Farmers Resist Ethanol Buyout

Cindy Zimmerman

MME LogoMid-Missouri Energy, a farmer-owned ethanol plant, is the topic of a New York Times article on local plant investors resisting the lure of big money.

According to the story, the farmer-investors in the small town of Malta Bend, Mo are being courted by “offers — some as high as $275 million” to buy the plant which opened in 2005. MME Plant

So far, however, the plant owners have said no. To them — and to many other farmers who have invested in ethanol around the country — the ethanol plants represent more than a winning lottery ticket. Instead, they signify an emotional investment in the future of their farms and communities, a chance for greater independence and a sense of pride that they are helping make America less dependent on foreign oil.

The article talks about one potential investor who visited the plant claiming to “represent a pool of $11 billion aimed at ethanol investments, and outlined a bid of about $275 million.”

“He didn’t really know what ethanol was,” said Ryland Utlaut, a veteran of 40 years of corn farming who is the president of Mid-Missouri’s board. “That bothers me. We built this plant.”

The full story from the NY Times requires registration to view but it is an interesting look at what this investment in America’s domestic fuel future really means to the farmers who are making it happen.

Ethanol, News