Growing Up Lyons

cindy zimmerman

Dr. Mark Lyons and Dr. Pearse Lyons at Alltech ONE 17

Dr. Mark Lyons was a young boy in 1980 when his father, Dr. Pearse Lyons, started Alltech with an investment of $10,000. Today, the global animal health company employs more than 4700 people with a presence in 128 countries, including the rapidly growing Chinese market where Mark is based as global vice president for the company.

The youngest Dr. Lyons says he definitely thought about pursuing a career outside his father’s company, but it was the beer that changed his mind. “We started in the ethanol industry and got into agriculture,” but Mark says the beer came about because after graduating from the University of Chicago his father bought the local 200-year-old Lexington Brewing Company that was closing and urged Mark to go study brewing in Scotland. “And that’s how we actually started with Kentucky Ale, so I headed off to Scotland with a beer to brew,” he said.

That was 1999 and Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. has since become a producer of the Kentucky Ale family of award-wining beers and spirits and is one of the few joint brewing and distilling operations in the world. In 2012, the company became part of the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® when it opened its Town Branch Distillery, which produces Town Branch® Bourbon, Pearse Lyons Reserve® and Bluegrass Sundown®.

This was my first year to attend the Alltech ONE symposium, even though AgWired has been there since 2008, and it was the first time I had met any of the Dr. Lyons’s so in the short five minutes I had to chat with Mark I really wanted to know what it was like growing up with a disruptor like his father: Interview with Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech

Mark’s topic at the Alltech symposium was Meeting the Demands of the “Rising Billion” – Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech 2017 presentation

Alltech ONE17 Photo Album

AgWired Energy, Alltech, Audio

American Ethanol Driver Wins

Cindy Zimmerman

The No. 3 Chevrolet owned by Austin Dillon’s grandfather, Richard Childress, returned to Victory Lane during the Coca-Cola 600 for the first time since the late Dale Earnhardt won his last race on Oct. 15, 2000 at Talladega.

It was the first career Monster Energy Series win for Dillon, who races the No. 3 Dow/American Ethanol/AAA Chevrolet SS team car, and the seventh year the NASCAR series has been powered by Sunoco Green E15. Dillon thanked “those partners that were here from the very beginning – Dow, American Ethanol – it feels so good to deliver. They had to believe in me no matter what.”

The American Ethanol partnership, which includes Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), sponsored the 2014 return of the No. 3 car owned by Richard Childress Racing (RCR). “This is an incredible victory for the No. 3 team, and the entire American Ethanol family is filled with pride – we knew this day would come,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

“NCGA is obviously thrilled by the win because it further validates the abilities of ethanol fuel on the road and on the track. Specifically, it provides great positive exposure for E15 at a time when the fuel is beginning to make significant gains in consumer retail space, said Paul Jeschke of Illinois who serves as chairman of NCGA’s Ethanol Action Team.

The No. 3 was not wearing the American Ethanol paint out for the Charlotte race but it is featured at six races during the year with the next one being the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach on July 1.

American Ethanol, NASCAR

POET Founder to Receive BIO Award

Cindy Zimmerman

POET founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Broin will receive the 10th annual George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology at the 2017 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology July 23-26, 2017 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

“Jeff Broin is one of the great innovators and entrepreneurs in the industrial biotechnology sector,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “He ranks among the most influential leaders in agriculture as well.”

The George Washington Carver Award is also sponsored by the Iowa Biotechnology Association. Joe Hrdlicka, executive director of the Iowa Biotechnology Association, said, “Jeff Broin has created an environment at POET where new ideas thrive throughout the value chain of new economic opportunities for American agricultural producers and rural communities. His business model truly reflects the ideas and passion spawned by George Washington Carver a century ago.”

Jeff Broin led the growth of POET from a small 1-million-gallon facility 30 years ago to the current POET network of 28 biorefineries in 7 states with 1,800 team members. The annual Carver award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to building the biobased economy by applying industrial biotechnology to create environmentally sustainable products and Broin becomes the 10th recipient honored with the award.

BIO, Ethanol, Ethanol News, POET

Video Explains Impact of Changing RFS Obligation Point

Cindy Zimmerman

The Main Street Energy Alliance (MSEA) has released a video about the negative impact of shifting the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) point of obligation.

“It’s important for Americans to understand that shifting the point of obligation in the Renewable Fuel Standard will disadvantage small business owners and decrease the overall consumption of renewable fuels in the country,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for MSEA. “The issue is quite complex, but this new video effectively walks viewers through the facts and should serve as an educational tool for those who wish to inform themselves about the issue.”

Representing more than 30 energy companies and trade associations, including fuel retailers and biofuel producers, MSEA is urging the administration to resist the calls of a few special interests to alter the point of obligation requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Watch the video here:

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFS, Video

Ethanol Production Picks Up Again in May

Cindy Zimmerman

U.S. ethanol production has been over a million gallons again for the last three weeks, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

After five weeks of below a million gallons, production picked up again at the beginning of May. As a result, the four-week average for ethanol production as of May 19 was just over a million gallons, for an annualized rate of 15.44 billion gallons.

The first week of May also saw the first ethanol imports in 37 weeks. Imports of ethanol totaled 28,000 b/d the week of May 5 but dropped to zero again the past two weeks.

Average weekly gasoline demand surged to 407.6 million gallons (9.704 million barrels) daily last week, the highest level since mid-August 2016. However, refiner/blender input of ethanol dipped slightly from last week’s 40-week high, falling 0.2% to 949,000 b/d.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Americans Drive One Billion Miles on E15

Cindy Zimmerman

American drivers across the United States have logged more than 1 billion miles on E15, according to an analysis of fuel sales and consumption data reported by major gasoline retailers by Growth Energy.

“American drivers are taking advantage of the proven performance, environmental benefits, and savings E15 provides,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “That’s why Congress should pass the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act and give drivers freedom to choose E15 year-round. This common-sense fix to the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) law will end confusing restrictions on retailers and allow consumers to choose a fuel that is kinder to the earth, good for their engines, and saves them up to 10 cents per gallon each trip to the pump in the summer.”

E15 is now sold at more than 800 retail outlets in 29 states and more E15 pumps are being added almost daily.

E15, Ethanol, Growth Energy

New Iowa Governor Prioritizes Biofuels

Cindy Zimmerman

Like her predecessor, the new governor of Iowa intends to make renewable fuels a priority in her administration.

In her inaugural speech on Wednesday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds made innovating Iowa’s energy policy her second priority, just behind reforming the state’s tax code. “For years, our fields have fed the world. Now, they energize it. They produce products that fuel cars and they host wind turbines that power our communities and businesses,” said Reynolds. “And yet, those fields are filled with untapped potential. Our energy plan will help us continue to lead the way in wind energy and renewable fuels. Working together, we can have the most innovative energy policy in the country.”

Reynolds replaces Terry Branstad, the longest serving governor in U.S. history and a tireless biofuels advocate who was just confirmed this week as Ambassador to China.

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Government

RFA Launches Summer Ethanol Price Reporting Contest

Cindy Zimmerman

The unofficial start of summer is next week and the Renewable Fuels Association is giving people a chance to win $50 in free fuel per day all summer long just for reporting prices for higher ethanol blends around the country. Beginning on Memorial Day, RFA is launching the “Ethanol Days of Summer” contest, allowing anyone to report the price posted for E85 and other ethanol blends just by being registered on and submitting prices any day, every day for multiple stations each day. Registered users can also download the E85 Prices mobile app so they can submit prices right on their phone. Daily winners will be drawn through Labor Day, and winners will be announced every two weeks.

“This contest will not only drive traffic to these stations, but it will help us maintain the best ethanol station locator website, along with pricing information for those stations,” said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White.

In this edition of The Ethanol Report podcast, White explains more about the contest and, which was acquired by RFA in 2015, is crowdsourced and offers updated prices for E85 and other ethanol blends, including E15, from thousands of stations across the country.

Listen to this episode here: Ethanol Report on Days of Summer Contest

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Audio, E85, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFN

Kwik Star Adds 17 E15 Locations in Iowa

Cindy Zimmerman

Kwik Star has recently added E15 to 17 of its Iowa locations, bringing the total E15 fueling locations for the state now to 121.

Kwik Trip – which operates in Iowa under the name “Kwik Star” – intends to add E15 to almost all of its 550 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa over the next few years.

“Kwik Trip prides itself in offering the best customer experience and the most choices,” said Kwik Trip General Manager of Fuel Procurement and Marketing Joel Hirschboeck. “This is just another example of how we provide industry leading guest service, by offering a new product with more octane at a lower cost than Regular Unleaded.”

Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw says the recent E15 openings makes Kwik Star Iowa’s 2nd biggest provider of E15 for drivers. “Kwik Star is bringing E15 to new areas around the state and introducing consumers to a high-preforming fuel that reduces cancer-causing chemicals and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Shaw.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

Sec. Perdue Defends Trump Budget

cindy zimmerman

Farmers and ranchers are concerned about President Trump’s “Taxpayer First” budget released this week but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended significant cuts to USDA in the name of balancing the budget.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to sugar coat this,” Perdue said to reporters on a press call Tuesday. “But I believe the people knew what they were doing when they elected President Trump…I think many believe as I do – I just don’t think it’s moral to continue to kick a $20 trillion debt down to our grandchildren.”

The budget cuts USDA staff, crop insurance, conservation programs, and food assistance and eliminates funding for some programs including the Market Access Program (MAP), Foreign Market Development (FMD) program and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Joining Perdue on the call was Acting Deputy Secretary and Budget Officer Michael Young, who ran USDA for the first four months of this year and was the one who actually worked on the budget before Secretary Perdue was confirmed. He explained the budget cuts and answered all of the reporters’ questions.

Perdue and Young will both testify before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture today at 10 am Eastern time.

Listen to the press conference here. USDA budget presser

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, Audio, USDA