The 26th Annual Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo is officially underway and the mood is much more upbeat than it was last year.
“The industry has been through a couple of very difficult years,” said Mike Bryan, Chairman of BBI International, which sponsors the event. “So, we’re really glad to see the industry coming back, getting revitalized. We’re kind of sticking our heads out of the foxhole again and looking around on the horizon and so that’s very encouraging.”
Bryan says there are about 2200 attendees this year and 386 exhibitors, with 25 percent of those in attendance actual ethanol producers, making it the largest gathering of producers in the world.
One person not here this year who is sorely missed is Mike’s wife, Kathy Bryan, who passed away in July of last year after a valiant battle with cancer. “She actually started the Fuel Ethanol Workshop 26 years ago, this was her baby right from the beginning,” Bryan says proudly. To honor her memory, they are selling commemorative beer mugs to fund ethanol industry scholarships. “She started the scholarship a number of years ago and it was very dear to her heart to provide an opportunity for young people to get into the ethanol industry,” said Bryan. Already they have sold enough of the mugs to fund two $2,000 scholarships!
Listen to my interview with Mike Bryan in the player below, and check out photos from FEW 2010 in our Flickr photo album.