High schoolers in Minnesota continue to get schooled in ethanol. Nearly two dozen students from Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (KMS) High School visited the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) to learn more about ethanol and its co-products. The group include three exchange students from an agricultural high school in Norway. The biorefinery, that recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, produces 50 million gallons of ethanol each year.
“We were pleased to welcome KMS High School to learn how Minnesota-grown clean renewable energy is produced. Ethanol production plays an important role in boosting the economy in rural Minnesota and tours like these highlight the necessary skills to pursue a career in the ethanol industry,” said Chad Friese, CEO of CVEC.
The students, from grades nine to 12, learned several different components of ethanol production during the tour including incoming grain grading, grain handling, fermentation, grain storage, dried distiller grain production and storage, ethanol storage and shipment.
“Today’s visit is the sixth plant tour we’ve organized this year. It’s important for students to understand how ethanol produced right here in Benson creates jobs, reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions and reduces prices at the pump,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, who organized the tour.
Christa Williamson, KMS High School’s agricultural education instructor, said many of the students that participated in the tour were from farms that supply corn to Minnesota’s ethanol industry. “The ethanol industry is an important component of agriculture, especially in West Central Minnesota. It is important to show our students the potential jobs, as well as how commodities we grow provide energy.”