Page 1

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

OPEN FOR BUSINESS Project LIBERTY is reality.

Year 2: Mission Greenhouse POET team members built a dorm for students in Africa

Serving our Country Veteran is a title many POET team members carry

A Desperate Search Ethanol provides a clean, safe option for cooking in Haiti

Fall 2014


THE FUTURE LOOKS

SO MUCH BRIGHTER ABOVE GROUND + At POET, we’re turning traditional ideas about energy production on their head. We combine human ingenuity with nature’s miracle of growth to produce efficient biofuels, foods, feeds and renewable alternatives to petrochemicals.

Opportunity is everywhere, if you know where to look. poet.com


contents FEATURES

12

A DESPERATE SEARCH

by Shon VanHulzen Ethanol is providing a clean, safe option as a cooking fuel to alleviate the Haitian’s desperate search for their daily bread.

Visit www.poet.com for the latest news, career opportunities and plant profiles. Contents and cover photo by Greg Latza

20

JEWEL IN THE HEART OF CORN COUNTRY

by Darrell Boone POET’s biorefinery in Jewell, Iowa has been a shining example in the ethanol industry since 2006.

24

A SECOND TRIP. A LIFE CHANGED

by Miranda Broin In its second year, Mission Greenhouse changes the lives of 28 POET team and family members and creates lifelong friendships with the young students of Travellers’ Oasis Centre.

36

SERVING OUR COUNTRY

by Kayla Schlechter Several POET team members hold a title that deems utmost respect – veteran

42

CAPTURING CO2

by Lori Weaver To avoid becoming a waste product, POET captures the CO2 released during ethanol production and markets it as a useful product.


contents COLUMNS

12

04

IN SIGHT

by Jeff Broin

06

FIRST LOOK

by Jeff Lautt

56

FROM THE HEARTLAND

by Greg Breukelman

DEPARTMENTS

32

52

08 10 18

TOP TWEETS

PERSPECTIVE

32 40 46 48 52

PROJECT LIBERTY GRAND OPENING

by Steve Lange

ENERGY FOR LIFE NASCAR® UPDATE RENEW STRONG FAMILY, STRONG WORLD

In the spirit of its continued commitment to being good stewards of the environment, POET is proud to produce Vital using 100% recycled paper, with eco-friendly soy-based ink.

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

POET, LLC 4615 North Lewis Avenue Sioux Falls, SD 57104

P / 605.965.2200 F / 605.965.2203 ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS Please direct all article ideas, as well as questions or comments regarding the magazine to: vital@poet.com

ADVERTISING INFORMATION POET 605.965.2200 vitaladvertising@poet.com

SUBSCRIPTIONS

PULSE

54 CONUNDRUM

2

MAIL

$4.95 per issue To subscribe, visit www.vitalbypoet.com

COPYRIGHT Vital is published quarterly by POET, LLC and other individuals or entities. All materials within are subject to copyrights owned by POET. Any reproduction of all or part of any document found in Vital is expressly prohibited, unless POET or the copyright owner of the material has expressly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit or republish the material. All other rights reserved. For questions, contact the POET legal department at 605.965.2200. The opinions and statements expressed by content contributors and advertisers in Vital are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of POET. Neither POET nor its third-party content providers shall be liable for any inaccuracies contained within Vital, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. ©2014 POET, LLC. All rights reserved. Publication Design & Layout: Cassie Medema info@gofunkyfresh.com


HIGHER YIELD. BETTER RETURNS. Together, we maximize the potential of biofuel. We work with our customers to develop the most advanced new technologies and solutions in the industry. As a true partner, we seek to maximize the potential of biofuel. For more information, visit www.bioenergy.novozymes.com.

Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. Together with customers across a broad array of industries we create tomorrow’s industrial biosolutions, improving our customers’ business and the use of our planet’s resources. Read more at www.novozymes.com.

© Novozymes A/S · 2013-14677-03


IN SIGHT by Jeff Broin, Executive Chairman and Founder of POET

A Little Crazy On September 3, POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels commemorated the opening of Project LIBERTY in Emmetsburg, Iowa. It was a day of great fanfare, celebration and optimism. But that hasn’t always been the case with Project LIBERTY. Since we embarked on the mission to commercialize cellulosic ethanol production, we have had our share of skeptics. Most people thought we were crazy for taking on this venture. We heard “it can never be done.” “You’ll never get enough biomass from farmers.” “You won’t be cost competitive.” Some even said that cellulosic ethanol was a “fantasy fuel.” But this wasn’t the first time we’ve been called “crazy.” As a matter of fact, POET wouldn’t be where we are today if we hadn’t taken some of the risks that we’ve taken. In the early ‘80s when my family built a small ethanol plant on our farm to get started in the ethanol business, there were definitely mutterings from the neighbors that the Broins were a little crazy. And a few years later, when we mortgaged the farm to buy a foreclosed ethanol plant in Scotland, South Dakota, the neighbors who already thought we were a little off our rocker, now really thought we were nuts! So, when we embarked on this new journey with Project LIBERTY, once again, there were more naysayers than supporters. But since we were pretty used to being called crazy, we of course moved ahead! Opening the nation’s first commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plant is something I could never have dreamt of in the days when we were welding tanks together to build our farm plant. So even to me, Project LIBERTY was a fantasy. But now, it’s real! Something of the scale, complexity and cutting-edge technology of this project can’t be done alone, or even by one company. Something of the magnitude of what Project LIBERTY represents takes the imagination, ingenuity and hard work of hundreds of organizations and thousands of people. So the opening of Project LIBERTY marks the beginning. It is reason to celebrate and enjoy what has been accomplished. But it is just the very tip of the iceberg. This is only the start. We are in the midst of what I believe is the foundation

4

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

of what will be a complete transformation of our energy supply and our economy. This complete transformation from a fossil-based economy to a renewable economy may not be completed any time soon, but it will happen. It simply has to. The fact is: there is a finite supply of fossil fuels. No one really knows for sure exactly how much. But it is an undeniable fact that there is a limit. So the world needs a solution. And the solution is here. When you combine seed, soil and sun, with imagination, and good old-fashioned hard work, there is nearly an infinite potential supply of both food and fuel. For years now, companies like POET have used the starch from the kernel of corn to produce a clean fuel while supplying the world food in the form of distillers grains. Now we’re beginning to use other parts of the corn plant to make a renewable fuel and biogas as well. Tomorrow, we may use residues from other crops, wood waste, grasses or even municipal waste. If you remember the movie Back to the Future II, Doc was able to fuel the DeLorean time machine with garbage. Well, that may not be so farfetched – your trash could actually become a fuel someday! So Project LIBERTY is just the beginning. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished to turn a fantasy into a reality. And I’m even more excited about what lies ahead. Our history books tell us that when three ships sailed from the coast of Spain over 500 years ago, most people thought the captain was a crack-pot for thinking that the world wasn’t flat. And when a couple bicycle makers from Dayton, Ohio dreamed of manned flight over 100 years ago, most people thought they were nuts too. And the thought of putting a man on the moon was still a bit of a fantasy fifty years ago. But these people and these events changed the world. And it is my hope and my belief that hundreds of years from now, people will remember how some crazy people in a small town in Iowa changed the world in 2014.


Machines That Reveal Many Opportunities

If you are looking to explore new options in biofuels production, look to centrifuges from GEA Westfalia Separator. Our 120 year history includes more than 20 years in the ethanol industry. During this time, we have developed technologies that maximize profits and deliver savings through the entire processing chain. Our stable of separating equipment, including standard decanters, gas-tight decanters, high g-force self-cleaning disc clarifiers and separators, is capable of handling the full range of both established and new feedstocks. Plus, we offer separators for both by-product and wastewater processing. To learn more about the services and equipment our team can provide, contact Keith Funsch at 201-784-4322 or Keith.Funsch@gea.com or visit us online at www.wsus.com. GEA Mechanical Equipment US, Inc.

GEA Westfalia Separator Division

engineering for a better world

1730

Toll-Free: 800-722-6622 ¡ 24-Hour Technical Help: 800-509-9299 www.gea.com


FIRST LOOK by Jeff Lautt, CEO, POET Often we judge a company by its cover, by the surface accomplishments that make a splash in the news cycle or trigger a quick boost to stock prices. But that is nothing more than a superficial view; it is a poor measure of a company’s value or ability to succeed longterm. The real measure of a company comes from an examination not just of what it achieves, but of how it achieves success. That is what sets the forward-thinking and resilient companies apart. It’s with that truth in mind that the POET executive team meets annually for strategic planning. It’s there that we take a close look at our priorities and values and how we ensure those priorities and values are evident in everything we do. A strong company has many elements that must connect in order to reach its goals. It needs a clear picture of who it wants to be and where it wants to go, namely a mission and vision. It needs strategic priorities, which are an engine to move it forward. And it needs a foundation of company culture. Our vision is our broadest guide. It is our worldview, colored by our unique perspective as producers of renewable fuel and other renewable products. “Our vision is to live in a world with natural balance. Where we no longer take from the Earth, but rather use its enormous ability to regenerate. Where we are no longer dependent on fossil fuels but rather rely on the growing power of nature and the genius of the human spirit. Where farmers are the creators and innovators are the heroes. Where we use the resources given to us in ways we believe God intended.” Our mission outlines how POET fits into that worldview. One of the gratifying things about working at POET is that we have the ability and resources to make a real difference in the world. “Our mission is to be good stewards of the Earth by converting renewable resources to energy and other valuable goods as effectively as humanly possible.” In order to support that vision, we have three strategic pillars. PEOPLE: POET seeks to be the preferred employer. By attracting and retaining the best and brightest in their fields, we put our goals in reach. I’ve said before that POET is the people who work every day to make us the best. Their success is POET’s success, and as such we must work to put people in a position to succeed. For example, we have started a leadership program at POET, where we develop our talent to better enable us to promote from within. VALUE CREATION: We must grow POET’s value by continuing to create new and expanded opportunities in the market. Strong companies grow in a steady

6

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

and intelligent manner, which provides value for all stakeholders. This has been a long-time strength of POET. We have been the only ones to use a raw starch process. We were the first to find real value in DDGS, creating the Dakota Gold brand. Other products such as corn oil, liquefied carbon dioxide and, most recently, cellulosic ethanol, show our continued focus on expanding what it means to be a biorefinery. LEADERSHIP: POET seeks to be an influential global organization. In order to influence the world, we must be the leader. We must lead discussions on public policy and branding of ethanol and other renewable products. Having a leading market position allows us to have the influence necessary to create change. POET has worked to be a visible and active organization within the ethanol industry and, more broadly, within agriculture. We have conducted advertising campaigns to put a face to the industry; we have led policy initiatives at the local, state and federal levels, and we work hard to promote agriculture domestically and worldwide. One initiative of which I’m particularly proud is our work in Africa, where we help teach African farmers better ag practices to improve their yields and become self-sufficient. All of the above – our vision, mission and strategic priorities – cannot hold firm without a solid base of company culture. I’ve talked in the past about POET’s culture. To recap, we have summarized it in three basic tenets. 1. We Always Strive for Excellence 2. We Embrace Change 3. We Aspire to Live by the Golden Rule Those points are the base on which we build our business, and I’m proud to say those are not just empty phrases. I see our culture every day when I come to the office or visit a plant. All of those elements together form the strength of POET. Those are the driving values that have led to success in the past and will lead us to realize our vision in the future. If you were to judge POET by its surface achievements, by the news-making headlines, you certainly get the impression that this is a strong company. But when you look closer at what motivates us to succeed and how we go about reaching our goals, you see the elements that really make this company shine.


THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, WE HAVE A LOT TO BE THANKFUL FOR.

THANKS FOR BEING SOME OF THE FIRST RETAILERS TO OFFER E15. Growth Energy commends CENEX, MAPCO, Minnoco, Protec Fuel and Petro Serve USA for their pioneering spirit and their efforts to expand consumer access to higher blends of renewable fuels. They are offering consumers a choice and savings at the pump, while at the same time supporting a homegrown industry that supports farmers across the country. Together we’re making progress towards the next generation of sustainable, renewable fuels.

Learn more at GrowthEnergy.org


TOP TWEETS

10/9

Matt Merritt @mdmerritt

9/19

Sen. @EdMarkey on the idea that

10/2

@Renewable_MI

Troubling analysis out today:

exporting #oil to China would

MI spends $5 billion/year on

lower U.S. prices: “If something

foreign #oil, enough to send

sounds too good to be true, it

every graduating HS senior in

probably is.”

MI to college.

Todd Neeley @toddneeleyDTN

9/16

API’s Bob Greco on #RFS:

9/25

Renewable Michigan

POET-DSM @POETDSM

We need a firm RFS to reap the

“Raising ethanol mandates could

rewards of #cellulosic #ethanol

force us through the 10 percent

commercialization efforts.

ethanol blend wall.” – the very

@GrowthEnergy members on

purpose of the law.

the Hill today!

Growth Energy @GrowthEnergy

9/16

Nearly 3.5 million gallons

Rachel Gantz @OPISBiofuels

Vilsack: “What really drives up

of #cellulosic biofuel were

food prices? Oil costs.”

produced in August. Breaking

@GrowthEnergy

records and breaking down the mythical “blend wall”

9/23

Don Hutchens @Necorndon

Ironic that we are exporting ethanol to areas in the Middle East, and our own #EPA cannot finalize the #RFS, we have plenty of corn 14+ bbu

9/4

Tim Portz @TimPortz

#projectliberty had it all yesterday. Air Show. Lasers. Secy of Ag. A King. An All @bigtenconf @TheIowaHawkeyes center. @ethanolbyPOET wow

8

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


9/3

Novozymes @Novozymes

Congrats to @POETDSM on the opening of #ProjectLiberty! Another positive sign that advanced biofuels are commercializing.

9/3

Kelly Manning @kmanning

Thanks Jeff Broin for your vision for your

Twitter is a forum

passion to help the American Farmer.

for thousands of

#agriculture you will change the world

conversations taking

@ethanolbyPOET

place in 140-character comments, with

9/3

Dave Loebsack @daveloebsack

participants from all over the world. People

Exciting day for @ethanolbyPOET and the

or organizations are

opening of #ProjectLIBERTY in Emmetsburg.

represented by user

Biofuels and #RFS are important for jobs here

names such as

in IA.

@ethanolbypoet. The topic of

9/3

POET

conversation is often

@ethanolbyPOET

highlighted with a

Sec. Vilsack: “There is nothing more

hashtag (#). This is a

innovative, more creative, than small

sampling of what’s

town America.” @USDA #cellulosic #ProjectLIBERTY #biofuels

being said about energy and biofuels. The comments do

9/3

Krista Voda @kristavoda

Thank u @POETDSM @AmericanEthanol

not necessarily represent the opinions of POET, LLC.

@USDA @TerryBranstad dignitaries, farmers & Iowans I had honor of representing today! #projectliberty WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

9


PULSE

10/8 “The RFS is a critical piece of our nation’s climate mitigation policies. It is helping to break the oil sector’s monopoly over our nation’s liquid fuel supply by opening the market to competition from America’s growing renewable fuel industry, bringing low carbon cellulosic, advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel to market.” – Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to President Barack Obama emphasizing the need to protect and maintain the Renewable Fuel Standard.

10/3

10/1

“We are at the threshold of being able to create new energy sources out of not just crops that we grow – corn and ethanol – but also stuff that we usually throw away, like the corn stalks instead of the corn. And the more we invest in biofuels, clean energy, that can make a big difference in the rural economy.” – President Barack Obama during a recent town hall at Millennium Steel in Princeton, Indiana.

“There is less emission with ethanol. Ethanol is alcohol. When you try to burn alcohol, there is very little emission. What boggles my mind is that the EPA wants to reduce the amount of ethanol that can go into gas. But gas is filled with carcinogens.” – Chris Hanson, General Manager of POET Biorefining – Preston, describes conversations he had with lawmakers during a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

From issues relating to government policies, to infrastructure and opinion pieces, the ethanol industry has much to be reported on. Here is a representation of the past few months of news coverage. The comments do not necessarily represent the opinions of POET, LLC.

10

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

9/19 “We’re tackling a brand-new collection process, a brandnew feedstock, a brand-new production process, brandnew enzymes, brand-new yeast. You can see, there’s a lot of learning going on.” – Jeff Broin, POET Founder and Executive Chairman, discusses Project LIBERTY in a recent interview with the New York Times.

9/14 “Regardless of political party of philosophical differences on other issues, it’s imperative for state and federal officials in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota to continue staking out common ground in robust support for ethanol and spirited opposition to those, including influential oil interests, who would stop its momentum.” - Sioux City Journal Editorial Board in a September 14th editorial touting the benefits of cellulosic ethanol.


9/13 “Broin said one of the purposes of the Christian school is to get orphaned or underprivileged girls out of the slums of Nairobi, which is about an hour away from the school. One of Mission Greenhouse’s long-term objectives is to help the school become self-sustainable, and to teach the students who attend it to learn a valuable trade – agriculture.” - Candy DenOuden, Assistant Editor of the Mitchell Daily Republic, in a recent story about Mission Greenhouse titled “A mission of Poets.”

9/9 “It could have gone anywhere, right? But when we looked at Emmetsburg, there were a lot of different reasons, from financial reasons to location reasons to production reasons and a lot of reasons that it came here first. So, we’re thrilled to be in Iowa.”

- Jeff Broin, POET Founder and Executive Chairman, describes why Emmetsburg, Iowa was selected as the location of Project LIBERTY.

9/4 9/10 “Cellulosic ethanol has the potential to produce large quantities of liquid fuel that could be used not only for transportation, but for clean household energy. It would breathe life back into farming communities everywhere while adding value to normally cumbersome waste and residue.”

“It’s been challenging, but it’s been fun. We scaled up based on our Scotland plant in South Dakota, and there are many things we’ve learned going from batch to continuous.”

8/24 “Earlier this year, a group of employees from the ethanol giant POET introduced me to the Travellers’ Oasis Centre, a boarding school in the African nation that teaches girls from impoverished families. Many of them come from slums and have lost parents to disease and famine. POET has helped the school with various projects and sent dozens of employees on missions there. They built a greenhouse so the school can grow and sell its own food, and this year they helped build a dormitory so more students can attend. But the most memorable part of their story, to me, came from the classroom.”

- Jodi Schwan, editor of the Sioux Falls Business Journal, describes her impressions of Mission Greenhouse in a recent column.

- Beau Schmaltz, an Operations Engineering Manager at POET, talks about Project LIBERTY in an interview with Ethanol Producer Magazine.

- Hilary Landfried, Project Manager for Project Gaia, in a blog post describing the future of ethanol and its ability to serve as a clean transportation and cooking fuel.

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

11


A Haitian woman cooks with ethanol on a clean cook stove.

A DESPERATE

SEARCH 12

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


Ethanol is providing a clean, safe option as a cooking fuel to alleviate the Haitian’s desperate search for their daily bread. by Shon Van Hulzen, Director of Quality Control for POET Plant Management Photos courtesy of Project Gaia Haiti is a land defined by dichotomy. Its beautiful beaches and tropical conditions once made it a popular tourist stop for luxury cruise liners. But the chronic effects of disease, poverty, economic instability and social unrest, coupled with the infrastructural devastation from the 2010 earthquake, have positioned the country of Haiti amongst the poorest countries in the world. I had the opportunity to visit Haiti this past April and experienced the devastation firsthand. A short two hour flight from Miami gets you to the capital of this neighboring Caribbean Island, but leaves you worlds away from the things we take for granted in our country. Stepping outside of the airport and into the streets of Port-au-Prince leaves no doubt things are different here – very different. The cab ride from the airport to the hotel gave me a glimpse of the vastness of the damage to the city as a result of the 2010 earthquake. Partially destroyed buildings and piles of rubble still define every street in the city, letting me think little has been done to rebuild the city the past four years. A sea of humanity walks the streets desperate for means to obtain their next meal. One cannot

help but almost feel guilty for what we have when you witness so many with so little. We worry about homes, cars, jobs, vacations and having enough money for college and retirement; millions in Haiti worry about what they will eat for their next meal, or if they will eat at all.

“There is only one rule by which to judge if God is near us or is far away – the rule that God’s word is giving us today: everyone concerned for the hungry, the naked, the poor, for those who have vanished in police custody, for the tortured, for prisoners, for all flesh that suffers, has God close at hand. We

Representatives from POET, Project Gaia, Dometic and Novogaz met in Port-au-Prince, Haiti this past April to develop a plan to send U.S. ethanol to Haiti to be used for home cooking. The organizations represented brought together the expertise and the passion to try something never before attempted – to import a U.S. produced renewable fuel into a third world country to be used as a home cooking fuel. POET had the fuel, Dometic had the stoves, Novogaz had the local distribution network and Project Gaia had the international exposure to pull it all together. Among the myriad of resource deficiencies Haiti suffers, energy is at the top of the list, specifically fuel for cooking. It’s hard to imagine home cooking fuel as a constraint for the average Haitian when we just walk up to our stove, push a button

have the ability, we have the means, and we have the capacity to eliminate hunger from the face of the earth. We need only the will.” John F. Kennedy United States President

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

13


and within minutes, we are ready to prepare our next meal. As difficult and expensive as it is for a Haitian mother to prepare the next meal for her family, it is equally challenging for her to find and purchase the fuel to cook the meal. The unemployment rate in Haiti is currently estimated at over 80%. In the United States, economists fear an economic downturn when the unemployment rate ticks over 8%. At its peak, unemployment rates during the Great Depression reached 25%, a far cry from the 80% experienced today in Haiti. As a result of Haiti’s staggering unemployment rate, there is virtually no middle class present in the country. There are only a small number of elite business owners and government officials and the rest live in perpetual poverty. These masses occupy every street of every city, town and village in Haiti. They appear in the rural country settings, along the dirt roads and hillsides. Their faces are everywhere and their expressions tell the story of their desperation.

“A hungry man can’t see right or wrong. He just sees food.” Pearl S. Buck

14

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


In their desperate search for their daily bread, the average Haitian must also contend with finding a means of preparing the meal. The immediacy of the situation blinds them from having any concern for the long term impacts of their short term decisions. Translated: the need to cook today’s meal is more important than the devastating impacts of their cooking fuel choice. They use what’s available, which is charcoal; not charcoal as we think of it – large, carbonized chunks of hardwood or easy to light, uniformly burning briquettes – but rather small pieces of branches and stems that were slow-burned in a pit and snuffed out, the result is Haitian “charcoal.” The effects of using this type of home cooking fuel are both ecologically devastating and physiologically lethal. During the rainy season in Haiti, which extends from April through October, Haitian mothers are forced to cook indoors. The conditions they are subject to during these months would be the equivalent of taking a Weber charcoal grill inside a house and cooking a meal, twice a day for months on end. The respiratory effects of the resulting indoor air quality truncate the lives of Haitians at an alarming rate. In 2012, 22 percent of children’s deaths (age 5 and younger) were attributable to acute respiratory infections. What we see in Haiti is also a global issue, it is estimated more people die annually from illnesses

related to household air pollution than from malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined – over 4 million deaths a year. The need for cooking fuel in Haiti has resulted in rampant deforestation, which results in numerous catastrophic ecological conditions such as soil erosion, more significant temperature swings and increased arid conditions. Put simply, the wide-spread use of wood in Haiti for home cooking has resulted in significant damage to the landscape of the country. Unless a home cooking alternative is identified, the damage will reach an irreversible level – assuming that point has not already been surpassed. It is estimated that less than 5% of Haiti’s forest cover remains. Enter our beloved molecule, ethanol. For decades, ethanol has been used in the U.S. primarily as an automotive fuel, and as good as it is for our cars, ethanol is an even better home cooking fuel. The characteristics of ethanol as a fuel and its combustion chemistry make it an ideal home cooking fuel. Ethanol is safe to handle from both a toxicity and flammability standpoint and the emissions from burning ethanol are virtually nonexistent, with the primary combustion byproducts being simply carbon dioxide and water vapor. Compare that to the smoke from your charcoal grill – I choose ethanol. The average Haitian home uses approximately $1 worth of cooking

fuel per day in the form of charcoal (approximately one two-gallon bucket full) to cook on average two meals per day. The Clean Cook stove developed by Dometic that uses ethanol as a fuel can cook the same two meals per day using only slightly over 500 milliliters of ethanol (the equivalent volume of one 20 oz. bottle of soda). This puts the economic value of ethanol fuel as a direct replacement for charcoal in Haiti at $6.50 – $7.00 per gallon. As I write this article, the spot price for U.S. Denatured Fuel Ethanol is approximately $2.21 per gallon. Surprisingly though, it’s still difficult to get what we have a relatively cheap abundance of to a close neighboring country, while making the effort economically viable. By the time you factor in freight, Haiti sales and duty taxes, and bottling and distribution costs, the economics are only marginally positive – but they are positive. It’s been said many of the global crises we face today are less a result of an inadequate supply of needed resources and more a byproduct of the logistical challenges or government’s inability or unwillingness to get the needed resources to its people. This has certainly been the case for this project. Project partners continue to battle a myriad of regulatory (both U.S. and Haitian) hurdles and logistical challenges in order for the first shipment of U.S. fuel ethanol to be transported to Portau-Prince, Haiti. Ben Sweat and

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

15


the POET Ethanol Products team took the brunt of this work load and after years of hard work they have completed the slow, arduous crawl up the muddy hill of regulatory hurdles and logistical gymnastics. Without their involvement and tireless resolve to see this through, this project was DOA. But thanks to their expertise and unwavering persistence, the project has begun to move forward. On October 1, 2014 the first load of U.S. ethanol left Jewell, Iowa and was placed on a ship for Port-au-Prince, Haiti – marking the tangible beginning of a vision that began some five years prior between POET Founder Jeff Broin and Project Gaia Executive Director Harry Stokes. That vision: to bring clean burning ethanol fuel to the homes in third world countries to improve the standard of living and drive positive socioeconomic change.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919) in her novel, Mrs. Dymond (1885)

In the minds of Jeff Broin and Harry Stokes the vision to help those suffering from hunger and poverty went well beyond just basic humanitarian relief. While Jeff was quick to demonstrate his commitment to getting this

16

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

project off the ground by donating the first 10,000 gallons of ethanol to initiate the project, the long term economic sustainability of the project was just as important to the two visionaries. The country of Haiti is testimony to the fact that you cannot give people out of poverty. Despite the best intentions of hundreds of nonprofit organizations and millions of donated dollars, the country of Haiti has made very little progress towards sustaining its own people. Economic opportunity is what they need, not another handout. Socioeconomic development is teaching a man to fish; humanitarian relief by itself is simply giving the man a fish. Practically speaking what does socio-economic development look like? Well, we believe it begins with creating a market for a product; a product that one day local Haitians can make themselves. Use U.S. imported ethanol as a bridge to build a market for home cooking fuel in Haiti; then, once the market demand is in place, begin to develop production capacity in Haiti. This will result in a demand for feed stocks for the production of ethanol and Haiti, being a once thriving sugar cane producer, could quickly resurrect their agricultural practices and begin to grow their way out of poverty. While simple in

concept, it’s never easy in practice. It takes a long term vision and an unwavering commitment to make it happen. Developing an economy takes time, but it’s worth the investment as it is arguably the only method of creating a sustainable country. The beginning of the movement of U.S. ethanol to Haiti is indeed a very exciting landmark in this journey. However, the outlook for ethanol as a home cooking fuel extends well beyond Haiti to around the globe. Project Gaia estimates that if every home in Africa, developing Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East that is currently using traditional solid fuels (such as charcoal, wood and other biomass substrates) would switch to ethanol fuel for cooking, the resulting demand would be over 27 billion gallons of ethanol annually – that’s almost exactly double the entire U.S. market today! The potential demand is extraordinary, while the related regulatory and logistical challenges are equally monumental. But as President Kennedy said, “We have the ability, we have the means, and we have the capacity to eliminate hunger from the face of the earth. We need only the will.” At POET, we agree and we have the will.


SAVE THE DATE 31st ANNUAL

PROMOTING

INNOVATION CONNECTING THE INDUSTRY

Networking Opportunities

All Ethanol Facilities Receive 2 Free Passes


PERSPECTIVE Vital asked readers: Does making fuel from waste have long-term feasibility?

MARY BYRNE, DES MOINES, IOWA

NICK FLESHER, JENISON, MICH

Does making fuel from waste have long-term feasibility?

Does making fuel from waste have long-term feasibility?

Yes, I would support using waste to make fuel. Gas prices have become increasingly volatile over the last decade and I don’t see that changing in the future. We need to focus on our domestic resources instead of relying on foreign countries and their oil. Additionally, utilizing waste would go a long way to helping our environment.

If the energy required to convert the waste products is less than the usable energy produced so that it makes commercial sense, I think it can be feasible long term. Personally I’m excited about using waste to make energy, and think it’s a good thing. I hope there’s a good future for it.

ROBERT GRAFSGAARD, ST. PAUL, MINN. Does making fuel from waste have long-term feasibility? Given our often limited foresight, it is difficult to comprehend the inevitability that someday current crude oil sources will have been depleted or will no longer be a viable option. Granted with countless square miles yet to be tapped, such a day is far, far off. However, I hope that the environmental cost of dependence on the continuous burning of fossil fuels has now become obvious, not to mention the ever-present socio-political tension and hostility that results between nations where oil is most rich and most valued. Research and development in alternative fuel sources should be rewarded; if a waste-derived fuel source is possible, why not pursue it? Do we not already know that to put all your eggs in one basket is simply foolish?

18

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


LARRY BROWN, BRADENTON, FLA

AMANDA BRANDON, MADISON, WIS.

Does making fuel from waste have long-term feasibility?

Does making fuel from waste have long-term feasibility?

Here where I live, they’ve started harnessing methane gas from landfills to use locally, and it’s been better for the air and has actually been a savings to the taxpayers. I can’t see why it wouldn’t also be feasible to produce fuel from waste products. Anytime we can cut oil consumption, I’m all for it, especially if it reduces the amount coming out of my billfold. I think it would be a great thing.

It depends on who is in charge of it. I am in favor of private sector experimentation of alternative energy projects. I would need to see long range feasibility studies. I also think that consumers need an incentive to participate - either with reduced costs in waste management or in the energy products generated from the post-consumer waste.

BETH WHITSEL, WABASH, IND.

TED RANDALL, COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS

Does making fuel from waste have long-term feasibility?

Does making fuel from waste have long-term feasibility?

I don’t know about the feasibility, but if it’s researched and there aren’t any significant downsides, I think making a clean, safe fuel from a waste product would be a good thing.

I think it does have long-term feasibility because we’re always going to have waste. But living in a region where we’re drilling more oil wells every day, I think a lot of people will want to know how it performs versus petroleum products in terms of power and efficiency. I do believe there’s a lot of misinformation out there about renewable fuels – sometimes I wonder if the oil companies are responsible for that.

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

19


Jewel IN THE

Heart OF

Corn Country

POET’s biorefinery in Jewell, Iowa has been a shining example in the ethanol industry since 2006. by Darrell Boone | photos by Greg Latza

20

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


It was 2005 and the green flag was out for the ethanol industry. “The first version of the Renewable Fuel Standard had been enacted, and new energy policy stripped liability protection for Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) as an oxygenate for gasoline,” recalls Kevin Monroe, General Manager of POET’s biorefinery at Jewell, in northwest Iowa. “Ethanol was the only replacement for MTBE, and that spurred an incredible amount of growth in a short time.” In 2005, ethanol was still a young industry, but not so young that Iowans hadn’t noticed the positive transformation it could bring to rural communities. Jewell, a progressive community of 1,200 planted squarely in some of the very richest corn-growing soil in the world, was quick to recognize a good opportunity when it saw one. “When the local economic development group got wind that an ethanol plant was a possibility for their community, they were pretty vocal in letting POET know that they’d like to see it here,” says Monroe. “The community embraced us from the very beginning, and we’ve had a great relationship ever since.” The plant commenced operations on March 1, 2006.

After adding Total Water Recovery, the plant now uses the least water per gallon of ethanol produced at any POET plant. And it has also received a virtual trainload of awards for everything from rail chemical safety, to economic growth and achievement, to FFA appreciation. Those achievements and accolades pale in comparison, however, to the pride and pleasure Monroe takes in his workforce. “They’re a good reflection of the makeup of this area – hardworking, down-to-earth, and friendly,” he says. “We’ve also got a good cross section of generations here – baby boomers, Gen ‘X’ers and millennials. But we all work very well together and learn from each other.” Those characteristics also spill over into the community, where employees are generous with their time and their financial resources in a plethora of community causes, with a special emphasis on schools

and young people’s activities. That attitude sometimes carries even beyond the community, where Monroe reports that employees were enthusiastic about the plant’s recent Project GAIA donation of ethanol for cook stoves in Haiti. “Everybody’s conscious of wanting to be a good neighbor and support to the local community and beyond,” he says. “That’s a lot of what we’re about.” All of which leads Monroe – who got his college degree in geology, ironically with the idea of someday working for an oil company – to a simple conclusion. While he’s proud to be part of an industry that’s making a difference across the nation in the environment, energy independence, and rural development, those things still are not his number one job satisfaction. “For me, it’s the people,” he says. “We’ve got a great group here, who make it enjoyable to come to work every day.”

Top Performer, Good Neighbor Monroe says that Jewell was the first POET plant to be built for a 60 million gallon per year nameplate capacity. There were a few bugs to work out initially, but soon the plant became a perennial top performer in the POET family, and the design pattern for all POET plants built since. Kevin Monroe, General Manager POET Biorefining - Jewell


BEST BLESSING EVER

Julie Lutjen, Administrative and Accounting Assistant

Hired before the plant even started construction to handle investor relations, Administrative and Accounting Assistant, Julie Lutjen has pretty much seen it all – investing, groundbreaking, construction, grand opening and day-to-day operations. “It’s been a little like taking an infant through graduation,” laughs Lutjen. “In the process, I’ve become very committed, have a sense of ownership and I’m even a little protective.” Lutjen, who is a Jewell native, mother of four

22

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

sons and serves as her church organist, lives with her husband David on the farm where she grew up. Besides her family, she says she has two loves – her job and her community, and that they complement each other well. “I feel kind of like an ambassador to POET,” she says. “It’s a little like having two great friends, introducing them, then watching them become friends. To be able to live in the community I love, working at a job I love, is just the best blessing ever.”


GROWING HIS CAREER Jewell’s Operations Manager Andrew Samp grew up in northeast Missouri and remembers his introduction to ethanol very well. As a high school student, he went with his dad to a producer meeting for what was then a prospective plant at Macon. There he met POET Founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Broin, and what he heard made an indelible impression. “I remember Jeff telling farmers about the potential of ethanol to create a new market for corn, put it to good use, and get away from the government supporting overproduction,” he recalls. After earning his degree in agricultural business from Northwest Missouri State University, Samp went to work for the Macon plant as an Operator.

Then in 2006, he came to the Jewell plant as Operations Supervisor. About six months later he was promoted to Operations Manager. “At first, I didn’t plan on making a career out of it, but the industry has continued to offer me opportunities,” he says. A married father of four young children, Samp enjoys many aspects of his job, but especially likes the challenges. “POET really does embrace the idea of going after excellence, which means there’s always something new to improve on, change, or make better,” he says. “I like the culture of being on the front line of that, contributing to that change and not just taking what comes at you.”

Andrew Samp, Operations Manager

SAYING THANKS – WITH COOKIES Retired Jewell pharmacist Fred Marcalus is a longtime member of JADE (Jewell Area Development Enterprise) and is rightfully proud of the fact that his city is a Main Street Community. “Iowa’s big in the Main Street program, which seeks to promote economic development while preserving the historical look of the town,” he says. “But we’re the first Main Street county in the nation.” Marcalus likes to think that Jewell’s being a healthy and accepting community had something to do with POET choosing it as a site for their new plant in 2005. He and many others were glad they did.

“In an ag community, anything that’s going to help the farm community is going to benefit the whole community,” he says. “During construction, a lot of people baked cookies and rolls and took them out to the construction workers, just to show their appreciation.” Since then, that initial positive impression has been confirmed. “It’s been a benefit to the farmers in the area, as well as providing goodpaying jobs,” he says. “But they also support our community very well – our schools, FFA, our annual festival and much more – but they’re always low-key about it. They’ve been a very significant addition to the community.”

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

23


POET team members play soccer with the students at Travellers’ Oasis Centre.

24

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


a second trip A life changed In its second year, Mission Greenhouse changes the lives of 28 POET team and family members and creates lifelong friendships with the young students of Travellers’ Oasis Centre.

by Miranda Broin

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

25


10

days

4 8000 28 eight hour flights

miles

near-strangers

170 students

1 26

vital

||

goal

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

Ten days. Four eight-hour flights. 8,000 miles. 28 near-strangers. 170 students. One goal. When I arrived at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport on June 6, 2014, those were the only solid facts I had about the journey I was about to embark on. The past several months had been a whirlwind of travel preparation and fundraising, so I think I can speak on behalf of everyone when I say that the day of departure felt very surreal. Most of us, myself included, were brimming with excitement. Some of us were traveling in packs; I was accompanied by my mom, my sister and my best friend. Others were going alone. Looking back on that day makes me laugh because, having experienced a life-changing week in Kenya once before, I thought I had a good idea of what to expect. I would quickly be proven wrong. The travel portion of the trip is kind of a blur. It was a never-ending cycle of security lines, layovers, flights that spanned eternities and attempting to keep track of the wanderers of the group. Even though it was by far the most unspectacular portion of our adventure, I am very grateful we had that time to start building relationships with one another. By the time we reached our destination, I could already tell we had started to become a family. To me, landing in Nairobi felt like coming home. I had left my heart in Kenya on my previous trip, and I couldn’t wait to start round two. We spent one brief night in Nairobi, and then received a little cultural training the next morning before loading up on buses to head to Sultan Hamud. The first stop we made once we got to the village was at what would be our home for the week, the Miryam Village Inn. I was blown away by both the good conditions of the hotel and by the people who worked there; we got to know them on a more personal level by the end of our stay, and they were all truly wonderful. The building itself was great too, and it was very easy to get settled in. Then we set off once again for what I would say was a turning point for all of us: meeting the girls at the school. Before I continue, I should probably provide a little background information on the previous trip. Last summer, another group of POET team members took a trip to the same location to launch Mission Greenhouse. The name of the project is pretty


Miranda Broin bonds with the students at Travellers’ Oasis Centre.

Miranda and Alyssa Broin, Debbie Anderson and Kayla Schlechter apply mortar and lay brick to form the dormitory walls.

Trevor Peter, Dennis Ausborn and Scott Radigan mix cement.

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

27


self-explanatory; they spent their time building greenhouses at an all-girls boarding school called Traveller’s Oasis Centre (TOC) founded by Esther and Shadrach Muiu. POET has since adopted the school, so our group was sent back to the same location to continue work there. Our mission was to assist a team of local workers in the construction of a new dorm block for the girls. As our buses pulled up to the school that first day, I remember the sounds of our chattering dying away in correlation with our growing smiles. Girls of all ages, clad in their well-worn orange and green uniforms, hurried around us in the direction of the little chapel, every one of them stopping to wave and shout hello. Faces peeked out of the building’s windows, lit up with the sort of welcoming grin that only Kenyans possess. We were ushered into the chapel for a welcoming ceremony, where we had the privilege of hearing the girls sing for the first time. If there is a sound on earth more beautiful than the pureness of their voices belting praises to God, I’d like to know what it is. I guarantee there was not a dry eye amongst the 28 of us in that moment. I couldn’t imagine any better way to inspire us for the week ahead. The next few days consisted of variations of one very busy schedule. We would get up early, some earlier than others to walk around the village. Then the whole group would eat breakfast and pray together before leaving for the school. We would spend the morning working alongside the construction crew, performing countless miscellaneous tasks. These included, but were not limited to, mixing cement, hauling blocks, laying mortar, moving branches, moving the same branches somewhere else, cleaning blocks and the list goes on and on. Truth be told, it was a lot of manual labor and we actually relished every second of it. Within the hours of work were hundreds of special moments that I will always carry with me and I am truly grateful to both the POET team and the spectacular Kenyan people for blessing me with them. We did a lot of working that week, but I think it’s safe to say we did even more playing. Our group was awarded two tea times a day, one halfway through the morning and one in the middle of the afternoon. The construction crew liked to give us grief for it, but for a lot of us, tea time was one part of the day that we all

28

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

POET team members and the students at TOC took one final picture before heading home.

Katherine Veenis, Courtney Heitkamp, Suzanne Veenis, Brad Heggeseth and David Carlson visit the home of one of the TOC students.

Tammie, Miranda and Alyssa Broin are recognized for their contributions to the school during a ceremony to bless the cornerstone for the dormitory.


Ngath by David Jal

The Nuer word that means hope and faith is magnified in the faces of the TOC girls. It was nineteen years ago that I left Kenya as a refugee to come to the United States. Kenya is next door to the country of South Sudan where I was born. A civil war intensified in Sudan when I was only 10 years old and I was forced out of my country. After spending nearly ten years in refugee camps in Ethiopia, Ifo and Kenya, I was approved to come to South Dakota as a refugee. I have been back to Africa several times, but the Mission Greenhouse trip to Kenya with the POET team was truly one of the greatest joys of my life. This trip provided me with the perfect conditions and opportunities for a new kind of growth. It was special because of the people I shared it with and their big hearts to share blessings with others. From my life experiences in refugee camps, I have learned the importance of cherishing each moment –especially cherishing the people that you spend them with. In the short time that we were there, we built great friendships and memories. It was exciting to see what could be accomplished with a group of people that worked together in a relatively short period of time. Having said this, it is important to admit that this trip also stirred emotions within me in regard to the work that was being done in my childhood village. Two years ago in my childhood village of Khor Wakow, we dug a well and removed barriers for girls to attend school by bringing corn grinders, but the recent fighting in South Sudan halted the progress of the work we were doing. When the civil war broke out on December 15th, 2013, the trip I was to lead in January 2014 to begin construction of the school was put on hold. Though it is exciting to see the work being done in Kenya, it’s disheartening to think of the lack of progress in South Sudan. So much life-changing work has been accomplished in and through this team from POET in Kenya. I now understand why Jeff and Tammie Broin wanted me to see the work in Kenya. I am encouraged while waiting for peace in South Sudan, knowing that when the time

comes much can be done. Seeing what God has done to transform the lives of the students, teachers, and school administrators for the Kamba people has been an immeasurable gift. I will continue to be hopeful that in the years to come we might be able to return to Africa and begin dreaming and casting a vision of ministry, faith, and lives of the Khor Wakow Villages in South Sudan. I dream that we will return to Khor Wakow with a heightened sense of God’s presence and of the mission He wants to accomplish through us. On my wrist I wear a band that says Ngath. It is a Nuer word that means hope and faith. While in Kenya, many people asked me what my bracelet meant. It is difficult to live in America in relative comfort and have a deep understanding of what Ngath means while the young girls and boys remain behind in Sultan Humad, Kenya. Being there to do this work encourages and provides more Ngath for them. It feels so good to build up someone else’s hope and faith. Yet, they gave so much love to us that it feels as though our hope and faith was fulfilled even more than what we tried to give out. I can only hope and pray that they received a portion of that back. Hearing countless stories of hearts and lives forever changed brings me joy and confidence. I can rest knowing that God is with team members, students and everyone we came into contact with. I can trust Him that futures are in God’s plans, and that He will provide. I found myself on this trip holding onto the last few days with all that I had. It was hard to let go and give all of my concerns to God.

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

29


After several days of work, the dorm starts to take shape.

looked forward to. I’d travel across the globe for some of Esther’s African tea any day and I certainly didn’t mind the company either. Aside from tea time, the best part of each day was undoubtedly the few hours we got to spend with the girls. Of course it was a blast teaching them games and songs, making crafts, and playing soccer with them – or, in my case, watching everyone play soccer with them from the safety of the sidelines. My favorite part of that time, however, was simply getting to talk to them. I could go on for pages about what outstanding, intelligent, Godly, young women they all are. Many have difficult backgrounds, but none of them are letting that hold them back. They dream of being doctors and lawyers and teachers, of making an impact on their world, and I don’t doubt for a second that they can. Because of TOC and all Shadrach and Esther have done, those girls have real opportunity to turn those dreams into reality. I feel so grateful to be able to watch as their futures unfold. One thing I had accurately predicted from my first trip was how hard it would be to say goodbye, especially when I was nowhere near ready to leave. It was, of course, difficult to bid adieu to Simon, Ben, Esther and the men on the construction crew, but it nearly ripped my heart out to see the girls cry tears in response to our departure. I had grown particularly close to a few of them during the week and to call that last day with them bittersweet would definitely be an understatement. Many of them gave us letters before we boarded the bus to leave. Faith, one of my dear new friends, wrote me three. She ended one of them by saying:

30

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

“I will never forget you, Miranda. You are my best friend. I love you. I know you will cry, but crying is not the medicine. I love you Miranda. May God bless you and guide you. I love you so much. We shall meet again next year if God wishes.” I pray that it is in God’s plans for us to meet again next year and hopefully in the many years to follow. For now, however, holding on to the experiences from that week will be enough. Ten days. 170 new friends. One big family, no longer strangers. Thousands of incredible memories. And, in just ten days, the realization that it is possible to have your life changed more than once.

If you’re interested in donating to Mission Greenhouse, visit worldservants.org/poet.


For years, we’ve been told that cellulosic ethanol is a “fantasy fuel.” And it is.

And now it’s going to change the world. For real.

So we’ve spent a decade planning, researching, and working hard to make that fantasy a reality. ®

POET-DSM.COM

Advanced Biofuels


Nearly 2,500 attendees attended the grand opening celebration located in the biomass building at Project LIBERTY in Emmetsburg, Iowa.

GRAND opening On September 3, 2014 with close to 2,500 people in attendance, Project LIBERTY in Emmetsburg, Iowa became reality. The day was celebrated with public tours, speeches from well-known dignitaries from both the United States and the Netherlands including His Majesty the King, Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Deputy Under Secretary Michael Knotek of the Department of Energy, Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa.

32

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


“Some have called cellulosic ethanol a ‘fantasy fuel,’ but today it becomes a reality,” said Jeff Broin, POET Founder and Executive Chairman. “With access now to new sources for energy, Project LIBERTY can be the first step in transforming our economy, our environment and our national security.”

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds greet His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands upon arrival at Project LIBERTY.

Hailey Steele, Nashville writer and recording artist who appeared on NBC’s “The Voice”, sang the United States National Anthem

“In Iowa, more than 82,000 good-paying and important careers are supported by the biofuels industry. We want to work with companies like POET-DSM, and others, to sustain and grow more careers here at home.” Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said of the Grand Opening of Project LIBERTY.

It was a beautiful day to see the biorefinery as attendees waited in line to begin their tour. The Dutch National Anthem was performed by Deborah de Groot and Diederick Ensink.

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

33


United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: “The Project LIBERTY opening demonstrates that America is ready for advanced renewable energy production. USDA invested to help bring this facility online because it is boosting America’s energy independence, cutting carbon pollution, and holds great promise for our domestic agriculture and energy industries. I congratulate the POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels team on their grand opening and for all they have done and the opportunities they will continue to create for farmers and rural communities.”

The VFW Post 2295 from Emmetsburg presented the colors for both the United States and the Netherlands.

Dr. Michael Knotek spoke on behalf of the Department of Energy.

“This is an historical day in the development of plant-residue-based cellulosic ethanol as a viable, commercially attractive alternative to gasoline as we are moving from the fossil-age to the (bio-)renewableage. For DSM this is a strategic investment, applying our proprietary technology to convert agricultural residue on a commercial scale, allowing it to be replicated at other facilities globally as we are ramping up our cellulosic ethanol licensing business,” said Feike Sijbesma, CEO & Chairman, DSM.

Many grand opening attendees took advantage of the public tours provided at the celebration. Attendees learned about the cellulosic process as they were guided through the biorefinery.

34

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


PROJECT LIBERTY facts $

85%

MILLION

GHG REDUCTION

Capital costs are

275

Fuel from Project LIBERTY represents a GHG reduction of 85%-95% over gasoline.

200 COMMUNITY JOBS The plant employs more than 50 people directly, and biomass harvesting is creating another 200 indirect jobs in the community. In addition, hundreds of people were involved in the construction of the plant.

24.4

$

BILLION

The state of Iowa has estimated a $24.4 billion impact on the state over 20 years.

285,000

TONS OF BIOMASS Project LIBERTY will consume 285,000 tons of biomass annually from a 45mile radius of the plant.

1 TON Farmers remove approximately 1 ton of residue (~25%) per acre.

25

MILLION GALLONS

20 MILLION

$

Project LIBERTY will spend approximately $20 million annually purchasing biomass from area farmers, providing additional income to the farmers.

Project LIBERTY will produce up to 25 million gallons of cellulosic bio-ethanol annually

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

35


SERVING our COUNTRY Several POET team members hold a title that deems utmost respect – veteran. by Kayla Schlechter photo by Greg Latza Vital has introduced quite a few of our heroes over the past year. They reside in our local communities and operate POET ethanol plants. Their skills have been honed and they are the experts in their fields. They are the local basketball coaches and concession stand workers. They mentor the children of the community and serve on the local economic board. They strengthen the rural American economy. They decrease dependence on foreign oil. And in doing that, they bring our soldiers home. Countless Americans have been deployed overseas to protect foreign oil. They’ve left their families, friends and jobs. They left the safety of the U.S. and a comfortable life. They made endless sacrifices in service to our country. This reason resonates with many team members here at POET and inspires them to continuously innovate within the ethanol industry. Many have friends or family who have served, and many personally stepped up to protect our nation. Brandon McLellan, Project Engineer for POET in Sioux Falls, S.D., spent nine years in the South Dakota Army National Guard. Deployed twice for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and again in 20052006, he’s seen firsthand the true cost of relying on foreign energy and knows it goes much further than the price at the pump. “My military experience gives me a slightly clearer

36

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

perspective on our mission at POET,” he says. “For me a large reason we do what we do here is so we can limit our dependency on foreign oil and not have to rely on the economic and civil stability of some other country that doesn’t like us.” While the instability of these countries continues to grow, the U.S. is spending more and more to protect the supply and pathways of oil. In fact, the Navy spends $84 billon on protecting international trade routes alone. “I’ve always told people that I got out of the military to fight the war on terrorism on a different front with POET,” McLellan says. He’s not alone. “I started working for the ethanol industry because I was able to see firsthand how much money is spent defending foreign oil,” says Brian Torgerson, Chief Mechanical Operator for POET Biorefining – Big Stone, S.D. Torgerson served with the United States Navy for five years and was deployed during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. By offering an alternative fuel option, domestic ethanol has helped reduce oil imports to only 45 percent. Now that’s something to get excited about. “After four years of being a General Manager for POET, I understand what POET wants to do for our country by providing an alternative fuel and minimizing our dependency on foreign oil,” says Gary


Eischeid, General Manager at POET Biorefining – Gowrie, Iowa who served with the Army National Guard for 35 years. “It has really gotten me excited.” Though many have now completed their service, their time in the military serving their country shaped who they are. It created and amplified beliefs and values. Some joined because a father or grandfather had been enlisted, while others joined for the sense of adventure or because it helped pay for a college education. And some joined, simply, because their country asked them to. “The military is a great experience to mold young adults,” says Robert Muller, Maintenance Manager at POET Biorefining – Preston, Minn., who served with the Air Force. “It teaches humility and aligns with POET’s cultural values as well.” The military gives many young adults a direction for their lives. It teaches values such as loyalty, respect, honor and integrity. For many, it’s a first job teaching skills that will carry into future careers. Mary Gerken, Operator at POET Biorefining – Ashton, Iowa, served in the Marine Corps for 10 years and was deployed on tours in Okinawa, mainland Japan, Korea and the Philippines. “My Marine Corps pride has carried over into my entire life,” she says. “I want to get the job done right the first time.” Then there are those who continue to balance a day-today career, but stay on reserve – serving their country in its time of need. Jim Hill, Automation & Electrical Engineering Manager for POET in Sioux Falls, S.D., has been serving with the Army Reserve for the past 17 years. He spends his weekdays working at POET and one weekend a month at battle assembly. “I’ve always tried to find a position in the military that would complement my position at POET,” Hill says. “Prior to my new assignment, I was an instructor teaching the electrical course for soldiers reclassifying to a new job skill.” And while his work schedule is demanding, the time he spends with the Reserve is worthwhile. “We each continue to serve for a different reason,” Hill says. “For me, it’s my way to give back to the military.” So ingrained in his life, the military has called two of Hill’s three children to serve as well. In total, 182 POET team members have or continue to serve in a branch of the United States military. To the veterans of all our military branches, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your sacrifice shows selflessness to an extreme and has inspired us to push forward to decrease our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. You have given us the motivation and we will give you results.

Bob Muller

Brandon McLellan

Gary Eischeid

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

37


THANK YOU TO THE POET ALEXANDRIA, IND.

CHANCELLOR, S.D.

Jason Sherrill Marc Tobey

Army Air Force

ASHTON, IOWA Chris Butler Chris Paine Danny Clayton Darin Edwards Dave Axtell Jerry Holbrook Mary Gerken Mike Steichen Miley Hoting Sean Burns Tracy Weidner

Army National Guard Army National Guard Navy Air Force Army Army Marine Corps Army National Guard Marine Corps Army Navy

BIG STONE, S.D. Brian Torgerson Matthew Trevett Ramsey Roscoe

Navy Army National Guard Army National Guard

Steve Norvell Wes Harms Reggie Wesdorp David Mattson Kyle DeBoer Louis McClintock Dennis Gnewuch Josh Bittner

Army National Guard Army Air Force Marine Corps Army National Guard Navy/AirForce Army Navy/Army National Guard

CLOVERDALE, OHIO

Devan Buis Clayton Moore Tyler Norton Seth Wade Mike Perrine Curtis Richardson Brian Shields Charles Stone Kevin Mourning

Army National Guard Army National Guard Army National Guard Marine Corps Reserve Arm Army Navy Army Navy

COON RAPIDS, IOWA

BINGHAM LAKE, MINN.

James Rautenberg Richard Doescher Tommy Watzek Vannaxay Thirakoune Gary Soleta Cesar Hernandez

Army Navy Navy Army Army Army

CARO, MICH.

Doug Schad Robert Torres Jim McMinn Adam Kessler Chuck Hauxwell

Air Force Air Force Army Air Force Army

Jonathan Asmus Bill Howell

Navy Air Force

CORNING, IOWA

Scott Sawtelle Air Force Les Ballard Air Force Charles Barton Navy Phil Dedrick Army SamFager Air Force Jake Jaeckle Army Jim Kinzie Navy Jeremiah Mullen Marine Corps Greg Myers Army Jeff VanDenEide Navy Jonathon Stuart Army Brad White Army

EMMETSBURG, IOWA

AJ Poeppe Army National Guard Nathan Cowell Marine Corps Steve Merwald Air Force Dan McOlloug Air Force

38

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

ETHANOL PRODUCTS David Ryan Marteto Willingham Randy Van Amburg James James Dewey Gibson Larry Hopkins George Tuttle Thomas Hill Amy Drake Bill Arthur Josh Hedden

Air Force Reserves Army Air Force Navy Navy Air Force Army Air Force Air Force Navy Air Force

FOSTORIA, OHIO

Dwight Oney Michael Burlile Jeffrey Andexler

Army Navy Navy

GLENVILLE, MINN.

Terry Brandt Mike Garcia Steve Olson LeRoy Williams

Marine Corps Navy Army Airforce

GOWRIE, IOWA Gary Eischeid Jason Hamburger Dan Alcazar Randy Dyer Kevin Tobey Bob Walston

GROTON, S.D.

Army National Guard Navy Navy Army Air Force Air Force

Scott Cooper Navy John Zarycki Air Force Mik Davis Army Chad Gackle Navy Randy Wolff Army


TEAM MEMBER VETERANS HANLONTOWN, IOWA

Dennis Baker Army Reserves Mike Henderson Marine Corps/Army National Guard Dave Hinten Army National Guard Jon Perkens Navy Paul Quintero Navy Kelly Schaefer Navy Travis Thorson Army National Guard

HUDSON, S.D.

Bill Dixson Marine Corp Darin Sigler Air Force Butch Deboer Army

MACON, MO. David Baase Charles Carpenter Jeremy Shrum William Stidham

PRESTON, MINN.

Army Army Army National Guard Army

MARION, OHIO

Martin Carmichael Cory Cramer Timothy Meade Josh Foit Daniel McDonald Cliff Brannon

Marine Corps Marine Corps Army Army National Guard Navy Marine Corps

MITCHELL, S.D.

JEWELL, IOWA

Mel Tiffany Army Jay Faas Army Steve Clark Marine Corps Jake Winkler Army Orrin Glines Army Bill Jensen Army

Chris Nelson Damon Klumb Daryl Evert Ben McIntyre Dale Hayen Jack Sorenson Bob Braun

LADDONIA, MO.

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND.

Ken Yaeger Tyson Merenda David Rinehart Ron Gough Greg Smith Susan Bitner

Navy Army Army Army Army Army

LAKE CRYSTAL, MINN.

Jim Lambert Brad Jorgenson Dean Zoet Tim Haan

LEIPSIC, OHIO

Navy Navy Air Force Navy

Mark Borer Navy John Imm Navy Matt McConnell Marine Corps Jesse Reck Air Force Logan Vogt Army National Guard Rob Upham Army

James Eliason Todd Peterson Todd Springer Terry Miller Kent Dyson Blake Hudson Jeff Pick

Navy Navy Army Navy Army National Guard Army National Guard Army National Guard

Air Force Army Marine Corps Army Air Force Army Army

PORTLAND, IND. John Mikulski Josh Fields Dustin Cox Bob Byers Steve Huey Brock Hambrock

Emore Ronken Army Brandon Berg Army Chris Hanson Air Force Bob Muller Air Force Jim Randa Navy

RESEARCH CENTER

Ryan Kocourek Army National Guard Michael Harford Marine Corp/Army/ Army Nat’l Guard Kellen Scribner Army National Guard Tracy Akins Army Kyle Santos Army Douglas Janssen Army National Guard Donald Den Ouden Army National Guard Terry Freier Army Matthew Zeeb Marine Corp Brandon Fischer Army National Guard

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. Scott Teigen Michael Dishman Ed Alhambra Neil Anderson Tim Schlotterback James Hill Brandon McLellan Justin Strawn Scott LeBrun Hayden Hughes Joseph Kohnen Douglas Stevenson James Bowers James Thielen

Air Force Navy Navy Navy Army National Guard Army Reserve Army National Guard Marine Corps Air National Guard Army Air Force Navy Army Army

Navy Navy Navy Army Marine Corps Marine Corps

A

denotes those still serving. WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

39


ENERGY FOR LIFE by Melissa Ellefson, POET Wellness Director

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while balancing work, family and social responsibilities can be challenging. Energy for Life is a multi-faceted wellness program incorporated at POET that supports all areas of health: mind, body, spirit and community. The best part? We get to share it with YOU – our Vital readers. Enjoy!

Sausage Kale Soup PREP TIME: 5 MINS

SERVES: 4-6

COOK TIME: 1-2 HRS ON STOVE TOP

In the POET Kitchen A weekly Menu Monday recipe is shared with all POET team members. The most popular recipe last quarter was the Sausage Kale Soup. Give it a try! These POET team members did.

INGREDIENTS: 1 lb pork sausage ½ sweet yellow onion chopped 4 cups chopped fresh kale with stems removed 1 tsp red pepper flakes *more if you like heat 1 tbs minced garlic 1 tbs Italian seasoning 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 cans rinsed red or white kidney beans 2 boxes chicken broth *try to find organic Freshly grated parmesan for topping *Use the real stuff!

Method 1 in slow cooker:

Method 2 on the

Put sausage and onion on the

stove top:

bottom of the slow cooker on

Brown sausage

high for an hour to brown the

and onion

sausage

Add all other

*can skip this if in a hurry

ingredients and

Add all other ingredients and

simmer for an

switch to low for

hour or until kale

6-7 hours

is cooked

40

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

Emily Boynton, POET Biorefining – Caro, Mich.

James Reed, POET Biorefining – North Manchester, Ind.

Cody Webb, POET Biorefining – Preston, Minn.

Autumn Bates, POET, LLC.


What’s on your mind?

Get Active

Each issue, Melissa Ellefson will answer a

Here are three 20-minute High Intensity Interval

frequently asked health-related question and

Training (HIIT) workouts to get you started.

provide practical advice for incorporating

No equipment needed!

wellness into your everyday life. HIIT FOR RUNNERS

Q: What kind of exercise is best?

• Warm up at your usual pace for 3-5 minutes • Sprint for 20 seconds

A: The one you will do joyfully and consistently.

• Recover with a walk or slow jog for 1 minute

There is no one right answer. However, there

• Repeat 8 times through

are a lot of common pitfalls that I want to help

• Head-to-toe stretch for 3-5 minutes

you avoid: HIIT FOR BEGINNERS Don’t exercise to punish your body.

• Warm up with an easy walk, jog in place, bike or

We strengthen and stretch because we love our

elliptical for 3-5 minutes

bodies. Be amazed at what your body can do

• Do as many pushups as you can for 30 seconds

for you instead of critiquing it for self-perceived

• Recover for 30 seconds

shortcomings.

• Do as many jumping jacks as you can for 30 seconds • Recover for 30 seconds

Rethink your cardio.

• Do as many bodyweight squats as you can

Prolonged, steady state cardio such as jogging

for 30 seconds

and biking may provide you with a release of

• Recover for 30 seconds

mental stress. However, it isn’t the best option

• Hold a plank for 30 seconds

for changing your body composition. Interval

• Recover for 30 seconds

training, specifically High Intensity Interval

• Repeat 4 times through

Training (HIIT), improves insulin resistance,

• Head-to-toe stretch for 3-5 minutes

torches excess body fat and increases human growth hormone.

HIIT FOR HARDCORE • Warm up with an easy walk, jog in place, bike,

Experience the benefits of YOGA.

or elliptical for 3-5 minutes

There are too many benefits to list. Google it!

• Mountain climbers for 30 seconds • Recover 15 seconds

Nourish your body with high-octane fuel, so it

• Pushups for 30 seconds

can go the distance.

• Recover 15 seconds

Eat real food!

• Frog squat jumps for 30 seconds • Recover 15 seconds

Don’t sacrifice your sleep.

• Spiderman plank *hold a plank and touch knee

Too many people drag their weary body out of

to elbow, alternating right and left

bed at 5am to put it through stress at the gym.

• Recover 15 seconds

Be kind to yourself!

• Repeat 5 times through • Head-to-toe stretch for 3-5 minutes

You are one decision away from changing the course of your health! WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

41


U R T I N P G A C

CO2

To avoid becoming a waste product, POET captures the CO2 released during ethanol production and markets it as a useful product. by Lori Weaver

When you pull up to your local filling station, you’re probably aware the blended fuel you’re putting into your vehicle contains ethanol. What you may not realize is the ethanol industry may also have had a hand in putting the fizz into that soda you just purchased. It’s just how POET works. That’s how Dean Watson sums up the company’s success at marketing CO2, a natural byproduct of ethanol production. Watson is President of POET Grain, which includes not only responsibility for the grain business, but CO2 as well. Finding markets that utilize byproducts of ethanol production to avoid waste is a central focus of what POET does. He says POET seeks out customers, from industrial to food and beverage, to avoid CO2 becoming a waste product. “CO2 is already a natural byproduct,” adds Allen Weis, CO2 manager for POET. “Why not capture it and make it into a useful product?” CO2 is used extensively by the food and beverage industry, not only for carbonation but also for cooling and for slowing of bacterial growth in meat. Professional greenhouse growers as well as backyard gardeners utilize CO2, an important component of

42

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

photosynthesis, to improve plant growth and vigor. The healthcare industry utilizes CO2 as a medical gas for respiratory therapy and testing pulmonary function. Meanwhile, the pulp and paper industry makes use of carbon dioxide to maintain proper pH levels, improve pulp yield and aid in washing and bleaching. CO2 has also been used as a safe alternative to traditional chemicals for water and wastewater treatment, lowering costs as well as improving plant safety. Welders and the metal fabrication industry make use of CO2 as well, typically mixing it with the gas argon as a shield against atmospheric contamination of molten metal. So how is CO2 produced in the ethanol process? During fermentation, yeast consumes simple sugars found in the corn, producing carbon dioxide and ethanol as a result. For each pound of simple sugars consumed, about a half-pound of ethanol and a like amount of carbon dioxide are produced. “POET is no different from a lot of beer breweries out there that also capture CO2, but use it internally. POET captures it in the same manner, but sells it to customers out in the marketplace,” explains Watson.


photo by Greg Latza

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

43


Watson estimates the company’s venture into CO2 began back in the late 1990s or early 2000s, before POET Ethanol Products existed. “At that time, the general thinking by leaders in the ethanol industry was that if we could now capture CO2, we could become even more environmentally friendly,” Watson recalls. “Across the ethanol industry, the focus was more on the idea of being greener than on creating value.” But the widespread interest in becoming greener meant a lot of ethanol plants started capturing CO2, making a once sparse marketplace very crowded. The supply side was particularly overbuilt in the Midwest. While the market continues to attract a large number of suppliers, there has been some rationalization as the pressure squeezed profitability with the mounting oversupply. As with most new product lines, POET started out as a small player, at the pilot plant in Scotland, SD, Weis says. The CO2 market existed, but was difficult to enter.

44

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

Morving forward, five of POET’s ethanol plants included compression facilities for capturing CO2. As POET’s business grew, CO2 facilities were launched in five more locations. Watson says POET has worked to deliver a soughtafter product to CO2 customers. “I believe POET is out in front when it comes to quality control and being Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certified, allowing us to bring value to the beverage companies,” says Watson. Once captured, POET liquefies the CO2 by compressing the gas, making for easier transport. POET’s ability to transport CO2 efficiently is at the heart of its success in the CO2 marketplace. In 2013, POET’s trucking company logged over 7.2 million miles or about 289 times the circumference of the Earth. “Conventional business thinking would call for us to build really big plants and garner economies of scale,” Watson says. “But transportation is 50 to 60 percent of the cost of CO2 to the customer.” For that reason, POET uses it’s strategically located plants to minimize freight costs to customers. “CO2 was a terrible market when we got into it. But we did some things, expanded production locations and expanded into trucking. We looked at less traditional markets and for a creative way to transport the product from point A to B,” Watson sums up. “POET, through innovation and creativity, has taken things others didn’t want and found ways to grow the existing business, while developing new opportunities along the way.”


DON’T JUST CHANGE YOUR JOB

CHANGE TOMORROW + Seeking PRODUCTION OPERATORS, MAINTENANCE & PLANT TECHNICIANS Tired of just putting in the hours? Looking for something more meaningful? Would you like a career with a leading company in an exciting industry that is changing the world? POET is seeking highly motivated, hard-working individuals for positions including PRODUCTION OPERATORS, MAINTENANCE and PLANT TECHNICIANS. These positions come with outstanding pay and benefits. • $36,000 or More • Full Benefits • Retirement Plan

• 3 or 4 Day Workweek • Every Other Weekend Off • Guaranteed OT

To view these positions and more, visit POET.com/careers. Equal Opportunity Employer.


NASCAR® UPDATE by Ryan Welsh, Director of Sales and Marketing for American Ethanol

Henry Ford’s Vision Helped Fuel NASCAR

Henry Ford driving his race car, Sweepstakes, in 1901.

®

As I’m watching the NASCAR season race to the finish, I caught a clip of a historic race from the 1980s, and I felt compelled to thank someone for all of the excitement and advancement of the sport. It’s come a long way in the short time I’ve been a fan. So this thank you goes to Henry Ford. Why Henry Ford? He did not invent NASCAR or the automobile. He was gone almost two years before the first NASCAR drivers raced in Daytona Beach, FL. Ford deserves thanks because of his vision and innovation. Almost every working American could own a car because of him and he had bigger ideas going forward on how to fuel them. In 1901, immediately after his first automobile company failed, Ford entered an automobile race with a goal to re-establish credibility with investors. He built and piloted a car he named Sweepstakes to victory over the most notable race car driver of the era, Alexander Winton. Ford never expected to win, but the prize money and attention of new investors launched the beginning of the Ford Motor Co. and Ford Racing. Ford was smart enough to realize that his driving skills weren’t what got him in victory lane. His commitment to engineering and innovation were his key to victory. He gladly hung up his goggles and never drove a race car again. Seven years later, the first Model T rolled off the assembly line in Detroit and forever changed America. Few, however, remember and acknowledge that the Model T was the first production flex-fuel vehicle. Meaning it could run on gasoline, ethanol or both – a monumental example of American innovation and ingenuity. Ford believed in consumer choice and renewable energy. He famously told the New York Times, “The fuel of the future is going to come from fruit like that of sumac out by the road, or from apples, weeds,

sawdust – almost anything. There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be fermented.” Today, American Ethanol producers are using that same innovation and spirit to produce fuel, food and numerous products that you never would believe could come from a kernel of corn and vegetable matter. If Ford were alive today, I’d like to think he would be an avid NASCAR fan. Not just because of the excitement and extreme competition, but he would find pride in the fact that NASCAR has raced more than 6 million flawless miles on Sunoco Green E15, a high performance biofuel made with 15 percent American Ethanol. He also would applaud the NASCAR Green platform, the most comprehensive initiative of recycling and sustainability in all of sports, in which American Ethanol is a founding partner. This renewable fuel doesn’t just show up in the gas cans, it starts in the field – coming from the great stewards of the land, the American farmers, who are the undisputed champions in the world of agriculture because of their commitment to innovation, ingenuity and sustainability. Being a competition sponsor in NASCAR guarantees American Ethanol a spot in victory lane every week. However, the real victory will come when the American consumer has a choice of renewable fuel at the pump. Thank you to Henry Ford for his vision, thank you to him for his ideals and thank you to him for stepping out of his comfort zone and stepping into a race car.

NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc.

46

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


CONGRATULATIONS

AUSTIN DILLON 2ND PLACE

ROOKIE OF THE

YEAR Photos courtesy of Kansas Speedway

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

47


renew touring

POET

Throughout the year, POET plants host many tours. They vary from politicians to students to business groups. These tour attendees are able to see first-hand the detail that goes into producing ethanol. Most leave with a better understanding of how ethanol is made and as supporters of ethanol.

POET Biorefining – Gowrie hosted lunch and a plant tour with guests from the Mexico DDGS Pre-Team with the U.S. Grains Council Export Exchange program. The grain buyers and end users were traveling the U.S. to participate in the Export Exchange conference in Seattle, Wash. POET Nutrition representatives Tim Albertson and Isaac Crawford co-hosted the tour. Also, in attendance was Jason Sees, POET Business Development Consultant Latin America. POET Biorefining – Lake Crystal, Minn. General Manager, Jim Lambert, welcomed graduate students from the University of Minnesota with their two professors from the Minneapolis/St Paul, Minn. campus. Rick Wellmann, POET Commodity Supervisor, conducted a thorough presentation and tour for these enthusiastic grad students. At POET Biorefining – Gowrie, Iowa, Congressman Steve King spoke to a group of corn growers, investors and the Mayor of Gowrie. Congressman King is a huge supporter of the ethanol industry and he champions ethanol by educating his colleagues in Congress. Pictured here are Larry Alliger, John Samuelson, Vance Bauer, Doug Stanek, Congressman Steve King (front center), Jason Stanek, Gary Eischeid and Mayor of Gowrie, Dave Stokesbary.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster visited POET Biorefining – Laddonia, Mo. to get a better understanding of ethanol issues and reunite with his high school classmate and POET General Manager Steve Murphy. General Koster is running for Governor in 2016.

Pioneer co-hosted a group of 20 Bulgarian farmers on a tour of POET Biorefining – Coon Rapids, Iowa. They were very interested in agricultural innovation and new technologies including biofuels. 48

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

The science club from Liberty Perry School took a tour of POET Biorefining – Alexandria, Ind. They were given a gift bag with educational materials to share what they learned.


For the third year in a row, POET Biorefining – Caro, Mich. was awarded the Green Agribusiness Award by the Michigan Agri-Business Association. They were recognized for pursuing sustainability requirements in agricultural production.

Awarded for being Green

COLLECTING FOOD The team at POET Biorefining – Preston, Minn. donated 415 pounds of food to SEMCAC, the local food shelf. The team members were challenged to fill five large bins with food over a few weeks. If they met the challenge, then POET Biorefining – Preston would add $250 to the donation. The team enthusiastically took up the challenge – and exceeded it! This organization was quite grateful for the assistance provided by POET.

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

49


renew

clean up POET Biorefining – Mitchell, S.D. adopted a two-mile stretch along Highway 37 to clean-up trash. A group of team members volunteered to wear the lovely neon vests to clean-up their community this fall.

A decade IN HANLONTOWN 10 50

vital

||

In September, POET Biorefining – Hanlontown, Iowa hosted a 10 Year Anniversary Celebration for the community in the Hanlontown City Park. Though it was a cool day for Iowa in September, over 500 people enjoyed the grilled turkey sandwiches and sweet corn. “It is clear the credit for the success of the plant is shared by many including the team members, corn growers, shareholders and the community,” said General Manager Kelly Hansen.

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


excellence in business

POET Biorefining – Laddonia, Mo. was chosen as the recipient of the 2014 Commerce & Industry award presented by the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce. This award is given based on general excellence in business practices for 12 months, customer service, improvement of physical plant and community involvement.

CenterPointEnergy.com/CES • 800-495-9880


STRONG family STRONG world

by Steve Lange photo by Greg Latza

Bob Whiteman, Chief Financial Officer for POET Ethanol Products, has a big-picture view that starts at home and expands to mission work throughout the world. With a lifelong love of math and a major in accounting and a minor in finance, Bob Whiteman knows numbers. In 2000, when Bob Casper targeted Whiteman to join his original team at what was then the start of POET Ethanol Products in Wichita, he saw someone who could transform that accounting expertise into realworld applications. “Bob is one of those rare creative accountants who can bridge the accounting realm to the risk realm to the commercial realm,” says Casper. “Accounting is a disciplined balance with structured thinkers. Bob brings that structure and can apply it to abstract concepts. Bob’s got that big picture view.”

52

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

For Whiteman, that big-picture view starts at home, with a family that includes four daughters. And it carries over to work in places like Haiti, where Whiteman and his family have made multiple mission trips and helped build an orphanage. “We have always believed that helping others not only makes the world stronger, but also makes us stronger as a family,” says Whiteman. Today, Whiteman relies on those cornerstones of family and faith in his role as Chief Financial Officer for POET Ethanol Products, where he continues to not only know the numbers, but also to turn that data into real-world results for a company and an industry that he knows can help change the world.


At what age does one determine one wants to be an accountant?

BOB: At the age one figures out one can’t be a fireman or an astronaut. I grew up in Oklahoma watching my dad work in various accounting and financial roles. I always enjoyed math and working with numbers and dollars. In Oklahoma, the energy industry was prominent, so it was a combination of that and seeing what my dad did, those were things that appealed to me. I know family is very important to you.

BOB: Yes. We have Katia, 24, and Rita, 21. Both were adopted from Russia when they were 12 and 9. Lauren, 14, is our biological daughter, and Noelle, 10, was adopted domestically. Our daughter Clarissa passed away when she was very young. How did you and your wife Angie meet?

BOB: We met at college, at Friends University in Wichita. We were down to the last few months of school. We were both accounting students, but we had never paid any attention to each other. But that changed, and thankfully so. Today is our 21st anniversary. Are you doing anything special?

BOB: My wife was diagnosed with leukemia about two years ago and is recovering from a bone marrow transplant earlier this year. We’re looking forward to be able to celebrate all that once she gets her strength back. Now it’s more of a simple anniversary, a simple dinner that we’ll enjoy at home. I’ve heard she has made some miraculous recoveries along the way.

BOB: She’s not on her ninth life yet, but she’s several into them. After her second round of chemo she ended up with an infection. She went into septic shock right after Thanksgiving of 2012 and was in a medically induced coma for 10 days. The doctors said they had done everything they could. There were several days when it didn’t look like she would pull through. But by the grace of God she did. She’s been amazing. You once dressed as Jack Sparrow, with a live parrot, for a company Halloween party?

BOB: We really go all out in the office for Halloween. Kids come through the office to trick or treat and we compete for the best costume.

As people walked by they’d get a cat call here and there. That was a problem. Describe your communication style.

BOB: I prefer written. I’m a much better writer than talker. I certainly try to listen to the situation and look for a sense of commonality. I’d probably be more of the compromise sort of guy, to look for something we have shared interest in and build from there. Tell me about your mission work.

BOB: We got connected with Haiti about five years ago. We went down with friends that had been involved with the mission. There’s a community down there called La Baie des Moustiques. It sounds pretty exotic, until you understand it means “Bay of Mosquitoes.” It’s a typical community on the island with sustenance-based living – people eat what they grow, kill or fish. We fell in love with the community. We felt it was where God was calling us to connect. During the course of it all we helped build an orphanage down there. We have been back four times in the past five years with our kids, Lauren and Noelle in particular. Give me an experience that summarizes what makes mission work worthwhile?

BOB: During one of the early trips, we ended up sleeping on the roof of the mission campus. There’s no electricity or air conditioning, so you sleep on the roof. I remember being up there and seeing Noelle, who was 6, playing with the local kids. Obviously, she was a bit of a novelty. There aren’t many kids that young on mission trips. And in our world she’s not around a lot of ethnic diversity. She could have cared less that she didn’t look like them or that they were playing with a half-deflated ball, because that’s the best thing they had to play with. If that’s a lesson that our kids can take away, that we’re all here to mutually appreciate one another, it’s been a worthwhile trip. Has helping others always been near and dear to your heart?

BOB: Yes. Our family’s mission is “To help break the cycle of sin in people’s lives.” I enjoy working with organizations that help facilitate that in the community, organizations that help at-risk youth or young parents.

Where did you get a parrot?

BOB: My daughter Lauren has an Eclectus parrot. The parrot doesn’t talk, but it does like to whistle cat calls.

WWW.VITALBYPOET.COM

53


CONUNDRUM ACROSS 1. Cylinder with reciprocating motion 4. Fundamental 9. Hill incline 14. Egg cells 15. Chopper blade 16. Dwelling 17. Pro’s opposite 18. Bind 19. Meanwhile 20. They are increased when ethanol

is blended with gasoline

23. Where eagles dwell 24. Adjust the time 25. Farm lady 28. Marathoner’s need 31. Asset disposer 34. March period 37. New Orleans boat 38. The King of this country attended

the Project Liberty opening in

DOWN

33. Top for some containers

August, The _____

1. Hot chocolates

35. Prior to, previously

42. Dictation whiz

2. Long-legged bird

36. Czech or Serb, for example

44. Approximate

3. Often repeated phrase

38. Favoritism to relatives

45. Records

4. South-east Asian country

39. Wind dir.

47. Front porch

5. Top-notch

40. Craggy peak

53. Formerly

6. Commotion

41. “You __”: Richie hit

54. Summer cooler

7. Teeny bits

42. Place for sweaters

57. Make it look good

8. Greek Island

43. Children’s game

58. Governor who signed a biofuels

9. Avoid

46. Elton John title

10. “The __ and winding road”

48. Hindu wives

63. Correspond

49. Campaign creations

65. Alicia Keys hit

11. Surpasses other vendors

50. Comment

66. Astonish

12. Pressure measure (Abbr.)

51. Party to a financial exchange

67. Befall

13. Slippery sort

52. Of Peru’s peaks

68. Silly

21. Point

55. Sour sort

69. Beverage

22. “___ show time!”

56. Hard wood

70. Language of India

26. Lilliputian

59. Needle holder

71. Flat-topped clusters of flowers

27. Miscalculate

60. Film spool

72. Day’s end, in poetry

29. Agcy. with the Office of

61. Stray

62. Vampire author Rice

promotion Bill in May

FOR ANSWERS, VISIT

vitalmagazineonline.com/answers 54

vital

||

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

Beatle song

Disease Prevention

30. Saudi gulf

63. ___ bar

32. Stretch of history

64. Genetic info carrier


directory To receive free information about products or services advertised or listed in this issue, please contact advertisers via their Web address below.

PAGE ADVERTISER 55 AgCountry

17 BBI

51

CenterPoint Energy

7

Growth Energy

C4

New Holland

URL

PAGE ADVERTISER

URL

www.agcountry.com

3 Novozymes. . ............................................ www.novozymes.com

www.bbibiofuels.com

C2 POET................................................................www.poet.com

www.centerpointenergy.com

31,45 POET................................................................www.poet.com

www.growthenergy.org

www.newholland.com

C3

POET Nutrition. . ....................................... www.dakotagold.com

5

Westfalia/GEA Group . . .................. www.westfalia-separator.com


FROM THE HEARTLAND by Greg Breukelman

56

vital

||

Growing up, I received nuggets of wisdom from a man named Paul Aurandt. Mr. Aurandt came from a very modest Oklahoman home. He was only three years old when his father, a Tulsa policeman, was shot and killed. But Mr. Aurandt didn’t let this awful circumstance pull him down. He became incredibly successful and became very knowledgeable in a vast number of subjects. He especially liked to share his knowledge and information with others. Mr. Aurandt was also a master communicator. With a crisp, yet warm and friendly voice, he had the unique ability to keep me enthralled with his stories as he would change his pace by slowing down; then dramatically speed up for added effect. Sometimes he’d even add a very long pause – just to give me time to think.

at significantly less cost than gasoline. (As I write this, ethanol is selling for around $1.50 a gallon.) As a person who did mountains of research on subjects, Mr. Aurandt liked to quote others. One time he quoted the great American inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who said, “In relation to coal and oil, the world’s annual consumption has become so enormous that we are now actually within measurable distance of the end of the supply. There is one other source of fuel which may solve this problem of the future. Alcohol makes a beautiful, clean and efficient fuel . . .” He went on to say that “alcohol can also be manufactured from corn stalks and in fact from almost any vegetable matter capable of fermentation.” How prophetic! Through Project LIBERTY, we are now actually producing ethanol from the cobs, husks, and stalks that Mr. Bell spoke about nearly 100 years ago! Mr. Bell even said, “We never need fear the exhaustion of our present fuel supplies so long as we can produce an annual crop of alcohol to any extent desired. The world will probably depend upon alcohol more and more as time goes on.” It sure makes me feel optimistic that great people like Mr. Aurandt and Mr. Bell had such a big vision for farming and what we do here at POET! I know you’re all familiar with Alexander Graham Bell. But I believe most of you knew Paul Aurandt as well. Nearly every day he joined us in our living rooms, our cars, our tractors, and our trucks, as he would share through the radio airwaves the day’s news; give us his down home, common sense opinions; and tell us interesting stories with a little surprise at the end. Yes, Paul Aurandt’s full name was Paul Harvey Aurandt. And now you know my version of The Rest of the Story. Good day!

Interestingly enough, Mr. Aurandt was also a bit ahead of his time in something I strongly believe in, and I’m sure many of you do as well, alcohol fuels. Several years ago he said that “your next car just might run on alcohol at twice the efficiency, and maybe someday at less cost.” I wonder if he knew then, that ethanol would eventually be produced so efficiently it would be sold

A special thank you to Jered Jacobson, Operations & Maintenance Manager at POET Biorefining – Emmetsburg, who shared this particular Paul Harvey The Rest of the Story with me. If you would like to hear this The Rest of the Story on alcohol fuels in its entirety, you can listen to it at vitalbypoet.com/paulharvey.

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE


Dakota Gold set the standard in DDGS with the highest quality, most consistent product on the market. Designed to maximize utilization and performance, Dakota Gold DDGS are in a class of their own, giving you the reliable and cost-effective solution you need. Dakota Gold also provides excellent pelleting and flowability, making it easy to transport and work with. When only the best DDGS are good enough, only Dakota Gold will do. DakotaGold.com


4615 N. Lewis Ave. Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Smart iS

HELPiNG aLtErNatiVE ENErGY BECOmE maiNStrEam. As ethanol becomes more and more important in American energy production, its next phase of evolution is essential. That’s why New Holland stands behind Project Liberty and the advancement of cellulosic ethanol. It’s the kind of SMART thinking that continues to bring ethanol into our daily lives.

congratulations Project liberty. new holland is proud to be a part of the history making. newholland.com/na © 2014 CNH Industrial America LLC. All rights reserved. New Holland Agriculture is a trademark registered in the United States and many other countries, owned by or licensed to CNH Industrial N.V., its subsidiaries or affiliates.

Vital Magazine - Fall 2014