Sugar Chamber

We are grateful to have worked alongside Jack for so many years. He has left a huge footprint on our industry and will be greatly missed. We wish him all the best in his retirement and know that he will always be central to the success of America’s sugar industry.


Vickie Myers

Executive Director of the American Sugar Alliance