About Chuck Zimmerman

Chuck Zimmerman is the professional agriblogger, farm podcaster and President of ZimmComm New Media.

Growth Energy Holds Executive Leadership Conference

Growth EnergyGrowth Energy is holding its annual Executive Leadership Conference this week in Orlando, FL. Most of the members got the opportunity to attend the Daytona 500 race this past weekend. Now it’s time for business.

The emcee for the event is Kim Coon, former Miss Sprint Cup and announcer for Motor Racing Network. On the stage this morning will be Jeff Broin, Chairman for Growth Energy and Tom Buis, CEO. Keynote speakers include Chuck Todd, MSNBC and Brent Dewar, NASCAR. There are several panel discussions and a membership forum before the conference concludes on Tuesday.

I will be speaking with Jeff Broin and Tom Buis to get their outlook on the industry and for the future of Growth Energy. More to come.

State of the Ethanol Industry at #RFANEC

Bob DinneenThis morning at the National Ethanol Conference, Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association, gave his annual State of the Ethanol Industry Speech in front of over 1,000 attendees. He said that the domestic ethanol industry remains strong and touted its ability to successfully navigate the vagaries of the markets and overcome the perils of policy uncertainty.

“The strength of the U.S. ethanol industry is seen in its record production – 14.7 billion gallons, its record blending demand – 13.75 billion gallons, record feed production – 40 million metric tons, and record greenhouse gas reductions – 41.2 metric tons,” said Dinneen. “Those aren’t the stats of an industry in retreat, that’s an industry confident, defiant, and prepared to weather any storm.”

Dinneen called the U.S. ethanol industry the “cornerstone” of the rural economy, noting that it added $44 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and paid $10 billion in taxes last year. He drew a sharp contrast with what he characterized as the “boom and bust cycles” of oil extraction which, he said, can wreak havoc on economically-vulnerable communities.

You can read his full speech here.

You can listen to Bob’s speech here:

Speech on State of Ethanol Industry - Bob Dinneen, RFA

2016 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

Preview of National Ethanol Conference

Bob DinneenThe Reverend of Renewable Energy, Mr. Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association, in traditional fashion, provides us with a preview of the 21st National Ethanol Conference. The Conference kicked off this morning at English Turn Golf & Country Club with the annual NEC tournament. The weather threatened but held off for a beautiful day.

Bob says the agenda includes some great speakers including John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Company and Founder/CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy and our U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. It’s a very political year which he says is going to keep things interesting. In fact, we will also hear from Mike Murphy, Political Analyst, NBC News and Paul Begala, Political Analyst, CNN. That might even be entertaining.

Bob says that after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia the whole tone in Washington, DC changed. Between that tragedy and a shortened Congressional season due to the political conventions it will make it very hard for much action to be taken.

Here at the conference Bob says he wants to encourage members to look ahead, find and build new markets, feel proud of their industry. We’re also going to have a session on how to communicate with the consumers of today.

You can listen to my interview with Bob here: Interview with Bob Dinneen, RFA

Winning Potential for Bioheat in Northeast

Biodiesel and Bioheat ForumMinnesota State Representative Clark Johnson was one of many people participating in this week’s Biodiesel & Bioheat Forum held in Mankato, MN. He serves on the Agriculture Committee and is very interested in biodiesel. He likes the idea of using biodiesel for Bioheat because “there are lots of winners,” like farmers, producers and the environment. And he likes winning.

He sees a huge potential in the northeast U.S. for biodiesel to heat homes. Here at the Forum he was looking forward to hearing from some of the attendees from New York and other states that are involved in blending and distribution of Bioheat.

You can listen to my interview with Rep. Johnson here: Clark Johnson, MN State Representative

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

Biodiesel & Bioheat Forum

Biodiesel & Bioheat ForumThe Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council is conducting a first ever event today in Mankato, MN. The event, “Biodiesel 2015 & Beyond: A Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum,” brings together biodiesel industry market developers, researchers and a number of representatives of east coast oil heat and fuel companies. The open forum is providing an educational look at what’s going on in the biodiesel industry and the work being done to develop bioheat as a good heating fuel option for the northeast.

The program was divided into two sessions moderated by Tom DiBacco, broadhead. In the first session we heard from Paul Nazzaro, Nazzaro Group, NBB Petroleum Liaison, providing an overview of biodiesel markets. He is followed by John Wenzel, FC Stone, who talked on emerging markets. Next up was John Huber, National Oilheat Research Alliance and Michael Trunzo, New England Fuel Institute who spoke about Bioheat and the evolution of Oil Heat.

Although I plan to share personal interviews with each of these presenters I thought I’d go ahead and let you listen to the first session which ends with a question and answer session.

You can listen to the session here: Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Session 1

You can find a lot of photos from the forum her: Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

Time to Learn More about Biodiesel & Bioheat

Biodiesel and Bioheat ForumNext week I’ll be attending the Biodiesel and Bioheat Forum, sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Want to join me? Get registered now.

Home heating oil and biodiesel leaders will discuss a biodiesel blend with significant environmental and economic benefits and the role Minnesota soybean farmers can play in meeting the demand of this market.

“The Midwest use of biodiesel is lower in the winter while the East Coast use of heating oil is much higher,” said Tom Slunecka, CEO of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. “Minnesota has an opportunity to grow our supply and better serve both markets.”

Some of the panelists scheduled to appear include: Continue reading

What Are Crop Conditions Like In Your Area

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What’s on your grill this July 4th?”

Hot dogs and hamburgers came out on top and the other category included ribs and brats. We hope everyone had a safe and tasty Independence Day!

Here are the poll results:

  • Hot dogs – 22%
  • Hamburgers – 22%
  • Steak – 17%
  • Chicken – 17%
  • Other – 17%
  • Fish – 5%
  • Pork chops – 0%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, How are the crops in your area looking?

Lots of areas in the United States are suffering from either too much moisture or not enough this growing season. Whether it’s the drought in California causing farmers to fallow land, too much rain in Texas delaying the planting of cotton, or so many areas in the Midwest getting so much rain that fields are being flooded, Mother Nature is throwing lots of curve balls. How do the crops look in your part of the country? And please feel free to leave some comments.

Our Poll on RFS Changes Gets Mixed Results

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Will EPA change RFS volume proposal?”

The EPA recently released a new proposal for biofuels volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard – one that has made no one happy but particularly corn farmers and ethanol producers who note that the agency is not implementing the law as intended. EPA held a public hearing to get comments on the proposal but will it lead to a change? Half of those who took our recent poll believe that the EPA won’t change RFS volumes. Time will tell.

Here are the poll results:

  • No – 50%
  • Yes – 29%
  • Maybe – 21%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What’s on your grill this 4th of July?

Beyond fireworks, grilling seems to be a top priority when families and friends gather to celebrate Independence Day. July is also known as National Hot Dog Month. So, will you be joining the tradition by eating hot dogs on the 4th or will you be grilling up something else?

Abe Hughes Joins POET

Abe HughesCongratulations to our good friend Abe Hughes for his new career opportunity with POET. I just spoke with Abe by phone to find out more about what he’s doing now as POET Senior Vice President of Business Development. From the release:

In this role, Hughes will help guide POET’s strategies for continued growth, whether through independent initiatives or partnerships, both in the U.S. and abroad.

“I’m excited to join the experienced and visionary leadership team at POET to help further shape the future of the biorefining and alternative energy industry,” Hughes said. “I look forward to helping POET continue its leadership, innovation and growth through unique partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, licensing and international expansion opportunities.”

“Abe’s experience and his personality are a great fit at POET,” CEO Jeff Lautt said. “There are exciting opportunities ahead in this industry, and I know Abe will help us make the most of them.”

Prior to joining POET, Hughes was Vice President North America for New Holland Agriculture and Construction, a world leader in the manufacture and sale of tractors, combines, hay tools and other agricultural and construction equipment.

Listen to the excitement in Abe’s voice as he tackles this new challenge with POET: Interview with Abe Hughes, POET

Winner of American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen

Winner American Ethanol 200The winner of the 2015 American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen is Erik Jones. This is his fifth victory in 26 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and first in 2015.

The photo is Erik’s team along with the folks from Syngenta/Enogen. The winner’s circle is THE place to be! In my photo album I’ve got over 300 photos from today’s activities that I hope you will enjoy and share.

It has been a long day so I’m calling it quits now. However, expect to see and hear more from Iowa Speedway this coming week. I have a number of interviews to share that I think you will enjoy.

2015 American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen Photo Album

Coverage of the American Ethanol 200 sponsored by Enogen
Coverage of the American Ethanol 200 is sponsored by Enogen