Growing GROWMARK Energy Business

Cindy Zimmerman

From premium diesel, gasoline and lubricants to propane, biodiesel and ethanol, the GROWMARK Energy Division continues to grow and offer high quality products to member cooperatives and the general public.

The annual volume for the cooperative system’s energy division exceeds 1.6 billion gallons of gasoline, distillates and propane, and about 80 percent of the gasoline marketed by GROWMARK and FS member companies contains 10 percent ethanol. According to GROWMARK Energy Marketing and Communications Manager Ron Durdle, they own two refined terminals in Menard, Illinois and Ft. Dodge, Iowa. “The Menard terminal continues to be a good asset for us,” Durdle said during a recent GROWMARK media tour. “Recently added biodiesel blending there and the load-out equipment is state of the art.” Menard has storage for 80,000 gallons of ethanol and 30,000 gallons of biodiesel.

The terminal just east of Ft. Dodge was purchased by GROWMARK in the fall of 2010. “We’re upgrading that, adding biofuels to it and upgrading the facility in general,” Durdle said. GROWMARK’s interest in biofuels extends to part ownership of Mid America Biofuels, a 30 million gallon biodiesel plant in Mexico, Missouri. “It is definitely a mainstream part of our business,” he added.

Propane is a rapidly growing segment of the GROWMARK energy business with the cooperative system now ranked as the sixth largest propane marketer in the country. “GROWMARK FS is in the propane business out of New York state,” Durdle said. “In the bulk of our trade territory, in the Midwest, propane is used for grain drying. But a more regular business is home heat so we’re kind of working our way east there.”

The GROWMARK Energy Division brands range from Dieselex Gold and Comfort Pro propane to United and Archer lubricants and Fast Stop stores. “That’s our retail brand,” Durdle said of Fast Stop. “Very nice opportunity for us to serve other markets than agriculture with our retail sites.”

Overall, Durdle says reaching out to additional geographies and markets adds volume to the overall system and provides a better return for FS cooperative members.

Listen to an interview with Ron Durdle here: Ron Durdle Interview

Audio, Biodiesel, Energy, Ethanol, FS Energy, GROWMARK, Propane