The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association has organized its seventh student tour of a Minnesota ethanol plant. Seventh and eight grade students visited member plant Guardian Energy, a 130 million gallon-per-year ethanol biorefinery located in Janesville.
During the tour, students learned about various components of ethanol production including incoming grain grading, grain handling, grain storage, liquefaction, fermentation, distillation, distiller grain drying, corn oil separation, product storage and product shipment.
“We were pleased to welcome NRHEG High School today,” said Tracey Olson, chief operations officer at Guardian Energy. “It’s important for students to learn about the ethanol production process and its role in creating jobs in rural Minnesota and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
NRHEG High School Agricultural Educator, Dan Sorum, accompanied his students on the tour. “Anytime students can see first-hand, how a process that touches their daily lives works, it is a win for education and the industry.” Sorum added it was important for his students to learn how ethanol is produced. “So many ideas are out there about ethanol but like so many issues of our day, the best way to learn about them is actually see the processes and talk to the people doing the work.”
Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association said of the importance of student education about the industry, “This is the seventh tour we’ve organized this year. The ethanol industry is a very important economic driver in rural Minnesota. Tours like these highlight the career opportunities in the ethanol industry.”