Following up on the biofuels initiatives that he announced last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited First United Ethanol, LLC (FUEL) located in Mitchell County, Georgia on Monday to highlight the importance of ethanol production in all parts of the nation.
“The southeast is poised to really assist us in creating new biorefineries with a wide variety of feedstocks that can be grown in this part of the country,” said Vilsack.
“It’s a very timely visit,” said FUEL CEO Murray Campbell of Vilsack coming so soon after he announced important biofuels initiatives at the National Press Club. “Our business model and the jobs that have been created in southwest Georgia follow along in the outlines of that speech. It’s very important that these biofuel refineries be scattered around the country.”
FUEL is a 100 million gallon per year corn-based ethanol plant with 860 mostly rural investors from the local Georgia-Florida area. “Most of the ethanol plants in the Midwest are ‘rubber in and rail out’ and we’re sort of ‘rail in and rubber out,'” Campbell says. While most of their corn comes in by rail from the Midwest, they are starting to buy more local corn as farmers in the agricultural area surrounding the plant are starting to put more corn back in their crop rotation with peanuts and cotton.
Vilsack was joined during his visit by Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA), who is the representative for the district where FUEL is located. “He and all of our whole delegation from Georgia have supported us all through our creation here,” said Campbell.
Pictured here are Campbell, with Congressman Bishop, Secretary Vilsack and FUEL Chairman Tommy Dollar.
Listen to or download an interview here with Murray Campbell. Murray Campbell Interview