Marketing at Top Speed

EPIC at NAMA“Marketing at Top Speed” was the title of the presentation made to agrimarketing professionals this week in Kansas City by the executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC), Tom Slunecka.

Slunecka told the members of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) that ethanol has brought a major paradigm shift to agriculture that stands to benefit every segment of the industry, including the livestock sector, in the long term. He urged them all to become “ethanol evangelists” and promote the good news about the fuel to fight those who are trying to undermine it.

EPIC certainly has a great story to tell, growing an organization to promote ethanol in less than three years into what is a major success story. Just this year alone, Slunecka says they have generated over 700 million media impressions for ethanol – mostly due to their high profile with the Indy Racing League and other motor sports venues. Ethanol may seem to be generating a great deal of negative publicity, but as the saying goes “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” And there is no denying that ethanol has brought new life to rural America.

E85 Days of Summer

GMKrogerExpect some long lines at the pump Wednesday morning at the Kroger Store in Irving, Texas.

Kroger and General Motors have teamed up to sell E85 at that site for just 85 cents per gallon between 7:30 am and 9:30 am on August 8 as part of a promotion to spotlight GM’s flex fuel vehicles. The price is nearly 70 percent below the current price of more than $2.54 per gallon. Only flex-fuel vehicles can use 85 percent ethanol, but regular cars will be able fill up on E10 during the promotion for 20 cents off the regular price.

The first 100 customers with GM FlexFuel vehicles to fill up with E85 will also receive $25 Kroger refueling cards. Three of GM’s Chevrolet flex-fuel vehicles will be on display at the event – the Impala, Tahoe and Silverado.

Fill Up, Feel Good in Florida

e-podcast Florida stands ready to fill up and feel good as it endeavors to become a leader in both the production and consumption of biofuels, including ethanol.

This edition of “Fill up, Feel Good” discusses the “Florida Needs Ethanol” campaign being conducted by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council and features comments made by Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson, and EPIC Director of Operations Robert White at the recent Florida Farm to Fuel Summit in St. Petersburg.

The “Fill up, Feel Good” podcast is available to download by subscription (see our sidebar link)
or you can listen to it by clicking here (4:30 MP3 File): [audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3?http://www.zimmcomm.biz/epic/epic-podcast-7-31-07.mp3]

The Fill Up, Feel Good theme music is “Tribute to Joe Satriani” by Alan Renkl, thanks to the Podsafe Music Network.

“Fill up, Feel Good” is sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council.

Iowa Corn Growers Proud of Their IRL Involvement

Tim ReckerTim Recker is an Iowa corn grower and the president-elect of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. He says that corn growers are very proud of their work to bring the inaugural Iowa Corn Indy 250 to reality.

I interviewed Tim after he and other ICGA leaders unveiled the trophy for this weekend’s race. He says that the Iowa corn growers saw this race as an opportunity to really promote ethanol nationally and especially showcase all the work being done in Iowa to develop this renewable fuel resource.

You can listen to my interview with Tim here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/epic/iowa-corn-07-recker.mp3]

Iowa Corn Indy 250 Photo Album

Casey’s Pumps Discount Gas

Casey's Stores Pump PromotionOne of the ethanol pump promotions coordinated by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council this week was held at Casey’s General Store in Newton, IA just down the road from the Iowa Speedway.

The manager of the store is Shawn Retman pictured here on the right. Shawn says she’s really proud of her company for taking part in the effort to promote ethanol. During the day the store sold ethanol blended regular gas for a big discount. Quite a few people were lined up to fill up when I left. Casey’s is the official convenience store of the Iowa Speedway.

You can listen to my interview with Shawn here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/epic/iowa-corn-07-retman.mp3]

Iowa Corn Indy 250 Photo Album

Hy-Vee Iowa Ethanol Promotion

Hy-Vee Ethanol PromotionHy-Vee has been holding a couple of ethanol promotions here in Iowa during the IRL race week. One of them was held at a store in West Des Moines and Joe Miller, one of the store operations managers was on hand to talk about it.

Joe says that he thinks ethanol is important and he’s glad to do what he can to help promote it to the general public. He says that Hy-Vee is blending it in their gas. You can listen to my interview with Joe here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/epic/iowa-corn-07-miller.mp3]

Iowa Corn Indy 250 Photo Album

Iowa Corn Growers Unveil Trophy

Iowa Corn Growers Press ConferenceThe Iowa Corn Growers just held a press conference here at the Iowa Speedway to unveil the trophy for Sunday’s Iowa Corn Indy 250. It’s a tall good looking trophy.

The group show here consists of several board members and CEO, Craig Floss, speaking on the left. Craig made a short statement which you can listen to here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/epic/iowa-corn-07-icga-press-conf.mp3]

Iowa Corn Growers Press ConferenceHere’s some of the reasons why the Iowa Corn Growers is involved and supporting this inaugural race:

• Promote renewable fuels

• Give general consumers information about ethanol, specifically E85 market

• Indy Racing League (IRL) is running on 100% ethanol in the 2007 season

• Celebrating 30 years of the Iowa corn checkoff and the success of the ethanol industry we’ve worked so hard to build in the state.

• Iowa is the leader in corn and ethanol production and we are working to be the leader in renewable fuel usage.

Iowa Corn Indy 250 Photo Album

Talking With Jeff Simmons

KXNO Radio RemoteAt today’s Kum & Go pump promotion I got a chance to interview IndyCar driver Jeff Simmons once again. Jeff was on hand to pump ethanol enriched gas for customers during this midday promotion.

Jeff says this would be a great weekend for his first win and I and thousands of corn growers couldn’t agree more. You can listen to my interview with Jeff here: [audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/epic/iowa-corn-07-simmons.mp3]

He was also interviewed by quite a few local media representatives like KXNO-Am morning show man Larry Cotlar. KXNO is the local sports station. It was just a short live spot but I thought you might be interested to see Jeff in action with the media.

Iowa Corn Indy 250 Photo Album

Ethanol: The Hot Rod Fuel of the Future

Gale Banks with Gale Banks EngineeringNearly 50 years in the business of engine performance should be enough experience to earn one the title of “Auto Performance Expert.” Gale Banks with Gale Banks Engineering started his business in 1958. His business, which consists of designing engines for various factories, manufacturing his own line of engines and developing after market performance products, is just a year shy of that half-century milestone; and that experience was expertise enough to earn him a spot on a video segment with Jay Leno. When Chuck dropped by Jay’s garage last month, he spoke with Gale just before the taping about ethanol, the E85 ethanol fuel blend and what the food stock-based fuel means for performance:

[audio:http://www.zimmcomm.biz/audio/jay-leno-garage-banks.mp3] 3:36 mp3