The ethanol industry is mourning the loss of another pioneer. Larry Johnson, known as the “Ethanol Answer Man,” passed away July 19 at the age of 76.
Larry was active in the Minnesota Corn Growers Assn., transitioning into ethanol promotion with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. He later became a private consultant to the ethanol industry, traveling around the country and the world promoting ethanol. He served on many boards and task forces, most recently as Secretary of AURI (Agricultural Utilization Research Institute).
Renewable Fuels Association Senior Strategic Advisor Bob Dinneen called Johnson a “titan” in the ethanol industry. “I learned a lot from Larry, some of which was ethanol related, most of which was about life and priorities,” Dinneen tweeted. “He will be sorely missed.”American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings said, “Like ACE’s founder Merle Anderson, Larry Johnson was first and foremost a Minnesota farmer who saw ethanol as a way to help rescue the rural economy from the 1980s farm crisis. Indeed, he was a driving force behind the effort to ensure farmers had an ownership stake in the ethanol industry. As the former President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and member of the National Corn Growers Association Board of Directors, Larry was also instrumental in pushing for public policies to benefit farmers and the ethanol industry.”