The 22nd Ethanol Conference & Trade Show in Milwaukee kicked off with an announcement of the largest ever consolidated effort to install 5,000 mid-level blend, or blender pumps, throughout the country: BYOethanol. I know many of you are envisioning bringing your own ethanol to the upcoming college football tailgate party, but it really means, Blend Your Own Ethanol.
The partnership with the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), is aimed at reaching retailers about the competitive benefits of installing blender pumps and the program will assist them with questions and issues they have including helping them with funding opportunities.
I spoke with Ron Lamberty and asked him to expand on how the program will work. “It’s a program that the American Coalition for Ethanol, and the Renewable Fuels Association are working on together taking the resources of the National Corn Growers Association and several state corn grower associations to get out and inform petroleum marketers about the value of being able to see E85 adn other blends of fuel using a blender pump.”
Robert White, Director of Market Development for RFA expanded on his answer by explaining, “We’re throwing the whole kitchen sink at this one. The strongest piece will be information dissemination.” As part of the program, they will be at petroleum trade shows and conferences, they will advertise in their magazines and will launch their own magazine aimed at retailers.
Darrin Ihnen, a corn farmer from South Dakota and incoming president of NCGA beginning October 1, 2009, noted that NCGA was involved in this ethanol industry program because they, “need to take it (promoting ethanol) to the next level beyond just the E15 campaign. This blender pump program shows that you can use a higher percentage of ethanol in our motor vehicles.”
This three-year program has an initial funding base of nearly $1 million dollars and is significantly funded by NCGA as well as by several state groups including the Kansas Corn Commission, the Kentucky Corn Promotion Council, the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, the Nebraska Corn Board, and the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.
The website, www.byoethanol.com, will launch in September but in the meantime, people can visit ACE’s or RFA’s website for more information. You can see pictures from the conference in our Flickr photo album.