The 25th annual Fuel Ethanol Workshop was the first for Growth Energy, the ethanol industry organization formed late last year, and CEO Tom Buis was impressed with the turnout at the conference despite current economic conditions.
“I think everyone is really interested in moving forward,” Buis said. “Obviously we are going through some rough spots, economically, but I think people are optimistic and at the end of the day we will all win.”
Buis has only been on the job with Growth Energy for three months, but like the ethanol industry, his roots are in agriculture, operating a grain and livestock farm with his brothers in Indiana before moving to Washington DC and spending the past ten years with the National Farmers Union. His agricultural background allowed him to see the importance of the ethanol industry to the nation as a whole. “What we do in this industry is right,” he says. “Whether it’s creating jobs in rural America, or providing a profitable market for farmers, or revitalizing our rural communities, protecting our national security or reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
Buis is very excited about the announcement made at the FEW that the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) has united with Growth Energy to become Growth Energy Market Development. “They’ve spent well over a decade working on the marketing components of ethanol, the flex-fuel vehicles and E85 pumps,” he said. “We have to deal with the legislative and policy front, but we have to deal with the marketing component as well.”
Listen to Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Tom Buis from FEW here: