POET and Growth Energy Win Regional NAMA Awards

National Agri-Marketing AssociationEthanol industry campaigns targeting the general public and Congress have won top awards from Region II of the National Agri-Marketing Association, which covers the west central part of the country from Montana to Texas.

First place honors for “Television Ad Series” and “Best in Show” from the NAMA Region II went to a national TV advertising campaign for ethanol producer POET. The campaign includes three ads, each representing a different aspect of ethanol production. A farmer, a scientist and a plant manager recite free-verse poetry explaining their role in helping solve the nation’s fuel crisis. The campaign ran on Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC, CNN and HLN. The ads, which can be seen on POET’s website, were designed by 3 Advertising out of Albuquerque, N.M. POET’s website, which was also designed by 3 Advertising, won first place in the Internet Website category.

In the same region, the national advertising campaign “Facts” by Growth Energy won a First Place award for outdoor creative. The Facts ad campaign launched in April and ran through the fall, with nearly $3 million invested on national TV, on-line, traditional print, and outdoor ads. The outdoor creative segment of the campaign was Growth Energy’s “station domination” at the Washington, DC, Capitol South Metro station – the closest stop to the U.S. Capitol and the offices of the House of Representatives – which included 45 large-scale floor mats, pylon wraps, wall graphics and banners. The campaign also won a Merit Award in the multi-media category, for how the creative was used on national TV, on-line, and in traditional print and broadcast, as well as outdoor. The TV spots can be viewed on Growth Energy’s website.

The submissions now advance to the Best of NAMA National Awards in Kansas City in April.

Minnesota Stations Offer Frequent Ethanol User Cards

Three fuel stations in Minnesota are now offering drivers of Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) a chance to save money with frequent ethanol user cards.

The Meadowland C-Store Cenex in Wabasso, Meadowland Farmers Coop in Lamberton and Country Pride Services in Windom are providing frequent fuel punch cards (one per household) to the first 50 flex fuel vehicle drivers starting today. The punch cards will offer a $10 discount on the fourth tankful of E85, E50, E30 or E20 fuels they purchase at those locations.

The promotion is being supported by the American Lung Association in Minnesota, Redwood County Corn Growers Association, Cottonwood County Corn and Soybean Growers Association, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, US Department of Energy Clean Cities and the Minnesota Clean Air Choice Team. For more information, see www.CleanAirChoice.org.

Iowa City Woman Wins $7,500 In Free Fuel & Food

An Iowa City woman received a very welcome early holiday gift – free food and fuel for a year from the  Iowa Corn Growers Association. Katie Ortmann was the winner of the Iowa Corn Fed GameDay GiveAway campaign when her name was called during halftime of the Iowa State versus Iowa men’s basketball game held this past Friday, December 10, 2010 in Iowa City.

The year-long promotion, designed to highlight the many uses of corn and its importance to Iowa, traversed a year of Iowa State versus Iowa sporting events that included football, basketball and wrestling matches. Iowans were able to register to win from August 20th through November 20th and the grand prize was free food and fuel for one year valued at $5,000 in groceries and $2,500 in ethanol from Kum & Go.

Runner-up prizes were also awarded. Marc Foster, also of Iowa City, was randomly selected to win free food and fuel during the Iowa versus Iowa State wrestling meet on Friday, December 3. In addition, Chris Dodel’s name was drawn to win the same prize during the Iowa versus Iowa State women’s basketball game on Thursday, December 9th. He resides in Urbana, Iowa.

“We’ve reached thousands of people with the Iowa Corn Fed GameDay GiveAway promotion,” said Mindy Williamson, director of communications and public relations for the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) and the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). “Ethanol use was just one benefit featured in the program, which included food and feed uses for corn and messages about corn’s importance to Iowa’s economy, environment and energy independence.”

On behalf of ICGA and ICPB, Williamson thanked Kum & Go, Cyclone Sports Properties and Hawkeye Sports Properties for helping to sponsor the Iowa Corn Fed GameDay GiveAway sweepstakes that is part of a four-year contract with both Hawkeye Sports Properties and Cyclone Sports Properties. The promotion includes radio, television, internet, and on-site marketing and highlights the many uses for corn and its importance to Iowa- as everyday is GameDay for Iowa’s farmers.

E85 for 85 Cents on Saturday

For those lucky residents of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, you have a chance to kick off the Thanksgiving celebration with food and fuel this Saturday, November 20, 2010. Flex-fuel drivers (FFV) will have the opportunity to fill up with E85 for 85 cents per gallon from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at Woodman’s Market located at 8131 S. Howell Avenue, Oak Creek.

During a time when many Americans are going hungry, promoters are also encouraging the community to bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the Oak Creek Salvation Army food pantry.

But that’s not all. A special guest will also be on hand during the promotion – Guinness Book of World Records holder and Wisconsin resident Scott Dillman and his motorcycle. He recently completed the longest journey, 479 miles, on a pocket motorcycle running only on E85. The record took two attempts to succeed. He traveled from his home in Lamartine (Southeast of Fond du Lac) then onto Reedsburg, through Wautoma, Wisconsin Rapids, Thorp, Baraboo, Portage, and Beaver Dam. From there he headed home breaking the old record by 29 miles.

“The American Lung Association in Wisconsin recognizes E85 as a Clean Air Choice for its role in reducing harmful tailpipe emissions that cause lung disease,” says Jolene McNutt, clean fuels coordinator and a sponsor of the promotion. “Widespread use of E85 in flex fuel vehicles is one way to improve air quality for all residents of Wisconsin, especially the Milwaukee area where air quality play a large role in the health of our communities.”

For more information about the promotion, to determine if you drive an FFV and to learn more about the sponsors, click here.

Don’t Miss the Down on the Farm Solar Tour

Mississippi Solar is getting excited for the National Solar Tour, an event that showcases solar energy for home buyers, businesses and everyone in between. The event is overseen by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), and this year more than 650 tours are already scheduled for early October. This is the second year that Mississippi Solar will participate in the natural grassroots event.

“The appetite for solar in America’s southeast is growing, and Mississippi Solar’s Will and Carolyn Hegman are serving up some mouth-watering, cost-effective ideas to feed that hunger during their “Down on the Farm Solar Tour,’” said ASES National Solar Tour Manager Richard Burns. The tour is part of the non-profit American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event.

The “Down on the Farm Solar Tour” takes place October 2, 2010 from 9 am to 4 pm at 211 Popes Road, Carthage, Mississippi, 39051. Guided tours, which run every two hours beginning at 9 am, will highlight three distinctly different grid-tie installations. The first is a 2.4 kW solar carport ready for Tennessee-made electric vehicles rolling off assembly lines next year. Also featured is a ground-mount system with battery back-up. However, homes are not the only stop on the tour. Participants will also see the 8.4 kW, solar PV solution that sits atop a chicken house located at Spencer Pope Farms.

“We’re in the business of solar, but here in Mississippi we’re also in the business of educating. That’s what this tour is about,” said Hegman. “There are so many myths we’re battling, like there’s not enough sunshine to make solar viable – or that solar is just a fad. Truth is, all production figures for our solar installations have exceeded forecast projections thus far.”

Schools are getting involved in the tour by hosting their own solar day. In addition, the Choctaw Central High School, winners of the Hunt-Winston Solar Car Challenge, will also have their car on display. Click here to learn more about the “Down on the Farm Solar Tour.”

Ride for Renewables

This past Sunday, Tom Weis left Boulder, Colorado on a hybrid electric-assist recumbent trike on a 2,500 mile journey that will end in Washington, DC. Coined the Ride for Renewables, Weis is set out to gain support for his plan that calls for a 100% renewable electricity grid for the U.S. by 2020.

Weis believes that 2010 is the year America needs to set the agenda to address climate change and he is so passionate about making change, that he is willing to pedal across the country to build grassroots support for his plan. He writes on his website, “This is about everyday Americans “taking back our power” by demanding a green industrial revolution that will put unemployed Americans back to work, reestablish our role as world economic leader, and help ensure future generations a livable planet.”

Weis will be traveling through Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and ending in Washington, DC. Along the way, he will highlight local renewable projects, bring attention to old, dirty technologies that need to be replaced and solicit signatures for his petition that he will present to DC legislators. You can follow his journey online at www.climatecrisissolutions.com where he will post photos and videos and he will also be posting to various social media sites.

Solar is Cooking

The American Solar Energy Society’s (ASES) National Solar Tour is set to become the most successful solar event to date, with 648 community solar tours registered. The number of registered tours, which are designed to engage tens of thousands of citizens interested about solar, is nearly triple that of last year when 150,000 people across 49 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico participated.

“Interest in the solar industry is cooking, and consumers across the nation are eager to sample its wares, which bring enticing tax credits, cash rebates, improved property values and cleaner communities to home and business owners across America,” said ASES National Solar Tour Manager Richard Burns.

The 15th annual tour features open house tours of thousands of solar-powered homes, businesses and public agencies. The featured solar projects will demonstrate to consumers how they can save money on their energy bills, reduce carbon emissions and receive tax credits and cash incentives to install solar now. This year, the bulk of the tours will take place on or around October 2, 2010 in all 48 states with just North Dakota and West Virginia missing. In addition, Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are hosting their first solar tours.

According to ASES, among the projects of solar solutions showcased are investments that have helped a couple beat Wall Street with their green ROI, an Iraqi war veteran now fighting in the renewable revolution, solar-powered homes, schools, public agencies, condo complexes, and businesses that run the gamut from solar-powered poultry farms to funeral homes.

Burns says as technologies have evolved, so have the diversity and sophistication of the solutions showcased on the tour. But it is the practical, grassroots approach of the people behind the tours that have made this event such a hit across America. The self-guided and bus-hosted tours are organized by grassroots organizations and solar installers throughout the country. Many tours are free; some tour hosts are non-profits and may request a donation. Click here to register for a tour.

It’s Game Day In Iowa

It’s game day! The Iowa State versus Iowa football game is on for this afternoon and thousands will be watching as Iowa State tries to defeat #9 ranked Iowa.

Last night, the Iowa Corn Growers were treated to an inside look at football. As part of that experience, the University of Iowa cheerleaders stormed into the room leading cheers to pep everyone up. Herky was also there, dressed for game day and hammin’ it up once again for Iowa football and Iowa grown corn.

Throughout the day today you can follow Iowa corn growers as they educate consumers about what they do – grow our food and fuel at their consumer tent in Krause Family Plaza. Fans will get a chance to learn about the products that contain corn and register to win $5,000 in free food or $2,500 in fuel.

Tailgate safely and enjoy eating your food and drinking your beverages, made possible, in part by Iowa’s corn growers.

I’ll see you after kickoff.

You can see pictures from the event in the Iowa Corn Fed Game Day photo album.

Herky the Hawk Hams It Up for Ethanol

One day until the big game – the Iowa State versus Iowa football game that is. I will be at the game with the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board helping to educate fans about the benefits of ethanol as well as the role Iowa corn farmers are playing in biofuels development. Iowa is the number one producing state of both ethanol and corn. This has been highlighted all week during several promotions as part of the Iowa Corn Fed Game Day sponsorship and on Tuesday, Herky the Hawk was hamming it up for ethanol.

Speaking of corn, corn is an ingredient in more than 4,000 products and is an important part of our daily lives. Who knew, right? Fans will learn more about these products when they stop by the Iowa Corn Fed Game Day tent at the Krause Family Plaza tomorrow between 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Those who stop by can register to win $5,000 in free food and $2,500 in free fuel. You can also register online at www.iacornfed.com.

I will be posting updates tomorrow during the game. In the meantime, to get you pumped up for ethanol, watch Jerry Lalor with Fox 100.7 interview the non-talking but ethanol loving Iowa mascot, Herky the Hawk.

Kum & Go Supports Ethanol Blended Fuels

Iowa based Kum & Go is a huge supporter of ethanol. In Iowa, 31 of their stations sell E85 and in total 62 of their stations sell E85. In addition, every Kum & Go station offers consumers the choice to use E10 each time they fill up. The company is so passionate about offering consumers ethanol blends at the pump, that they have partnered with the Iowa Corn Growers Association on their latest initiative, Iowa Corn Fed Game Day. I spoke with Matt Chase to learn more.

The promotion is designed to educate consumers about ethanol, but also to educate them about how important corn is in their daily lives. More than 4,000 everyday products use corn. But consumers don’t have to worry about having to make a choice between food, products or fuel. Iowa corn farmers, along with corn farmers around the country, are growing enough corn to meet all of our needs. In fact, this year is expected to be another record harvest using less land than in previous years.

You can learn more about food, fuel and products at www.iacornfed.com where you can register to win $5,000 in free food and $2,500 in free fuel. You can also learn more about the uses of corn by visiting the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board during Saturday’s Iowa State versus Iowa football game in Iowa City. They will have a booth with fun activities set up in Krause Family Plaza from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 11, 2010.

Check out the photos from the pump rally here.