Aventine Renewable Energy CEO and Renewable Fuels Association Chairman Ron Miller presented testimony before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Wednesday on the impact of the ethanol industry’s dramatic growth on rural America.
“Ethanol today is the single most important value-added market for farmers,” said Miller. “The increased demand for grain used in ethanol processing has increased farm income, created jobs in the agricultural sector, and revitalized numerous rural communities where ethanol biorefineries have been located.”
In dollar terms, Miller told the committee that the five billion gallons of ethanol produced last year in the US translated to “an additional $41.1 billion to gross national output; the creation of 160,231 jobs in all sectors of the economy and an increase in household income of $6.7 billion, money that flows directly into consumers pockets.”
Other witnesses at the hearing included USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins, Mr. J. Read Smith of the “25×25” Steering Committee, and Gene Gourley of the National Pork Producers Council. Some of the opening statements and audio from the hearing is available on the Senate Ag Committee website.