Biodiesel Board Elects First Producer Chairman

Cindy Zimmerman

The soybean farmers got it going, but producer members are now assuming the leadership at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

Gary HaerNBB members elected their trade association leadership today, including Gary Haer with Renewable Energy Group (REG) as the first producer to take the chairman role. Members also elected four returning governing board members and three new members to serve on the leadership committee. Other officers include: Ed Ulch, vice chair, Iowa Soybean Board (Farmer); Ron Marr, secretary, Minnesota Soybean Processors, (Producer); Jim Conway, treasurer, Griffin Industries (Producer).

“The National Biodiesel Board has forged the way for biodiesel to become America’s first advanced biofuel. The unanimous selection of our new chairman shows the unity among the different entities that make up the governing board and the NBB,” said Ed Hegland, past chairman and Minnesota farmer.

“The industry is transitioning over to a biodiesel producer organization that recognizes the importance of the investment that the soybean industry has made to get it started,” said Haer in an interview today. “Now we’re on a pathway to commercialize the industry and take that investment and bring it on to more commercial reality.” The NBB was founded in 1992 by state soybean commodity groups, who were funding biodiesel research and development programs.

Haer says it’s hard to predict if the biodiesel tax credit can be reinstated, at least in the lame duck session, but it is very important. “It’s complimentary to the Renewable Fuels Standard that EPA implemented July 1, 2010,” he said. “It gets our industry to a more mature level where we will be able to sustain ourselves without any incentives.”

Biodiesel is considered to be an advanced biofuel under the RFS2 which provides great opportunity for the industry. “We’re going to be doing a lot of communications and outreach to let people know that we are their solution for their advanced biofuels obligations and requirements,” said Haer.

Listen to or download an interview with Gary here: NBB Chairman Gary Haer

Audio, Biodiesel, NBB