The president of the American Coalition for Ethanol is a great representative of this grassroots organization that was formed in 1988 – a family farmer from South Dakota who believes in the ability of agriculture to help serve the nation’s energy needs.
“We have to keep reminding ourselves how fast we’ve grown in a relatively short time and answered the call of this country for a cleaner fuel for the environment, a fuel that would make us less dependent on some areas of the world that aren’t really our friends,” Herseth said in an interview at the 23rd annual Ethanol Conference and Trade Show in Kansas City on Wednesday.
Herseth is also a former state legislator and the father of Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), who is a strong champion for biofuels on Capitol Hill, so he knows a thing or two about politics and he’s frustrated with the current inability to grow the industry further due to the 10 percent blend wall and with distractions like indirect land use change. “We should actually get beyond that and say we don’t want to discuss this with you because you have no science to back it up,” he said.
He would rather focus on the positive impact ethanol has had on rural communities and land values. “I’m also a livestock producer, some of the livestock organizations haven’t been so happy with it,” said Herseth. “I’m a cow-calf operator yet I would never let that get in the way of supporting ethanol for what it’s done. I think it’s been terrific.”
Listen to or download my interview with Lars Herseth here: ACE Conference Lars Herseth