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.

Ethanol Gets Iowa Football Fans Pumped Up

Did you know that 60 cents of each gallon of E85 purchased stays in the state of Iowa? I didn’t know that until I participated in the Iowa Corn Fed Game Day pump rally at Riverside, Iowa to get people “pumped up” for the upcoming Iowa State versus Iowa football game. Another way to look at this is for each gallon of E85 you purchase, 85 cents stays in America; whereas if you purchase E10, only 10 cents stays in America while 90 cents heads out of our borders.

Here are two more interesting facts. Did you know that Iowa is ranked #9 in the country; yet non-ranked Iowa State has the most difficult schedule this year?

And one more…Did you know that Iowa is the leading producer of corn and ethanol in the country? Iowa boasts 40 ethanol plants that produce more than 3 billion gallons of ethanol each year saving consumers money at the pump with each mile they drive.

So where did I learn these nifty facts? From an actual corn farmer, Dick Gallagher, who was on hand to educate consumers about ethanol blended fuels as well as educate consumers about all the products that have corn in them..shirts, biodegradable plastics, carpet, tires, and more. They all use corn as one of their ingredients and whether you realize it or not, our lives would not, and could not, be the same without our corn farmers.

Speaking of our corn farmers, they are growing enough corn to meet all of our needs for food, feed and fuel, both here in America as well as overseas and they are doing it each year using less land.

But let’s hope that Iowa State doesn’t score less than Iowa but scores more than Iowa, but I digress.

Kum & Go was a sponsor of today’s pump rallies and they have been a long-time ethanol supporter. Matt Chase, with Kum & Go told me that 31 of their stores in Iowa sell E85, more than any other retailer, and all of their stations sell E10 blended fuels.

The Iowa Corn Fed Game Day promotion is sponsored by Iowa Corn Growers Association and continues all week long leading up to game day on Saturday. The game begins at 2:30 pm CST but come early. Iowa Corn will have a booth set up at Krause Family Plaza at 10:00 am where they will hosting some fun games as well as the chance to win $5,000 in free food and $2,500 in free ethanol-blended fuel. You can also sign up online at www.iacornfed.com.

And one last cool fact to leave you with….Herky the Hawk is a HUGE fan of ethanol.

Iowa Corn Fed Game Day Highlights Food and Fuel

Did you know that Iowa is leading the way in both corn production and ethanol production but corn is not only used for ethanol? It is also an ingredient in more than 4,000 products including toothpaste, pizza, tires, drywall, bubblegum and more. The Iowa Corn Growers realized that many people don’t know this so they have developed a consumer promotion to educate Iowans about corn. It’s called the Iowa Corn Fed Game Day promotion and entails a sponsorship of the Iowa State vs. Iowa football, wrestling and basketball games.

I spoke with Mindy Williamson, the Iowa Corn Growers Director of Communications, to learn more about the benefits of their Iowa Corn Fed Game Day sponsorship. “We like to call it the Super Bowl of Iowa because Iowa and Iowa State is our biggest rivalry here,” said Williamson.

“The Iowa Corn Growers in Iowa wanted to get together and talk about things other than ethanol,” continued Williamson. “We love ethanol as corn growers but we know there are also 4,000 other products made from corn. We want Iowans to know what those are and how those affect their life.”

Williamson said that one benefit of the sponsorship is that it gives them a venue to educate people about how many products use corn. Another benefit is that they want to bridge the gap between food and fuel and this is a way to do that. “There’s not a competition there. There is plenty of corn. We are excellent at growing corn for both markets,” explained Williamson.

Iowa Corn Growers have launched a promotion to bridge that gap along with the Iowa Corn Fed Game Day. They are giving away $5,000 in groceries and $2,500 in ethanol. You can sign up multiple times online at www.iacornfed.com or at the upcoming football game or even during some of the pump rallies leading up to the game which are being held September 7, in and around Iowa City, Iowa.

Flex-fuel vehicle drivers can fill up their tank with E85 for .85 cents and any driver can sign up to win food and fuel. Herky the Hawk will also be there to get everyone jazzed up for the game. If you miss the pump rallies, then come on over to the Krause Family Plaza Friday, September 11 starting at 10:00 am. CT.

Can’t wait to see you there!

You can learn more about the Iowa Corn Fed Game Day events by listening to my interview with Mindy here. Iowa Corn Fed Game Day

Ethanol Promotion Success at Sturgis

Promotion of ethanol to motorcycle lovers was a bigger success this year than last.

Ethanol Report PodcastThis edition of the “Ethanol Report” with Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Director of Market Development Robert White takes a look at how their sponsorship at the 70th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally went this year.

RFA Sturgis Fueled with Pride 2010This is the second year that RFA partnered with the Legendary Buffalo Chip campgrounds which is the main venue for the huge motorcycle rally that draws hundreds of thousands each year, and this year was even bigger than last year. “We had a much larger than anticipated crowd,” Robert says. “Attendance was less than 500,000 last year and while the final numbers aren’t in, most are suggesting it was above 800,000 this year.”

That gave Robert lots of opportunities to talk with motorcycle owners about using ethanol in their engines, which most of them are doing without even knowing it. “There’s 16 states out there that don’t require labeling at the pump for anything 10 percent and below, so a lot of these guys and gals have been using ethanol for some time and just didn’t know it. So, they are their own case study.”

There was lots of ethanol signage and giveaways at the campground and during the concerts at the venue and RFA also utilized social media for promotions at the event. “I was giving away ethanol t-shirts that were Sturgis 2010 specific on Twitter and Facebook and we had a Facebook Fan Appreciation party where over 100 people showed up and the only way they were invited was through Facebook,” Robert says. Pictures of the event can be found here on RFA’s ethanolpics Flickr photo album.

Listen to Robert tell the story of promoting ethanol at Sturgis in this Ethanol Report podcast. Sturgis Recap Report

You can subscribe to this twice monthly podcast by following this link.

Pitching for Ethanol

Ethanol hit a home run at the Iowa Cubs game last night in Des Moines.

With the help of Renewable Fuels Association chairman Chris Standlee of Abengoa Bioenergy throwing out the first pitch, the Iowa Cubs beat Oklahoma City RedHawks 8-5 Wednesday night in front of 9,088 fans on Ethanol Night at Principal Park.

The promotional event featured ethanol information and displays, ethanol t-shirts and giveaways. Ethanol industry leaders from Iowa and around the nation attending the event, which was held in conjunction with RFA’s quarterly board meeting being held in Des Moines this week.

Looks like it was lots of fun for everyone – see all the photos here in the RFA Flickr Photo Album from the event.

Ethanol Report on Motorcycle Rally Partnership

Ethanol Report PodcastThis edition of the “Ethanol Report” with Renewable Fuels Association Director of Market Development Robert White talks about their sponsorship at the 70th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, August 6-14 in Sturgis, SD.

RFA Sturgis Fueled with Pride 2010Robert, who is an avid motorcyclist himself, says this is the second year they have elected to have a presence at this event, partnering with the Legendary Buffalo Chip campgrounds which is the main venue for the rally. “More than 100,000 people a day trek through this campground,” he said. “Across the campground, we’ll have banners, educational material and promotional giveaways like koozies at all the local watering holes.”

This may seem like an unusual place to promote ethanol, but Robert says it’s really a great American event for them to reach out to a large number of people in a wide demographic range. “We like the opportunity of having that many people in one small area to educate consumers about ethanol,” said Robert. They will be able to talk with them about the safety of low level ethanol blends up to 15 percent for motorcycle engines, as well as the availability of E85 and mid-level blends for the flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) they may have at home.

Listen to more from Robert in this Ethanol Report podcast. Sturgis Ethanol Report

You can subscribe to this twice monthly podcast by following this link.

Everyone Wins in Ethanol Border Battle

Everyone was declared a winner in a Minnesota-Wisconsin border battle this week between two fuel retailers on opposite sides of the St. Croix River.

The promotional event on Thursday featured a rush-hour special where both stations sold E85 (85 percent ethanol fuel) at an 85 cents per gallon discount from 4-6 pm. The promotion was supported by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, Holiday Companies, Erickson Oil, American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest and MN & WI Clean Air Choice Teams.

It was all in good fun as Alice in Dairyland (aka Cheryl O’Brien), Wisconsin’s official agricultural ambassador, squared off with the University of Minnesota mascot Goldy Gopher. However, when it came right down to it, Bob Moffit with the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest reports that the Wisconsin station ultimately won the border battle, selling 589 gallons of E85 during the two-hour promotion, while the Minnesota station sold 447 gallons.

Thanks to Bob for the photo!

Growth Energy to Unveil Ethanol TV Campaign

Growth EnergyGrowth Energy is set to unveil an aggressive new television advertising campaign on Monday and is planning “watch parties” and press conferences at different locations around the country to kickoff the new commercials, as well as a live webcast. The $2.5 million national TV advertising campaign is being called a first for the ethanol industry.

Growth Energy leadership, including co-chairman General Wesley Clark, CEO Tom Buis, and advisory board member Jim Nussle will make the announcement at 10:00 am Eastern time Monday from Washington, DC to introduce the six television spots that are set to air on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and Headline News. “Watch Parties” have already been scheduled in Wisconsin at the State Capitol and in Sacramento, California at The Citizen Hotel.

Find out more on Growth Energy’s newly revamped website.

Propel Fuels’ E85 for 85 Cents Event Draws Attention

Ethanol champion David Stoltz's converted E85 truck

Earlier this week, my colleague posted a story about Propel Fuels’ E85 promotion that took place on February 24 and several of its stations in Sacramento. It was a big success, drawing quite a bit of attention from both consumers and the media alike. Biofuels enthusiast, Paul Wikoff participated in the event and sent DomestcFuel some photos including one of local Sacramento resident Dave Stoltz’s and his 1984 Toyota truck that he converted to run E85 (larger jets in the carburetor). Stoltz also restored Darryl Hannah’s “Kill Bill” Trans Am and converted it to run on E85. Darryl Hannah is also a huge supporter and spokesperson for biodiesel.

Propel Fuels CEO Matt Horton Kicks Off E85 Promo

On hand for the event were Propel Fuels’ CEO Matt Horton, representatives from Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District and the US Postal Service. Wikoff noted that thousands of gallons of both ethanol and biodiesel were sold offsetting imported petroleum and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, which is a goal of the Low Carbon Fuels Standard that took effect in January of this year.

Propel Fuels was happy with the event and plans on monitoring its E85 and biodiesel sales over the next few weeks to determine if they gain more ethanol and biodiesel customers. The company is also planning on opening 50 more stations in San Francisco and Southern California this year and anticipates that it will support these new stations with additional E85 promotions. BTW – I just wanted to send Paul a special thanks for sending us the story and pictures!

Flex-Fuel Photo Challenge: Cutest Kid

rfa-e85The E85 Flex-Fuel Challenge, a contest by the Renewable Fuels Association, is offering a lucky winner a pretty nice holiday present. The cutest kid photo will win a year’s supply of fuel.

Here’s how it works.

• Take the most adorable or funny snapshot of your child.
• Submit the photo by midnight on January 5th.
• Vote for your child – or the cutest photo if you didn’t submit a photo.
• Win a free year of fuel.

The grand prize is free fuel for a year and the photo that gets the most votes will win a $500 fuel card. The first 1,000 people to register will receive a reusable grocery bag.

Click here to learn more about the contest and to submit your photo.