Ethanol Really Does Create Jobs

Cindy Zimmerman

An op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this week gives a real world example of how ethanol is a job creator for the nation.

Today, Christopher Wense is an operations technician for the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, but less than three years ago he had been laid off from his job at U.S. Steel in Granite City after the coke ovens at the facility closed. Faced with having to learn a new trade at 41 years old, Wense decided to pursue a degree in process operations technology at a local community college because he was interested in the growth potential of the renewable fuels industry.

Wense had the opportunity to intern at NCERC and in February of last year accepted a full-time position at NCERC as an ethanol plant operations technician, while also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management and Applied Engineering at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

“I am so thankful to the NCERC for the opportunities I have been given,” says Wense. “I see endless growth opportunities for the U.S. ethanol industry, and providing people just like me with rewarding, long-term careers.”

Read his op-ed here.

Commentary, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Opinion

Real Cost of E15 Revealed in ACE Video

Cindy Zimmerman

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) recently released the third video in a series of fuel marketer-focused videos on flexfuelforward.com, part of a campaign featuring real world experiences of E15 and flex fuel retailers adding and marketing the fuels.

This latest video addresses one of the most common misconceptions about adding higher ethanol blends – that it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars for the equipment needed to sell E15 and flex fuels. The episode features retailers who either found they already had equipment that was compatible with E15 and flex fuels, or utilized programs available to help pay the difference between standard and flex fuel equipment. While many reports have focused on major retailers like Sheetz, QuikTrip, Kum & Go, and Casey’s adding E15 and flex fuels, this video shows the addition can be affordable and profitable for any size retailer.


ACE, Retailers, Video

Iowa RFA Elects Officers

Cindy Zimmerman

Iowa RFA president Eamonn Byrne

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) recently elected its Board of Directors, Officers, and Executive Committee for 2018.

Eamonn Byrne with Lakeview Plymouth Energy was reelected to a second term as President of IRFA. “We had a number of successes in 2017– including securing another year of funding for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program and protecting the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) levels,” said Byrne. “This year we will continue to advocate for a robust RFS and state and federal policies that increase consumer access to biofuels at the pump.”

Also elected:
Vice President – Bill Howell, POET Biorefining – Coon Rapids
Treasurer – Derek Winkel, Renewable Energy Group, Inc.
Secretary – Eric Hakmiller, Lincolnway Energy

Elected to join the IRFA Officers on the Executive Committee for 2018 are:
Past President – Tom Brooks, Western Dubuque Biodiesel
At-Large – Craig Willis, Archer Daniels Midland
At-Large – Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

Four Associate Members Join RFA

Cindy Zimmerman

Four new associate members have joined the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) for the new year. The new members are:

NALCO Water, based in Naperville, Ill., is a provider of water treatment and process improvements. An EcoLab company, NALCO Water has been a trusted partner to the ethanol industry for more than 15 years. It helps ethanol producers increase performance, lower the total cost of operation and boost profitability.

Whitefox Technologies, based in London, is focused on membrane applications and processes in the following areas: biofuel ethanol, pharmaceutical, industrial and potable ethanol. The company combines knowledge of membrane separation with efficient process integration for new or existing production facilities.

Renewable Fuels Nebraska, based in Lincoln, is the trade association for Nebraska’s ethanol industry, which produces more than 2 billion gallons annually, making it the second top state for ethanol production.

K Coe Isom, based in Lenexa, Kan., is a national accounting and consulting firm focused on food and agriculture. In addition to tax, audit and lending management, the company also consults with many biofuel producers on specific projects.

“Through technical expertise, consulting and lobbying, they are helping our industry grow to meet growing consumer demand, both domestically and abroad, and I look forward to them being active members for years to come, as we work together to expand marketplace opportunities for ethanol,” said RFA Vice President of Industry Relations Robert White.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

ACE to Hold 10th Annual Fly-in

Cindy Zimmerman

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) will hold its 10th annual Washington, D.C. fly-in March 21-22, 2018 and registration is now open.

“The purpose of our fly-ins is to put a human face on the ethanol industry and to communicate our policy priorities to Members of Congress and Executive Branch decision makers,” said Brian Jennings, ACE CEO. “The most effective lobbyists aren’t lobbyists at all, but rather farmers, ethanol producers, Main Street business leaders, retailers selling higher ethanol blends, and other grassroots individuals whose daily lives benefit from ethanol.”

During the ACE fly-in last spring, 75 ethanol advocates met with more than 120 members of Congress from 35 states. Participants included ethanol company investors and management, corn farmers, scientists, fuel marketers and gas station owners, including Jetz, Cresco Fast Stop, Midway Service, Good & Quick, Sheetz, and Propel Fuels.

“In ACE’s 10 years of hosting D.C. fly-ins, we’ve found that the most successful ones strike a balance between Hill visits with our champions and those with Members of Congress who may be new, opponents of our policy priorities, or live outside the Corn Belt,” said Shannon Gustafson, ACE Senior Director of Operations and Programming.

The meetings will take place at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel and on Capitol Hill. Find out more about the event, registration, and sponsorship opportunities – click here.

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Ethanol Report on 2017 Production

Cindy Zimmerman

Ethanol production averaged over a million barrels per day (b/d) for 44 out of 52 weeks in 2017 which means another record year for the industry. And despite a very average growing season, corn yield for 2017 is estimated at a record high 176.6 bushels per acre, and production was only down four percent because farmers planted less acres.

In this edition of The Ethanol Report podcast, Renewable Fuels Association senior vice president Geoff Cooper talks about the continued trend of higher corn and ethanol production in 2017 and what it means for the industry going forward.

Listen to it here: Ethanol Report 1-15-18

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Audio, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, RFA

Iowa Renewable Fuel Marketing Awards Presented

Cindy Zimmerman

Ron Burmeister with Iowa 80 (left) and Joel Hirschboek with Kwik Trip accept awards from Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey

Kwik Trip, Inc. and the Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott are the 2018 winners of the Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey’s Ethanol and Biodiesel Marketing Awards. The awards were created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to recognize fuel marketers that have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote and sell renewable fuels.

“Kwik Trip and the Iowa 80 Truckstop have both made marketing renewable fuels a central part of the business and it is great to recognize the commitment and investment they have made to do it successfully,” Northey said. The winners were announced and recognized during the Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores of Iowa Annual Meeting in Des Moines this week.

Kwik Trip, Inc, is winner of the 2018 Secretary’s Ethanol Marketing Award Kwik Trip, Inc. currently has 25 locations in the state of Iowa selling E15 and 25 locations selling E85. Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott is the winner of the 2018 Secretary’s Biodiesel Marketing Award. Iowa 80 Truckstop has offered biodiesel since 2002, which makes this the 15th anniversary of their program.

And, yes, Bill Northey is still Secretary of Agriculture for Iowa, over four months since he was nominated to be USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services and there is no word on when the Senate will be able to move forward since Sen. Ted Cruz put a hold on his confirmation over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol

National Biodiesel Conference to Celebrate 25 Years

Cindy Zimmerman

The biodiesel industry is heading to Fort Worth January 22 – 25 for the silver anniversary of the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo.

“Every conference we’ve sponsored has been an exciting event for our industry,” said National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Donnell Rehagan. “But this one is obviously going to be special as we take the opportunity to not only recognize the milestones we’ve passed over the last two-and-half decades, we’ll also look forward to meeting the challenges ahead as the industry continues to grow and plays an even greater role in America’s ever more critical energy sector.”

One of this year’s highlights will be a session with the filmmakers who premiered “Hot Grease” at the DOC NYC film festival before its debut on the Discovery Channel last November. The feature length documentary tells the story of biodiesel’s rise and the industry fight for survival in the face of numerous public policy challenges.

The public is also invited to the conference to explore the event’s Conference Central, where they can learn all about how biodiesel is made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, and to participate in a “ride-and-drive” with vehicles provided by area dealers and equipped with the latest diesel engines. A Texas driver’s license is required for local residents to attend free of charge.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen

Audio, Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, NBB

Ethanol Production Going Strong

Cindy Zimmerman

According to the first Energy Information Administration report for the new year analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association, ethanol production dropped below a million barrels a day for the first time in three months, while the last week of 2017 was still slightly above a million.

Ethanol production averaged 1.032 million barrels per day (b/d) for the week ending December 29, and 996,000 b/d for the week ending January 5. Ethanol production only dropped below a million barrels a day eight weeks in 2017.

The four-week average for ethanol production finished 2017 at 1.072 million b/d for an annualized rate of 16.43 billion gallons. Stocks of ethanol were 22.6 million barrels, a 2.7% increase and the largest reserves in 31 weeks.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Trump Puts Rural America in the Spotlight

cindy zimmerman

President Trump’s address to the American Farm Bureau Federation 99th annual convention this week in Nashville definitely brought agriculture some positive publicity, mentioning the word farmers over 25 times in his speech, more than any of the previous three presidents in all of their official speeches combined. Granted, that is just a guess but I feel safe in saying that if someone were to be able to fact-check it!

Farm Bureau estimates 7400 watched the president’s speech in person or on the Livestream, and thousands more have watched it since. Among those watching from home was former AFBF president Bob Stallman, who said it was the first convention he has missed in 30 years. The speech was also carried live by RFD-TV, Fox News and CBS. Agri-Pulse and RFD-TV were both granted interviews with the president. It was definitely a very big deal.

President Trump’s commitment to rural America with the signing of two presidential orders that will help increase broadband access out in the countryside, something that his Rural Prosperity Task Force made a high priority, was also a very big deal to many of the thousands at the event. Jamie interviewed a number of attendees to get their reactions, including FFA and 4H members, state Farm Bureau presidents, the Missouri Director of Agriculture and Mrs. Zippy Duvall. Listen to some of the comments here: Reaction to President Trump at #AFBF18

Watch President Trump video
AFBF President Trump Photos

2018 AFBF Convention Photo Album

AFBF, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio