THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE Summer 2017
Are we reliving the 1980s Ag Crisis? More vigorous industry support of higher biofuel blends needed to avoid repeat of â€˜80s Ag Crisis
SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD A SF ET EE TRH3E0W Y RD SIFFERENTLY DIFFERENTLY O ERA LD SEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD ALL IT TAKES TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER IS LIMITLESS D I F F E R E N T L Y SPLACE EE T H ECURIOSITY W O AND R LA FEW DDIFFERENTLY DECADESâ€™ WORTH OF GOOD IDEAS. SEETHEWORLDD IFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD
STILL NEVER SATISFIED
P O E T. C O M
2017 POET Never Satisfied Scholars
Are We Reliving the 1980s Ag Crisis?
Inaugural class embodies spirit of being Never Satisfied
by Steve Lange More vigorous industry support of
POET CEO Jeff Broin Receives Honorary Doctorate from South Dakota State University
higher biofuel blends needed to
Prime the Pump Seeks to Grow Ethanol Demand, Expand E15 Infrastructure
Mission Greenhouse 2017
by BryAnn Becker Knecht
POET team members return to
From biofuels producers like POET to ag companies, there’s
Kenya to work on new construction
one industry effort that many are standing behind to support
the growth in biofuels demand
avoid repeat of ‘80s Ag Crisis
POET Biorefining – Marion to Double Capacity with Expansion
Seeds of Change: Watch Mission
Plant has capacity to produce 150 million gallons of biofuels
the 2017 trip.
Greenhouse participants talk about
per year, 360,000 tons of DDGS View photos of Jeff Broin receiving an honorary doctorate from SDSU.
On the Cover Jan. 21, 1985, Chicago, Ill.: Some of the several hundred farmers picket in near-zero temperatures outside the Chicago Board of Trade in a protest over low commodity prices. Bettmann/Getty Images
By Jeff Broin
by Brian Hefty
by Ryan Welsh
Out Of Left Field
by Scott Johnson
MAIL 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: email@example.com
POET 605.965.2200 firstname.lastname@example.org
Get Grounded In the Facts
Energy For Life
People Of POET
$4.95 per issue To subscribe, visit www.vitalbypoet.com
Find Vital online at: VitalByPOET.com Subscribe to and read a digital edition of Vital.
POET’s Vital magazine is an important conduit to share how POET is moving our country and our world from depending on fossil fuels to producing sustainable resources from the Earth. We will represent the voices of producers and biofuels supporters, as well as educate and inform readers about agriculture and industry knowledge, opportunities and the power of the human spirit.
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. ©2017 POET, LLC. All rights reserved. Publication Design & Layout: Cassie Medema email@example.com
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.
Because your goals are the priority. Novozymes Integrated solutions Products | Services | Training
Bring Back the Good Name of Biofuels by Jeff Broin, Executive Chairman and CEO of POET
The word “ethanol” has been taken on a rollercoaster ride
friends making the right choice at the pump to fill up with
over the past several decades.
higher blends. For them to make that decision, we know a strong
Ethanol really began its time in our vocabulary as a very
understanding of biofuels plays a critical role.
positive word. It was originally associated with value-added
Over the past year at POET and Growth Energy, we’ve better
agriculture, saving the family farm and stabilizing commodity
concentrated our messaging to reach more key consumer
prices. Hundreds of articles were written about the positive
audiences. Our message targets how biofuels improve engine
aspects of the ethanol industry, and in the Midwest, politicians
performance, deliver environmental and health benefits, and
were literally elected based on their support of value-added
provide cost-savings for drivers — all themes we know resonate
agriculture and ethanol.
with consumers across the U.S.
Then, the Oil Industry decided to change the game. They began
And we know this strategy is working. Our success with
to fund surrogate organizations and nationwide campaigns to
Prime the Pump validates our approach. We continue to watch
tarnish the ethanol name by pushing the food vs. fuel argument
dozens of major retailers across
and several other myths. Let’s face the facts: The Oil Industry has done a pretty good job of damaging ethanol’s once shining reputation. And they did it all for selfish reasons — market share and profit. We need to work hard to change this false narrative. The state of our nation’s ag industry, our environment and our national security depends on it. The message we need to communicate loud and clear to citizens and policymakers is that biofuels from the earth are good for consumers, farmers and our world — not to mention the numerous benefits biofuels provide for energy security, jobs, the economy and so many more. The good news? We are making progress. Today, our efforts continue on several fronts, from work being done on Capitol Hill to pass a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) solution for E15; to expanding consumer choice through Prime the Pump; to connecting with consumers in target markets to broaden our base of support.
The message we need to communicate loud and clear to citizens and policymakers is that biofuels from the earth are good for consumers, farmers and our world.
But we need to do more.
the U.S. commit to selling E15. Our efforts are paying off in dividends! At the end of 2015, we had just under 100 stores selling E15. As of May 2017, we have E15 at every pump in more than 800 locations in 29 states! (Read more about Prime the Pump in our new section in this issue.)
But our work doesn’t
stop there. We need your help to continue setting the record straight on biofuels. You need to only glance at today’s headlines to know how critical our efforts really are. Now is the time to let our voices be heard at the state level and in Washington, D.C.
As an industry, we need to continue to make sure gasoline
The ag crisis isn’t going away. We must act before it’s too late!
retailers are successful in their efforts to market higher blends.
See the Policy Corner for talking points about biofuels to share
Those retailers are crucial in achieving our goal of delivering
with your friends and neighbors.
those blends into the marketplace. As you know, the rollout of
higher blends means greater demand for agricultural feedstocks
Editor’s Note: Our redesigned issue of Vital includes several new
like corn and, most recently, agricultural residues. With the
features to keep you informed of industry news, including a Policy
current crisis facing agriculture, we desperately need biofuels
Corner, Prime the Pump section and Get Grounded in the Facts
in a larger percentage of Americans’ gas tanks.
section, which addresses a different topic each issue to arm you
So how do we get there?
with facts about hot topics across the industry. Also check out
It starts with your neighbors, your coworkers and your
more content online at our new website Vitalbypoet.com.
Contributing Every Day to the Lives of Ordinary Americans Our processes and equipment contribute to thousands of products we use dailyâ€Śthe OJ we drink in the morning, the cheese sandwich we eat for lunch, the fuel we fill our cars with, the medicines we take to be well, even the water we drink. For over a century, GEA has been working to help make the products that make our world what it is today. Moving forward, our commitment continues as we work with POET to provide the separating technology required to produce renewable biofuels and agricultural co-products. To learn more about GEAâ€™s centrifuges and separation equipment
and the industries we serve, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 800-722-6622, or visit us online at gea.com.
Reid Vapor Pressure Waiver Would Remove Barriers to Consumer Fuel Choice A new bill that addresses Reid
Clean Air Act by making a technical
Vapor Pressure (RVP) limits on E15
correction to a decades-old statute that
— a federally approved fuel with
never anticipated the introduction of
15 percent ethanol and 85 percent
biofuels blends above ten percent.
gasoline — will improve air quality,
The current statute is listed as
lower prices at the gas pump, and
the biggest barrier to fuel retailers
level the playing field for homegrown
offering more clean-burning E15 to
biofuels in markets where drivers
consumers. Currently, E15 sales are
limited during the summer months
Several biofuels champions in the
due to the drafting of the original
United States Senate — including
statute that was passed in 1990.
Senators Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), John
This act is slated to be considered
Thune (R-S.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa),
by the Senate Environment and Public
Works (EPW) Committee before the
August 2017 recess.
working to secure a path forward on
We asked Sen. Donnelly to explain
this legislation in order to remove
the importance of extending the RVP
barriers to consumer fuel choice.
Waiver to E15.
The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517) amends the
Sen. Joe Donnelly works alongside a POET team member at POET Biorefining – Portland during Donnelly Days in February 2015. Launched in Summer 2014, “Donnelly Days” are a series of events where Sen. Donnelly works alongside Indiana workers in a variety of jobs in communities across Indiana to gain a greater understanding of issues most important to Hoosier workers.
QUESTION: Sen. Donnelly, you are one of agriculture’s
will be more market opportunities for fuels grown on Hoosier
greatest champions in the Senate and you’ve been working
tirelessly to pass an RVP waiver for E15. Why is the RVP Q: E15 doesn’t get the same RVP waiver as E10, even though
waiver so crucial?
it is far better for the environment and public health. Not ANSWER: Extending the RVP waiver to all fuels is essential
only is it a less volatile fuel, it also has lower tail pipe
to selling higher ethanol fuels like E15 in the vast majority
emissions. Why has it been such a challenge to pass this
of the country. Without the waiver, a nonsensical EPA
(Environmental Protection Agency) regulation prevents most
fuel retailers from selling higher ethanol blends year-round.
A: It’s about preventing market access and limiting
And this regulation isn’t in place because higher ethanol
competition. The RVP regulation is another hurdle we have to
blends are bad for the environment. They’re actually better.
overcome in order to sell more biofuels. Don’t get me wrong,
It’s in place because of a quirk in law written 15 years before
I’m for all types of American-made energy — oil, coal, natural
the RFS was even put in place. Ethanol and biofuels have
gas, wind, solar, geothermal and biofuels — anything we can
come a long way since then, and it’s time we update the law
do in a responsible way here at home, I like to support it. But
to reflect that. When we get this waiver in place, retailers will
at some point, you’ve got to fight for a fair-playing field, and an
have the freedom to offer more fuel options, consumers will
EPA regulation that blocks E15 from being available in most
have more choice and lower prices and the pump, and there
parts of the country, but fails to improve the environment,
doesn’t seem right to me. I’ll keep fighting until we do get it right. Q: Why is consumer choice so important? A: I think it’s simple: Consumers know that biofuels give them more opportunities to support American-made fuels that
Biofuels Talking Points Please use these talking points when visiting with your friends and neighbors about biofuels.
strengthen our national security and reduce fuel prices at the gas pump. I find it hard not to like that. Q: Much has been said recently about the difficulties of the agricultural economy. The annual value of U.S. agricultural sector production is expected to fall $5.3 billion (1.3 percent) in 2017. Why does the development of the biofuels industry continue to be so critical for economic growth? A: Well, we’ve had a few difficult years in agriculture with commodity prices being so low, but the development of the biofuels industry has helped create more market opportunities for our farmers. When we’ve got more demand for the products grown on our farms, our rural communities are so much better off. And it’s not just the farmers or the folks employed in the well-paying jobs at biofuel plants
GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Fuel with higher blends of ethanol, like E15, cut carbon emissions by 43 percent compared to standard E10 gasoline, cleaning the air we breathe and lowering health risks associated with cancer and asthma.
GOOD FOR CONSUMERS E15 may save drivers an average of 5 to 10 cents per gallon — savings that adds up over the year. Lifting confusing regulations will allow fuel retailers to offer less expensive options at the gas pump year-round.
that benefit; it’s the ag retailers, equipment manufacturers, seed companies — all these industries that are inherently connected. Q: Could you talk about the importance of the biofuels industry in Indiana? A: How much time do you have? I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to get to know so many of the Hoosiers in the
GOOD FOR AMERICA Biofuels play a vital role in strengthening America’s energy security. Biofuels containing ethanol displaced over 500 million barrels of imported oil in 2016. Giving consumers the freedom to choose homegrown biofuels reduces our dependence on imported oil and helps grow jobs here at home.
biofuels industry across the state. They’re really great. And it’s not just the importance of the economic growth provided by the industry that we talked about earlier; these folks do wonderful things in their communities too. We’re proud of our biofuels presence, and we’re happy for it to keep growing. Come join us in Indiana.
INDIANA BY THE NUMBERS POET’s Contribution to Indiana Economy
$1.9 MILLION more than
Renewable Fuel Volume Obligation Requirements The Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sets a target for the use of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022. Each year, EPA issues RFS rulemakings that call for increasing volumes of renewable fuels. Visit POET’s policy section on POET.com for the latest information about Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) Requirements.
state GDP 7
THE LARGEST COMPANY IN
S O U R C E : 2 0 1 5 F O RT U N E 1 0 0 0 A N D H O O V E R â€™ S , I N C . V I A B U S I N E S S I N S I D E R
E A C H S TAT E BY R E V E N U E
A L – R e g i o n s B a n k ; A K – A r c t i c S l o p e R e g i o n a l C o r p ; A Z – A v n e t ; A R – Wa l m a r t ; C A – C h e v r o n ; C O – A r r o w ; C T – G e n e r a l E l e c t r i c ; D E – D u p o n t ; F L – Wo r l d F u e l S e r v i c e s ; G A – H o m e D e p o t ; H I – H a w a i i E l e c t r i c I n d u s t r i e s ; ID – Albertsons; IL – Boeing; IN – Anthem; IA – Principal Financial; KS – Spirit AeroSystems Holdings; KY – Humana; LA – CenturyLink; ME – TD Bank; MD – Lockheed Martin; MA – Liberty Mutual; MI – General Motors; MN – UnitedHealth Group; MS – Sanderson Far ms; MO – Express Scripts; MT – Aon National Flood Services; N E – B e r k s h i re H a t h a w a y ; N V – L a s Ve g a s S a n d s ; N H – S p r a g u e R e s o u rc e s ; N J – J o h n s o n & J o h n s o n ; N M – S a n d i a C o r p ; N Y – Ve r i z o n ; N C – B a n k o f A m e r i c a ; N D – M D U R e s o u r c e s G r o u p I n c ; O H – K r o g e r ; O K – L o v e ’s Tr a v e l Stops; OR – Nike; PA – AmerisourceBergen; RI – CVS; SC – Domtar; SD – POET; TN – FedEx; TX – Exxon Mobil; U T – H u n t s m a n ; V T – K e u r i g G re e n M o u n t a i n ; VA – F re d d i e M a c ; WA – C o s t c o W h o l e s a l e ; W V – P r a t t & W h i t n e y E n g i n e S e r v i c e s ; W I – J o h n s o n C o n t ro l s ; W Y – C l o u d P e a k E n e rg y
Never Satisfied SCHOLARS
Inaugural Class Embodies Spirit of Being Never Satisfied by Courtney Heitkamp and BryAnn Becker Knecht photos by Emily Spartz Weerheim
The seven recipients of POET’s
Next year’s program will be expanded
“Getting to spend the day with the
inaugural Never Satisfied scholarship
to include applications from any
nutrition staff gave me more ‘hands-
program truly embody the spirit
college or university in the U.S.
on’ learning that I can apply to my
of being “Never Satisfied.” Their
As part of the application process,
classes at SDSU and my future career
aspirations range from starting a
students showed why they are “Never
in the feed industry,” Mueller said.
non-profit organization to assist Type
1 diabetics in poor communities to
Alexa Bruick has enjoyed learning
revitalizing health care in Bosnia and
Montoya Mairena discussed why she
more about POET throughout the
is passionate about improving access
application process. “This company
“At POET, we believe that the world
to safe drinking water for individuals
truly is never satisfied — always
is changed by people who don’t know
in third world countries. “Water is a
wanting improvements and trying
the meaning of ‘good enough,’” said
global issue. Many people struggle
to find more efficient and clean
POET Founder and CEO Jeff Broin.
to get safe drinking water at home,”
energy sources. I hope I can embody
“Every day, we use our passion
said Mairena, who is studying civil
to change the world for future
engineering at South Dakota School of
work ethic throughout the rest of my
generations, and we are excited to
Mines & Technology.
schooling and in my career field after
support these outstanding students
and the creative ways they apply
their own passions. We look forward
Headquarters and will be featured
to following their journeys in the
on POET’s social media channels and
For more information about
upcoming semester and beyond.”
website throughout the year.
POET’s Never Satisfied campaign,
received $5,000 toward his or her
Mueller is studying animal science at
Fall 2017 semester at a South Dakota
South Dakota State University (SDSU)
college or university. One scholarship
and has plans to pursue a master’s
was reserved for a student who has a
degree in beef nutrition. Mueller
parent, grandparent, sibling or aunt/
shadowed Kevin Herrick, Technical
uncle that works at any POET location.
Service Director for POET Nutrition.
Dusan Mirkovic Hometown: Mitchell, S.D. Junior at University of South Dakota, pursuing Medical Biology
Never Satisfied Until... All children in third-world countries have quality access to health care. Dusan initially impressed POET with his “no excuses” attitude. When he was 8 years old, his family moved from their homeland of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United States. Although he
Alexa Bruick Hometown: Seward, Neb. Sophomore at Augustana University, pursuing Sign Language Interpreting
Never Satisfied Until... I serve the world.
didn’t speak English at the time, Dusan quickly adjusted to life in Mitchell, S.D., excelling at school
Alexa’s passion for service is undeniable and is
along the way. Dusan hopes to one day use his
one of the traits POET first noticed. She has an
Medical Biology degree, and eventually his medical
impeccable ability to see unrecognized needs
license, to revitalize health care in his family’s
and to put forth the effort to address those needs.
Alexa is majoring in Sign Language Interpreting with hopes of bridging the communication gap that exists between hearing and deaf populations throughout the country. Alexa wants to open a travel agency for the deaf, which would provide comfort and ease to those who want to travel the world but perhaps previously have been reluctant to travel.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Madeline Antonson Hometown: Beresford, S.D. Junior at Augustana University, pursuing Biology and Psychology
Never Satisfied Until...
Hometown: Webster, S.D. Freshman at University of South Dakota, pursuing Medical Biology
There is a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. It takes a special person to recognize that one’s own personal struggles can provide a gateway to serve others. Madeline is one of these people. Diagnosed
Never Satisfied Until... We are all back home
with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes at age 6, Madeline quickly learned how to adapt to a new lifestyle and
Prior to the start of her senior year in high school,
soon attended Camp Gilbert, a summer program
Mariah made the bold decision to enlist in the
geared specifically for kids with Type 1 diabetes.
South Dakota Army National Guard, much to the
After attending Camp Gilbert for 10 years as a
surprise of her parents, teachers and twin sister.
camper, Madeline became a counselor and decided
But that passion — the passion to pursue a life of
to mentor other kids going through the same
never being satisfied — is something that is easily
experiences she went through as a child. Madeline
identified in Mariah’s everyday life. As a senior at
hopes to use her biology and psychology degrees to
Webster High School, Mariah maintained a high
start a non-profit organization to solely assist Type
GPA and was heavily involved in varsity sports
1 diabetics in poor communities.
and extracurricular activities. This fall Mariah will be studying Medical Biology and enrolling in the University of South Dakota’s ROTC program.
Melissa Montoya Mairena Hometown: Okatona, S.D. Senior at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, pursuing Civil Engineering
Never Satisfied Until... All people have access to safe drinking water. It’s fairly common for college students to have a passion for traveling and helping others. Melissa’s passion is much more than that — it’s a lifestyle. Melissa has used her education and her expertise to design a latrine for a special needs school in Tanzania. She traveled to Tanzania in May to inspect the construction of her design. Melissa also will be traveling with a group of volunteers she’s never met before to Thailand and anticipates building water tanks, extending water pipe systems or helping on another important project.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Cooper Kelly Hansen Hometown: Hanlontown, Iowa Enrolled at the University of Utah, pursuing Computer Science Internal scholarship recipient
Never Satisfied Until...
Hometown: Garretson, S.D. Senior at South Dakota State University, pursuing Animal Science
Every person knows their unlimited potential.
Never Satisfied Until...
It takes ambition to learn a second language. It
I have made a positive difference.
takes even more than ambition to learn a language independently and go on to study additional languages. Cooper has ambition and beyond.
Most college students can’t say they’ve started two
Throughout his experiences helping translate for
businesses, but Shane Mueller can. Growing up
South American immigrants, Cooper realized the
with an agriculture background, Shane quickly
need for a user-friendly platform for learning
developed a love for farming and for the animals
languages in a new country. Consequently, he
his family cared for. After he completes his studies
developed an app to address these needs. We’re
at South Dakota State University (SDSU), Shane
excited to see where this app, and the rest of his
hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in Ruminant
passion, takes Cooper!
photos by Greg Latza
POET CEO Jeff Broin Receives
HONORARY DOCTORATE from South Dakota State University POET Founder and CEO Jeff Broin
received an honorary doctorate of
received an honorary doctorate of
public service from South Dakota
“Mr. Broin epitomizes SDSU’s role
State University (SDSU) during the
to prepare people to innovate, to do
spring commencement ceremony in
things in new ways that add real value
to the lives and well-being of our
The honorary degree is “the highest
communities,” said Dr. Daniel Scholl,
honor conferred by the Board of
Interim Dean of the SDSU College of
Regents and University and is reserved
Agriculture and Biological Sciences.
for only those candidates whose
“It is a privilege for SDSU to recognize
Jeff’s contributions by this honorary
have benefitted society,” according
POET CEO Jeff Broin receives an honorary doctorate from South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn during the commencement ceremony in Brookings, S.D.
Mr. Broin epitomizes SDSU’s role to prepare people to innovate, to do things in new ways that add real value to the lives and well-being of our coummunities.
to SDSU’s guidelines for granting honorary degrees. “Thirty years ago, I made a decision to move to Scotland, S.D., a place I had never been, and become General Manager of a nearly bankrupt ethanol plant. My dad put his farm on the line for this project, and I knew failure wasn’t an option,” Broin said. “Our will, determination and faith were tested daily, but it was those values that helped get POET to where it is today. I am incredibly humbled and honored by this recognition and will forever treasure this moment.” Broin was one of two individuals selected to receive the honorary doctorate. Sen. Tim Johnson also Jeff and Tammie Broin with their children Miranda, Alyssa and Austin.
Excerpt from SDSU Nomination Speech: During the ag crisis of the 1980s
when Jeff Broin was a teenager, his
father was concerned with farmland
project development, plant design
being set aside by the government
and construction, plant management,
and crop subsidies serving as the
main source of farm income. The
marketing. POET is also pioneering
family turned to a new ag opportunity
for revenue and built a small-scale
LIBERTY in Emmetsburg, Iowa. It is
ethanol plant on their farm near
one of the first plants of its kind, which
Kenyon, Minn. This would lead to
converts corn waste products, like
the purchase of a bankrupt plant
leaves, cobs and husks, into cellulosic
in Scotland, S.D., that would set a
foundation for the future.
Jeff Broin led the growth of that
small plant in Scotland into the
Foundation to improve the lives
world’s largest producer of biofuels.
of others, especially children and
The 28 POET plants, located across
agriculture. Supported U.S. projects
include LifeLight, Children’s Home
billion gallons of biofuels and 10
Make-A-Wish, 4-H and FFA.
billion pounds of co-products that
In 2011, he and his family founded
are marketed worldwide. He is a
Seeds of Change with the goal of
recognized innovator, entrepreneur,
transforming education, agricultural
worldwide. Current projects include
national advocate for the biofuels
Mission Greenfield, which spreads
agriculture technology by working
leadership role in an industry that
with 80,000 farmers in Kenya; Mission
brings prosperity, jobs and cleaner-
Greenhouse, a multi-year project to
burning, homegrown fuel to America.
develop a school for disadvantaged
Biofuels have created a market for
girls in Kenya; and Mission Breathe,
agricultural products that is critical
a project focused in Kenya and Haiti
to rural America. POET purchases
to transition from solid cooking fuels
5 percent of the U.S. corn crop from
(wood and charcoal) to clean liquid
more than 30,000 farmers, and each
renewable biofuels; and other projects
biorefinery contributes an average
such as potable water development
of $200 million annually to its local
and health and nutrition education in
area. The development of the biofuels
industry has increased demand for
Broin’s true driving passion in life is
the growing yields of South Dakota
to change the world through the sun,
seed and soil for future generations.
has benefitted grain farmers and
He holds a degree in Agricultural
stimulated economic growth for our
state and nation.
Wisconsin and is a husband of over 27
Much of the success comes from
years to his wife, Tammie, and father
POET’s vertically integrated business
to three children — Alyssa, Miranda
Jeff Broin spends time with schoolchildren in January 2017 at the Kakuswi School for the Deaf, located near Tawa, Kenya. In 2012, Jeff Broin, his wife Tammie and their children helped renovate the school, which houses 60-plus children with hearing disabilities. During the 2017 visit, they saw how the school has doubled in size over the past few years.
annual production capacity of 1.8
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Alyssa, Miranda, Tammie and Jeff Broin meet with Mission Greenhouse partners in Kenya.
Jeff Broin talks with his daughter Alyssa Broin during Growth Energy’s 2017 Executive Leadership Conference in Florida.
GET GROUNDED IN THE FACTS
Ethanol and Land Use QUESTION
Has increased ethanol production in the U.S. negatively influenced the number of acres set aside for soil and wildlife conservation? ANSWER No, cropland is not increasing because of increased
to a National Indicators Report by Field to Market that
ethanol production. Recent data from the Environmental
uses calculations from the USDA.
Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicate that the
Furthermore, corn that is produced for ethanol also
Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, and ethanol have not
yields the coproduct DDGS, or dried distillers grains,
led to farmland expansion.
from the distillation process. This coproduct is used to feed livestock in place of corn and reduces the amount
The EPA estimates that the acres of total cropland in
of land used for feed.
the U.S. have dropped from 402 million acres in 2007 (when the RFS was expanded) to 380 million in 2016.
Any land conversions that are taking place are due
The total cropland in the U.S. has stayed fairly constant
to other factors, such as limited funds for the USDA’s
the past four years, showing that the buildout of the
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which has a goal
ethanol industry is not changing the total acreage of
to protect and restore the natural environment. Through
CRP, the USDA helps farmers counterbalance the costs of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses,
Furthermore, farmers are using emerging technologies
shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent
to plant more corn per acre on existing cropland, while
soil erosion and strengthen wildlife habitat.
generally leaving an ample amount of corn stover — stalks, leaves and cobs that remain in the field after the
Funding from the CRP Program is in high demand by
corn harvest — to help replenish nutrients to the land
farmers and ranchers who are interested in letting
and aid in wildlife cover. 2016 was the third straight year
their land lie fallow. But over the course of the budget
of record corn production.
process over recent years, CRP funding has been significantly curtailed.
Between 1980 and 2011, the amount of land required to produce one bushel of corn fell by 30 percent, soil
POET has expressed support for expanding CRP
loss fell by 67 percent, water for irrigation fell by 53
funding for this purpose.
percent, and energy use fell by 44 percent, according
GET GROUNDED IN THE FACTS
Ethanol Production Is Up as Total U.S. Cropland Acres Are Down 405 14.3
U.S. Ethanol Production Billion Gallons/Year
Baseline total acres of cropland set under RFS expansion
Based on data provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the acres of total cropland in the U.S. has not exceeded the original, or baseline, acreage that was set in 2007, when the Renewable Fuel Standard was expanded. The total cropland in the U.S. has stayed fairly constant the past four years, showing that the buildout of the ethanol industry is not changing the total acreage of cropland.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
PRIME THE PUMP
Prime the Pump Seeks to Grow Ethanol Demand, Expand E15 Infrastructure
It’s called Prime the Pump, and it
From biofuels producers like POET to ag companies, there’s one industry effort that many are standing behind to support the growth in biofuels demand.
pivotal to setting the pathway for the
was created to do just that: grow the demand for American ethanol and increase the availability of higher ethanol blends. Prime the Pump assists early retail adopters
blends by awarding grants to help with their initial investments in infrastructure.
invested nearly $70 million in this initiative. Prime
provide E15 access. Increasing the demand for E15 — a biofuel that contains 15 percent ethanol — is E30 market. “The idea is, if you can encourage retailers to use it, that will have the dual effect of showing them the economic benefits of using it themselves and encouraging their competitors to use it, too,” says Ray Defenbaugh, chairman of the Prime the Pump fund and President/CEO of Big River Resources. There are multiple benefits to the Prime the Pump program, notes Mike O’Brien, Vice President of Market Development for Growth Energy. “The
by BryAnn Becker Knecht
program has led to E15 being sold at more than ten of the largest retail chains in the nation, putting pressure on all retailers who don’t offer E15. We’re now receiving multiple calls from other large retail chains about offering E15. … E15 represents new demand for the ethanol industry and corn growers.”
PRIME THE PUMP
Major Independent Retail Chains Made Commitments to Offer E15
supporting retailer investment.”
Prime the Pump retail sites sell an
retail chains including Kwik Trip,
additional retail chains to begin offering E15. Casey’s, Family Express and others have all started offering E15. average of around 3 billion gallons
QT, Thorntons, Sheetz, Kum & Go, Minnoco, Protec, MAPCO, Murphy USA, RaceTrac and Cenex have made commitments to offer E15 at more than 1,500 of their high-volume stores in the U.S. Kum & Go was one of the first retailers to implement E15 as part of Prime the Pump. Today, Kum & Go offers E15 at 112 locations and is committed to installing E15 at the company’s new retail locations for the next several years. The company has 412 stores in 11 states across the Midwest. “We see it [E15] as a fuel that has an excellent value proposition for
It’s a gateway to the next generation of fuels that offer the best overall mixture of low cost, low emissions, sustainability and performance.
customers,” says Jim Pirolli, Vice President of Fuels for Kum & Go. “It’s a gateway to the next generation of fuels that offer the best overall mixture of low cost, low emissions, sustainability and performance. E15 is a great midlevel biofuel blend that can be used by a much wider customer base than E85. This can be used in the vast majority of cars on the road today.” E15 is approved for use in almost
of gasoline annually per site. The national average is under 1 billion gallons of gasoline annually per site. Increasing E15 sales continues to be a significant industry priority because of the gains it would bring to the industry and the American farmer.
90 percent of American vehicles. E15
may save drivers an average of 5 to 10
Visit GetEthanol.com to locate the
cents per gallon, savings that add up
nearest E15 station and fill up. After
over the year.
filling, we encourage you to go inside
Pirolli says that the Prime the
and thank the retailer for offering
Pump campaign helped Kum & Go
position itself as an early adopter of E15, allowing the company to stay ahead of consumer preference and the demand curve. “Prime the Pump was instrumental and very successful at the specific mission they set out to do: increase access to these fuels by
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
PRIME THE PUMP
Kwik Trip/Kwik Star Joins Prime the Pump, Offers E15 “Consumers are seeing the value E15 offers — from burning cleaner and cooler, which is better for engines and the environment, to saving up to 10 cents per gallon each trip at the pump” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor
The latest major U.S. fuel retailer to
locations — joined Prime the Pump
infrastructure to offer E15.
join the Prime the Pump initiative will
in May and plans to eventually offer
“The list of retailers offering E15
significantly boost the number of retail
E15 at more than 400 stores in Iowa,
is expanding constantly and we are
locations offering E15, a federally
excited to welcome Kwik Trip as the
approved fuel with 15 percent ethanol
company sells more than 1 billion
latest retailer to join Prime the Pump
and 85 percent gasoline.
gallons of gasoline annually. As of
and the impressive group at the
Kwik Trip — which is based out
May 2017, E15 is offered at more than
forefront of expanding fuel choices
of La Crosse, Wis., and also branded
800 locations in 29 states.
for American drivers,” said Growth
as Kwik Star at the company’s Iowa
Kwik Trip is leveraging existing
Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Consumers
PRIME THE PUMP
About Kwik Trip Operates their own bakery, dairy and kitchens to deliver fresh items to stores Named the 21st Best Workplace on the Top 150 Workplaces in America List in 2013 Recognized by the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) as the first convenience store to complete its commitment to expand healthier options across its stores Named the Chain of the Year in 2004 by the Convenience Store Decisions Magazine
are seeing the value E15 offers —
E15 is approved for use in all
from burning cleaner and cooler,
vehicles 2001 and newer. The United
which is better for engines and the
States Department of Energy, NASCAR
environment, to saving up to 10 cents
and consumers have put it to the
per gallon each trip at the pump —
test over millions of miles with great
and we’re thrilled that more and more
Americans are having access to it each
To find your nearest E15 station, visit GetEthanol.com.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Nitrogen Management in Fields
by Brian Hefty When was the last time you talked to a farmer who said, “I love wasting money! If I can overspend on something, that brings me great joy!”? Not only has this never happened in history, it never will happen. That’s why, as a farmer, I get frustrated when I hear non-farmers suggest that farmers are overfertilizing, polluting the environment and contaminating our water supply. Here are the steps most farmers take to avoid nitrogen problems, as well as a few facts about nitrogen.
HOW MUCH NITROGEN IS IN THE SOIL, AND HOW MUCH WILL BE IN THE SOIL? By running soil tests, farmers can see how much fertility they already have, and they can also estimate how much they will have later on. For example, on our farm we figure about 20 pounds of nitrogen will be released from each 1 percent of organic matter in the mineralization process I described above. If we have 5 percent organic matter, that’s 100 pounds
The drinking water standard in the United States is
of nitrogen we don’t have to apply. In addition to pre-season
10 parts per million (ppm) of nitrate-nitrogen. There is almost
soil tests, many farmers use pre-sidedress nitrate tests to get a
always some level of nitrate in water. Adults can actually
more accurate measure of how much fertility they must apply in
withstand far worse levels than 10 ppm, but the acceptable level
the summer to properly feed the plant. Technology companies
is far lower just to be extra cautious for infants.
such as Farmer’s Edge use weather data, imagery and other field
measurements to fine-tune these numbers. Nitrate is naturally produced in soils through the
applies zero nitrogen in his field, as soils warm up each summer,
HOW MUCH NITROGEN CAN THE SOIL HOLD AT ANY ONE TIME?
they release nitrate, some of which will likely leach down and
Take the cation exchange capacity (CEC) number from your
end up in groundwater at low levels.
soil test times 10. That will give you a rough idea of nitrogen-
process of organic matter mineralization. Even if a farmer
Ammonium nitrogen — the other main form of
nitrogen found in soil besides nitrate — is fairly non-leachable. Soil has a negative electrical charge. Ammonium nitrogen has a positive electrical charge, which is why it doesn’t leach down like nitrate. Farmers use ammonium forms of nitrogen and nitrogen stabilizers (which help keep nitrogen in the ammonium form longer) to reduce loss.
holding ability. For example, our farm’s CEC averages between 15 and 20, so our soils can hold 150 to 200 pounds of nitrogen in most cases. Thanks to modern farming practices and hard work, nitrogen efficiency is at an all-time high, as yield per pound of fertilizer continues to rise. The United States now has the cleanest, safest drinking water supply in the world, and it continues to get better each year! That’s thanks in part to the great job farmers are
What do farmers consider before applying nitrogen? HOW MUCH NITROGEN DOES THE CROP NEED, AND WHEN DOES IT NEED IT?
doing with nitrogen management. If you would like to see some of the newest technologies farmers are using to manage nitrogen, please join us at the free Ag PhD Field Day on our farm near Baltic, S.D., on Thursday, July 27. At last year’s event we had over 10,000 farmers from 40 states and 25 countries! For details visit www.agphd.com.
Yes, as yields go higher, more nitrogen is required, but if the nitrogen isn’t needed until later in the season, you see many farmers split-applying nitrogen. Some of it goes on in the fall or spring, with the rest being applied as the crop is growing. Additionally, farmers use variable rate technology to fertilize more in areas of the field with higher yield potential.
IS MADE HERE.
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 Biorefining â€“ Marion to Double Capacity with Expansion
Plant has capacity to produce 150 MILLION GALLONS of biofuels per year, 360,000 TONS of DDGS
at a glance
Opened: Oct. 24, 2008 Current production capacity: 70 million gallons annually Corn purchases: 24 million bushels annually High-protein animal feed production: 178,000 tons Number of employees: 43 Marion employees, plus 2 POET Plant Management employees for a total of 45 Corn Oil: Added in 2012, producing 13,000 tons annually CO2: Added in 2013, producing 26,000 tons in 2017
POET Biorefining – Marion (Ohio)
“I’m so excited that POET has
is undergoing an expansion that
and land values. POET today spends
announced the expansion of their
is expected to more than double
more than $330 million on Ohio corn
Marion facility,” said Keith Truckor,
its capacity from nearly 70 million
Chair of the Ohio Corn Checkoff.
gallons per year to 150 million gallons
“Marion proved to be the perfect
“Demand for clean-burning Ohio-
per year, improving the grain market
location for this expansion,” General
made ethanol is growing and that
for local farmers and adding new
Manager Rick Fox said. “We have
means demand for Ohio corn is up,
jobs to the community. With the
too. We’re so fortunate to have POET
expansion, high-protein animal feed
operating here. Ethanol production
production is expected to grow from
workforce here, and the state of
in Ohio is helping our environment,
178,000 tons to approximately 360,000
Ohio is a strong agricultural state
creating jobs and helping Ohio’s hard-
and steadfast supporter of biofuels.
“As more drivers choose biofuels,
This plant has continuously been a
“This expansion is a boon not only
growth opportunities such as this
top-performer with a creative, hard-
for the Marion community but also
and new technologies to lower fuel
working team, and we’re excited to be
for all of the farmers in the area who
emissions will follow,” said Jeff Lautt,
the site for POET’s largest expansion
will see a growing market for their
POET President and Chief Operating
grain,” said Gus Comstock, CEO of the
The project will cost approximately
Greater Marion Community Area New
With the increased production,
$120 million and provide more than
Development Organization. “POET’s
corn purchases from area farmers is
225 construction-related jobs and 18-
growth is just another example of
expected to grow from the current 24
21 new permanent jobs for the area.
million bushels to approximately 50
Site work is planned to begin this
phenomenal workforce available in
million bushels annually, improving
summer with a construction start in
the grain market for farmers at a time
the fall and completion estimated for
when agriculture is facing challenging
We’re so fortunate to have POET operating here. Ethanol production in Ohio is helping our environment, creating jobs and helping Ohio’s hard-working farmers. Keith Truckor, Chair of the Ohio Corn Checkoff
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Are we reliving the 1980s ag crisis? More vigorous industry support of higher biofuel blends needed to avoid repeat of ‘80s Ag Crisis. by Steve Lange
March 16, 1983, Des Moines, Iowa: About 100 people — farmers, members of their families and supporters — gather to listen to speakers from the Iowa Farm Unity Coalition at a rally at the state capitol. Farmers are lobbying for minimum prices for corn and soybeans and for a moratorium on farm foreclosures. Bettmann/Getty Images
Contact your representatives and senators.
For American farmers, 1979 was a
Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver, which
pivotal year. While most experts did
places limits on E15 sales during
not see it coming, it was a year that,
summer months. The stakes are high:
by many accounts, marked the start of
Oil interests continue to undermine
the 1980s agricultural crisis, the worst
biofuels in order to eliminate their
six-year stretch for the ag industry
competition at U.S. gas stations.
since the Great Depression.
Today’s economic climate further
It was a year where farm profits
underscores the important role of
Consumer and Fuel
declined, farm debt increased, farm
biofuels to mitigate an impending
Retailer Choice Act, and
exports plateaued and interest rates
ag crisis, says Bill Northey, the Iowa
uphold a strong Renewable
increased. At one point during a single
Secretary of Agriculture.
Fuel Standard (RFS).
week in 1985, an estimated 250 farms
“We can’t control all of the factors,
closed per hour.
but one thing we can control is
Industry experts say there are
ethanol production,” says Northey, a
many parallels that lead from the
fourth-generation farmer. “We’d have
Visit Poet.com/policy to stay updated on developments.
Ask them to deliver Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) relief through S. 517, the
farm industry in 1979 to what is being seen today. The
farming in the 1980s are also driving farming today, says Jason Henderson, former Vice President at the Federal Reserve bank of Kansas City and current Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture and Director of Purdue Extension at Purdue University. “Profits are declining, exports have started to plateau, debt is on the rise, they’re starting to raise interest
Signs point to a downturn. We can get through it, but we have to do something about it now, or it’s going to mean tough times again for sure.
didn’t think we were overleveraged in ’79 and ’80,” says Gaesser. “But it turned out we were when our land value dropped to a third of what we paid for it. Suddenly, we had no net worth.” Today, Gaesser farms 6,000 acres — half corn, half soybeans. While he’s cautiously optimistic about the next few years, he’s not taking on any more debt, not buying any new land and
rates,” says Henderson. “Signs point
not buying any new equipment.
to a downturn. We can get through it,
“I know a lot of farmers doing the
but we have to do something about it
same thing,” he says. “Today definitely
now, or it’s going to mean tough times
feels like 1980 or so. The interest rates
again for sure.”
may be lower, but that could change
While ag industry experts differ
a full-blown ‘80s ag crisis today if we
quickly. And it takes a lot more money
on their predictions for farming’s
didn’t have ethanol. We need E15,
to farm today — maybe three or four
outlook for the next several years,
need higher blends, need higher sales
times as much per acre — as it did
they agree on one thing: Biofuels are
of ethanol. We’ve seen the benefits of
the main factor that has helped save
this in the past; we need it now, and it
At 75, Jerry Losure still occasionally
the industry so far — and they are the
can be a difference between whether
uses the first tractor he ever bought
only solution to today’s agricultural
we suffer through something like the
on his own, a 1966 John Deere 4020.
“It runs like a top,” says Losure, who
Ray Gaesser, 64, grew up on a small
grows corn, soybeans and wheat on
importance of backing the biofuels
farm in Indiana. He got married and
his farm near Marion, Ind., a mile
industry through work like continued
bought his own farm in Corning, Iowa,
from where he grew up. After farming
in 1978, and he knows all about those
for 60 years, Losure fears that too
Standard, or RFS, the law that requires
tough times during the ‘80s. He and
many farmers — especially younger
biofuels to be blended into the U.S.
his wife, Elaine, were in their mid-20s
farmers — have invested too much in
supply of gasoline and diesel fuel,
when the downturn hit hard.
and efforts to find a fix to the Reid
“Like a lot of farmers today, we
“I was fortunate in the ‘80s,” he says.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
“I had working debt, but not the kind
positive today that wasn’t prevalent in
longtime senator from Iowa has a
of debt that gets you in big trouble.
the early ‘80s: biofuels.
history as a proponent of ag issues,
We saw people a few years ago, when
In 1979, corn yields reached historic
which should come as no surprise for
corn and bean prices went too high,
highs, with an average of 109 bushels
a guy who still lives within a few miles
buying equipment based on those prices. Now, land and machinery has gone up and hasn’t come back down, and prices are falling. A lot of those new farmers aren’t going to survive if the price of corn doesn’t go up.” One of those soon-to-be-new fulltime farmers is Losure’s daughter, Amy Beebe, who plans to take over the family farm soon. After stints as a teacher and semidriver, Beebe says she felt compelled to return to the family farm. “I’ve known probably since I could know anything about myself that farming feels right,” she says. “It doesn’t get any better than seeing my kids (10, 8 and 5) getting involved in something so
of the New Hartford, Iowa, farmhouse
Today, ethanol has been a godsend. That would have helped a lot in the ‘80s, and it’s one of the lessons we’ve hopefully learned for today. Now the question is whether anyone will do anything about it.
important for America. I’m optimistic
owns a corn and soybean farm there. “It’s because of ethanol that we’re able to keep the corn price as high as it is,” says Grassley. “We have to do more things in Washington to support the ethanol industry.” Those things, according to Grassley, include continued support of the RFS; freer export of biofuels; and an overhaul of RVP regulations. “If crop prices continue below the price of production, next year is going to be very, very bad,” he says. “What we don’t have in price we made up in bushels to sell because of outstanding production last year. That’s why we have to keep a very, very vigorous and
about our work ethic and desire. I’m
strong ethanol industry.”
partially optimistic about the next few
per acre for a total of 7.5 billion U.S.
years for the ag industry.”
priorities for 2017 follow suit with the
When Marion, Ohio, corn and
This year is expected to match or
initiatives noted by Grassley. Those
soybean farmer Roy Loudenslager
surpass 2016’s record-setting totals of
priorities are to support growth for
went through the 1980s ag crisis,
170 bushels per acre and 14.5 billion
biofuels infrastructure under a strong
he talked to someone who had
RFS, remove barriers to consumer
been through the same thing: His
“In the ‘80s, we were getting 110
fuel choices with a RVP fix, and open
grandfather had been a farmer during
bushels,” says Gaesser. “Now we
new markets for U.S. exports and
the Great Depression.
consistently make 190 to 210. We’ve
trade of biofuels. “Our policy efforts
“He paid $300 an acre and saw it
almost doubled our yields. Think
have been focused most recently
drop to $100,” says Loudenslager, who
of all the corn back then, just sitting
on working to add RVP relief in the
formed a farming partnership with
around, not able to be sold. Today,
domestic market. The statute in the
his brother in 1953, and now has a
ethanol has been a godsend. That
Clean Air Act is listed as the biggest
grandson helping on the farm. “For
would have helped a lot in the ‘80s,
barrier to fuel retailers offering more
me, land prices went from $3,000 an
and it’s one of the lessons we’ve
acre in the ‘80s to less than half that.
hopefully learned for today. Now the
Offering E15 year-round would bring
You’ve always got to be prepared for
question is whether anyone will do
tremendous value to our industry,
hard times ahead, and there could
anything about it.”
consumers and the environment. We
certainly be hard times ahead if they don’t do some things now to make sure the ‘80s don’t happen again.” While all four farmers also see
also need RVP relief to realize the
differences between the 1980s and
where he was born in 1933. He still
promise of cellulosic biofuels, which we’re on the verge of bringing online. In addition, while U.S. corn exports remain stagnant, there continue to be
today — with lower inflation and less
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is someone
opportunities to open new markets
overall debt — all four point to one
trying to do something about it. The
for ethanol exports. We continue to
support efforts to educate foreign
U.S. corn export market. “We believe
to increase along with the gains the
policymakers about the benefits of
that exports will continue to decline
farmer has made. Although ethanol
biofuels,” says Kyle Gilley, Senior
for the U.S. farmer to the point where
production has leveled off, the gains
Vice President of External Affairs &
they could lose 300 to 500 million
that the farmer has made have not
bushels of export market share,”
stopped. Despite no new demand,
said Dean Watson, President of POET
yields continue to increase,” Watson
EXPERTS PREDICT DIRE FORECASTS FOR U.S. CORN EXPORTS
Grain. This year Watson estimates
said. For example, since the 2006 to
more than 2.2 billion bushels will go
2010 time period, yields jumped from
into the export market.
152 to an average of 171 bushels per
Historically, the export market has
acre in 2016. That’s an extra 1.71
served as a flushing mechanism for
billion new bushels of corn in the U.S.
excess corn. Since 2000, the U.S. has
Additionally, international players
exported on average 1.9 billion bushels
on the export market for corn and
of corn. That number has been fairly
soybeans are pushing out the U.S.
While many argue that exporting
static for the last 30 years even as corn
farmer due to their lower cost of
more corn would be the preferred
harvest yields per acre have steadily
production competitive advantage.
way to alleviate that oversupply, the
market for U.S. corn exports has not
has served as the mechanism to
incremental bushel has been exports.
kept pace with farmers’ record-high
soak up the grain surplus above the
As countries like Brazil, Argentina,
corn yields — and industry experts
historical export volumes. “As ethanol
Ukraine and Russia have increased
continue to have dire forecasts for the
consumption increased, it was able
their ability to produce, the export
Global Corn, Soybeans and Wheat Surplus It’s not just happening in the U.S. This is happening around the world. Places like Argentina, Ukraine, Brazil and others are playing a larger role in the export market. Global supplies of corn, soybeans and wheat have risen to record levels. In the last four years, the global grain carryout has gone up 50 percent, from 14 billion bushels to 21 billion bushels.
GLOBAL CORN, SOYBEANS AND WHEAT SURPLUS WHEAT
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Amy Beebe felt compelled to return to the family farm after spending time as a teacher and semi-driver.
photo by Jayne Rohlfing | besweetlight.com
U.S. Corn Yields Precision farming and planting more plants per acre are increasing yields. The boom years in the 2000s led to improved efficiency as farmers bought new equipment and seed companies invested in better technology. Corn production is predicted to nearly double in the next 15 years.
U.S. CORN YIELDS 320
1956 –1995 1996–2001
Single Cross Hybrids 120
80 Hand Mating
U.S. Farm Income U.S. Farm Income
U.S. farm income continues to drop. The United States Department of
Agriculture projects 2017’s farm real estate debt will increase by 5 percent and reach a
historic high of $240.7 billion. Net U.S. farm income is estimated
to be $62.3 billion this year, down from $123
billion in 2013.
market has no longer become a
producers, create additional jobs,
from institutions including the United
viable option for U.S. agriculture at
primarily in rural America, and
the historical volume levels. That’s
represent a significant opportunity
(USDA) are oddly similar to the late
why you see inventories growing
to add additional value to corn and
1970s and early ‘80s.
dramatically and why values are
other ethanol feedstocks,” says Miller,
who has more than 35 years of work
disappointing one for farmers,” wrote
we find a way to keep pace with the
experience on ag, energy, trade and
the Kansas City Fed in 1982. “During
farmers’ ability to grow corn, the
policy issues. “The co-products of U.S.
1981, farmers experienced the second
grain values on the farm will get to
ethanol production, such as DDGS
year in a row of sharply depressed
the point where people can’t afford to
and corn oil, represent important
farm,” Watson said.
additional value added opportunities
A report from the same institution
While historical data shows that
for U.S. agriculture domestically and
in April of this year echoed similar
in overseas markets.”
sentiments: “Persistent declines in
limited, the upside is that value-added
farm income have remained a primary
products like DDGS (distillers dried
driver of reduced lending in the farm
grains with solubles, a nutritious animal feed) and corn oil have great potential for opportunities in overseas markets. For
Consulting, exporting ethanol — and ethanol co-products — represents a
TODAY’S INDICATORS PARALLEL THOSE OF THE 1970s, 1980s
sector. Revenue from the production of most agricultural commodities is expected to decline again in 2017.” The USDA projects 2017’s farm real estate debt will increase by 5 percent and reach a historic high of $240.7 billion. Net U.S. farm income is estimated to be $62.3 billion this year,
While ag industry experts differ on
down from $123 billion in 2013.
opportunity for the farm industry.
their predictions for farming’s next
A recent article from The Wall Street
“Ethanol exports provide additional
few years, key indicators and reports
Journal, “The Next American Farm
market opportunities for U.S. corn
Bust Is Upon Us,” notes that “American
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
farmers’ incomes will drop 9 percent
Loudenslager and Ray Gaesser —
in 2017 ... extending the steepest slide
describes the ag industry in 1979,
and many of those policymakers —
since the Great Depression into a
when too many experts, too many
lived through the ‘80s ag crisis, and
farmers and too many policymakers
remember it vividly: the foreclosures,
At 82, John Block, who served as U.S.
the farm auctions, and friends and
Secretary of Agriculture from 1981-86,
— those warning signs like ever-
family members facing bankruptcy.
still owns his 4,000-acre family farm
Jerry’s daughter will be taking over
in Illinois, where, he says, his “roots
growing debt and rising interest rates.
his farm soon. Roy’s grandson recently
are embedded in that black soil.”
“There’s no question, if prices
came back to work on his farm. Ray’s
Block saw firsthand the complexities
remain where they are, we will see
son works with him full-time.
of the ‘80s farm crisis.
some farmers unable to compete in
“Did we learn those lessons from
this environment,” says Chuck Conner,
the 1980s or not?” asks Ray, who
today,” says Block, who now serves as
President of the National Council of
sells every bushel of corn he grows
a lobbyist focusing on ag issues. “But
Farmer Cooperatives. “If something
to the POET Biorefining — Corning in
if we didn’t have the money that’s
isn’t done, we’ll lose more farmers.”
Corning, Iowa. “We didn’t seem to do
been pumped into corn by ethanol,
Corn production, according to most
enough then when we should have.
we’d be in more trouble than we are
industry experts, will continue to rise,
Will we be looking back in five years
today. In the ‘80s, ethanol was just
as Precision Ag practices and ever-
saying they could have done this and
starting to come into play, but that
evolving technology drive yields even
that but no one did? If we do, that will
would definitely have helped us. The
higher. Some experts are predicting
be a shame.”
question is whether we will act now
nationwide averages of 300-bushel
on what we learned, before it’s too
yields within 15 years.
Iowa Land Value Change A three, soon-to-be four-year decline in land values is significant. If we look at the last three decades, there’s only one other time we’ve seen this happen: the 1980s farm crisis.
IOWA LAND VALUE CHANGE
PERCENT INCREASE OR DECREASE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR
CLEAN AIR ACT
5.1 -8.9 -3.9
15.9 14.3 22
ETHANOL INDUSTRY EMERGES
6.6 0.4 2.5 2.1
E10 BLEND WALL
-30.1 -17 1980
Team American Ethanol: Making Lemonade by Ryan Welsh
We’ve all heard the phrase, “When life gives you lemons,
NASCAR has been a great proving ground since Sunoco Green
make lemonade.” In a NASCAR race, cut tires, wrecks, parts
E15 was introduced into the sport in 2011. It’s a sport packed
failures, weather and human error can be the more challenging,
with dedicated, passionate fans who are loyal to their favorite
or “lemons,” side of the race. Some of these have reared an ugly
drivers — and specifically to the brands that those drivers
head this year in the #3 American Ethanol Team’s efforts.
support and endorse. E15 is a high-octane fuel that boosts power
Luckily for us, Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of
and performance in engines. It was a natural fit.
Richard Childress Racing, is a master lemonade maker and
Our brand is extremely visible in the sport — whether it’s on
his teams exuberate his resilience. He came up from a kid in
Austin Dillon’s No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet, on the fuel
poverty selling peanuts and turned those early life lemons into
port of every race car across NASCAR’s top three competition
a 17-time NASCAR Championship-winning organization. We are
series, or on the green flag that starts every race. NASCAR fans
in good hands.
have come to know the American Ethanol brand, and they
understand why E15 is a great fuel for their favorite driver
misconceptions, misinformation and the deliberate distortion of
and their own car. We are now one of the top ten most popular
truth — some other lemons, if you will. We can take a page out
brands in NASCAR. We are evolving from a purely educational
of Richard’s playbook and use these as opportunities to better
direction to promoting an available product, E15. E15 can now
tell our story and make better lemonade.
be found at 800 retail outlets across 29 states.
Austin Dillon wins his first Monster Energy Cup Series race on fumes over Memorial Day Weekend.
American Ethanol driver and spokesperson in Victory Lane after the longest race of the year. also launched a social media initiative
leading up to the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway for an American Ethanol paint out. The team has also taken advantage of key opportunities to reach narrower,
audiences — aspiring technical professionals. American Ethanol coordinated with ECR Engines’ Technical Director, Dr. Andy Randolph, to host an engine-performance seminar
EPIC (Energy Production and Infrastructure Center). American Ethanol and E15 will continue to have a strong presence in the NASCAR arena. We are committed to finding creative ways to supplement attrack engagement with new and On the track Austin Dillon captured his first Monster Energy
exciting initiatives that reach
Cup Series win over the Memorial Day weekend, driving the
beyond the scope of the hardcore NASCAR enthusiast. American
celebrated No. 3 car to victory at the Coca-Cola 600. Dillon’s win
Ethanol has a compelling story to tell, and we will always be
came at his home track, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and is
seeking new audiences and new ways to share that story. As for
the first for the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 car since Oct. 15,
the lemons, we say keep ‘em coming. The more lemons we get,
2000, when Dale Earnhardt won at Talladega. The team was a
the better we get at making lemonade.
100 to 1 shot to win per Las Vegas odds makers. They overcame a change in crew chiefs and executed a brilliant fuel strategy running out of gas while crossing the finish line. Off the track it has been a fruitful racing season as well for Team American Ethanol. This season we are creating new opportunities to share the benefits of E15 with people around the country who are not necessarily die-hard NASCAR fans. The American Ethanol team challenged itself to find new ways to connect with Americans everywhere who may never go to a NASCAR race, and whose wheels will never touch a superspeedway. One way the team has done that this year is by leveraging its relationship with Richard Childress Racing to engage the public with messages that expand beyond the typical scope of NASCAR conversation.
Engaging with ECR Engines demonstrating the performance assets of American Ethanol.
We worked with NASCAR and our driver, Austin Dillon, to livestream a video before a race at Bristol Motor Speedway during NASCAR’s Race to Green Week, where he spoke about the NASCAR Green program and how American ethanol helps him be green on and off the track. The American Ethanol team
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
ENERGY FOR LIFE
FIVE HEALTHY TIPS FOR TRAVEL by Brandan Fokken, Fitness and Lifestyle Coach Maybe you’ve planned a much-needed vacation getaway or a business trip this summer. Either way, maintaining healthy eating habits while traveling can be a challenge. Avoiding unhealthy foods is tough as it is, but it can seem impossible when you are rushing to a long flight or running between meetings.
3. CALL OR CHECK AHEAD If you are on a flight that will be serving meals, call the airline ahead of time. Most airlines can offer meals that are low-fat, vegetarian, gluten-free, low sodium, etc. You can also opt out of airplane food by packing your own travel meal. Check out the hotel restaurants to make
Traveling doesn’t mean you have to stop your healthy habits. With a little planning, you can set yourself up for success! The next time you travel, consider these tips:
sure your nutritional needs can be accommodated. FIT TIP: If the location isn’t great when it comes to what you need, you can always book a different hotel with better access to food options.
1. PACK IN ADVANCE You can bring food with you anywhere — plane, bus, train, boat — so why not pack to-go meals and snacks in your carry-on? A travel-friendly bag allows you to prepack your meals and cutlery and keep them fresh as you’re on the go.
4. STAY HYDRATED It is important to stay hydrated while traveling. Dehydration can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, swelling and reduced concentration. It can even cause food cravings and in some cases binge eating.
FIT TIP #1: If you are traveling through the airport, all foods must be wrapped, packed or contained, and your liquids may not exceed 3 ounces.
FIT TIP: Make sure to drink more water than you are used to so your body is better able to handle travel, new surroundings and the change in routine.
FIT TIP #2: If you are traveling by car, bring a larger cooler. This can expand your options tremendously!
2. BUY FOOD AT YOUR DESTINATION If you aren’t able to pack in advance you can still make the right choice when you arrive at your destination.
5. MAKE SMART RESTAURANT CHOICES Eating at restaurants can make or break a healthy diet, so try to consider the same things you would if you were home: • Look at the menu online or ahead of time, if one
One option is to use a national meal prep service and
have food delivered to your hotel. You can also find
• Choose meat and fish items that are steamed,
a hotel with a kitchen in advance so you can prepare
broiled, baked, grilled, poached or roasted.
your own meals.
• Choose vegetable options that have been steamed
FIT TIP: Check ahead for co-ops or stores like Whole
versus sautéed or fried.
Foods that offer healthy meal options you can pick up
• Ask for dipping sauces, such as dressing, sour
daily. They can be a lifesaver when you need something
cream, cheese, ketchup or mayonnaise on the side.
quick! FIT TIP: Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions or to have food prepared the way that you want. The restaurant in many cases will be happy to accommodate your needs.
ENERGY FOR LIFE
DETOXING YOUR SOUL by Melissa Fletcher, Enrichment Coordinator Are you bogged down? Emotionally drained? Unable to focus? Perhaps it’s time for a Soul Detox. You may
3. DIG UP HARMFUL ROOTS
have heard of other types of detoxifications that may
Everyone knows when you are weeding a garden you
help our bodies begin functioning in a healthy manner
have to dig up the roots. Why? Because if you don’t,
the weeds will grow back. The same is true with “toxic weeds” like anger, bitterness, un-forgiveness and envy.
So what is a detox? According to the Oxford Dictionary,
Identify the source of those emotions, learn to deal
the definition for “detox” is: “a process or period of time
with them, uproot them and move on.
in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.” If our bodies need a cleansing at
Learn to let go of these negative feelings to help you
times, the same is true for our souls.
grow a garden of healthy fruit in your life, rather than allowing the weeds to choke out your joy and peace.
We often forget that we are bombarded with messages and stimuli that can have a negative impact on us. The
4. BECOME FEARLESS
sooner we identify the negative influences in our life,
Sometimes we get trapped in fear, afraid to step outside
the sooner we can detox our soul and be on the road
of our comfort zone and embrace change. Sometimes
to becoming a healthier person: mind, body and spirit.
we fear repercussions of our past mistakes that can
You can begin your soul detox with these simple things
cause us to live in shame, low self-esteem or doubt.
Sometimes we even fear people and become entrapped
1. WHAT GOES IN, WILL COME OUT
in a fear of rejection or ridicule and allow them to set our standards for us. It’s time to become bold and
Whatever you are influenced by or allow into your
courageous and FEARLESS. Do not allow your past to
mind will affect you in some way. Everything from
dictate your future.
the music you listen to, to the movies you watch, to the books you read place messages inside your mind that
Let go of shame and guilt and start living the life you
can shape who you are or will become.
were created for.
Be selective with what you allow in, because eventually
5. SAY GOODBYE TO TOXIC INFLUENCES
it will come back out.
Toxic influences come in all shapes and sizes. Evaluate the health of your mind, body and soul. Are you
2. SPEAK WORDS OF LIFE
allowing garbage to enter your mind through toxic
Remember the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my
print, music and media? Are you consuming unhealthy
bones, but words will never hurt me”? That is simply
foods and beverages that can make you sick and have
not true. Negative words can scar the soul. Choose your
long-term consequences that lead to disease? If you
words wisely each day.
said yes to any of these things –
Make a commitment to build others up instead of
Say goodbye to the toxic influences. Purge these things
tearing them down.
from your life and live free.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
ENERGY FOR LIFE
SUMMER SKIN CARE by Sarah Knutson, Holistic Therapist Having fun in the sun is a great way to spend your summer! Whether you’re at the lake or pool or in the backyard, it is important to remember to take care of your skin. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun not only causes premature aging and wrinkles but also can be a cause of skin cancer. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year than all other forms combined. So while you’re enjoying the sun, make sure to protect your skin! Here are a few simple steps to keeping a healthy glow:
1. SUNSCREEN ALWAYS wear sunscreen — you need more than you think! The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using at least one ounce of sunscreen to cover your body.
2. AVOID OVER EXPOSURE Avoid using tanning beds or laying in direct sun to get tan when possible. Getting burned increases your risk of skin cancer.
3. PROTECT YOURSELF Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when possible. Swim shirts also work great for kids!
4. VITAMIN D Get your daily dose of Vitamin D safely through a healthy diet and supplementation, not through the sun! For more information on sun safety, visit Epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html
MISSION GREENHOUSE 2017
POET Team Members Return to Kenya to Work on New Construction Projects
After five years, it’s a tradition — an
the group heads to Travellers’ Oasis
enhanced landscaping. The mission
annual tradition that moves hearts
Centre (TOC). This is a school in Sultan
teams have helped with most of these
and changes lives. Seeds of Change
Hamud that started over 35 years ago,
— POET’s non-profit organization
stemming from the passion of Esther
Team members worked on the
dedicated to “transforming education,
and Shadrack Muiu to help vulnerable
construction project, spent time with
students in their country obtain an
the girls doing crafts, playing sports,
conditions worldwide” — provides
education. Six years ago, the Broin
hosting devotions, dancing, and, of
the opportunity for a team to travel
family stepped in to partner with the
course, having tea breaks. This year,
to Kenya, Africa. These individuals
school and further fuel that passion.
the girls took some time out of school
are primarily POET employees and
The secondary school now houses
to work alongside the team on cement
their family members, but have also
and educates 160 girls — girls who
work and landscaping. The long plane
would be unable to pay for education,
ride home allowed reflections to
but are qualified to attend through
begin surfacing. Read a few of those
After a series of grueling flights,
reflections here, and visit Vitalbypoet.
the group lands in Nairobi. The
school grounds boast a new kitchen
com to read more and hear about trip
and dining hall, modern dormitory
experiences from team members.
place in Mt. Kilimanjaro in Amboseli
National Park. After two days there,
FINDING COMMON BONDS WITH THE KENYAN PEOPLE: ‘THEY ARE EVER HOPEFUL’
by Alicia ElMamouni, Director, Seeds of Change Foundation
When I first considered taking this
Jolly Ranchers, nail polish and other
trip I heard many variations of the
items. That moment made the next 36
following: “It’s going to change your
hours getting back home sitting in the
life,” “You think that you’re going
middle seat between strangers I didn’t
to give them so much, when really
know undoubtedly worth it.
you’re the one that will be receiving a
Through morning walks in the
gift” and “The plane ride sucks, but it’s
village, sharing meals and tea times,
worth it.” Those statements are the
working side by side with the girls
ones that propelled me to go on this
and fundis [construction workers],
trip; a chance at a change. A chance
and afternoons playing games and
for those people to be right, and right
doing crafts, I had the opportunity
to really meet the Kenyan people.
The plane rides and travelling were
They’re humble, hospitable and at
horrendous: 19 hours on a plane not
including layovers and hours driving
day in their lives they go through
on the Mombasa highway where the
unfathomable struggles. They wonder
people not only drive on the “wrong
where their food will come from, how
side of the road,” but they drive on all
they will get water and if they’re going
sides of the road, and shoulders, and
to have enough money to pay for their
dirt paths surrounding the highway.
child’s education. Through all of this,
they continue to place their faith in
God and believe that no matter what,
washed away the moment I got to
He will provide for them. Even when
watch 150 girls open the bags we
they have continually been beat down
prepared, and their faces light up
by life, they are ever hopeful.
with absolute joy when they dug out
Getting to know these girls left me
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Mission Greenhouse team with school founders Esther and Shadrack Muiu and Kenyan trip leaders Sarah Kikuvi and Simon Kiendi.
Part of the time spent with students involves working together on a special craft project.
The team of mission trip participants with some of the Travellersâ€™ Oasis Centre (TOC) students and staff.
with a few new insights on life. No
2017 MISSION GREENHOUSE TEAM
matter where we live in this world
Jeff Pinkerman – POET LLC, Sioux Falls, S.D. (wife Brenda Pinkerman)
or what we look like, we all have
Kari Cook – POET Biorefining – Alexandria, Ind.
similar fears and insecurities. We all
Paula Fifer – POET Biorefining – Portland, Ind.
have dreams of becoming a better
Rod Pierson – POET LLC, Sioux Falls, S.D. (daughter Ann Pierson)
person tomorrow than the one we are
Matraca Hanson – POET Biorefining – Bingham Lake, Minn.
today. We all aspire to be something more in this world. We are all just
Rick Albrecht – POET Investor, Sioux Falls, S.D.
trying to figure out the steps to get
Jim Eliason – POET Biorefining North Manchester, Ind. (wife Jan Eliason)
there. Those things — our fears, our
Eric Beeler – POET LLC, Sioux Falls, S.D.
insecurities, our dreams and our
Mike Silhacek – POET LLC, Sioux Falls, S.D.
joy — those are the things that bind
Andrew Williams – Project LIBERTY, Emmetsburg, Iowa
us together as people. Those are the
Dana Syrus – POET Biorefining – Cloverdale, Ind.
things that we will remember in our
Jeremy Reitzel – POET Biorefining – Cloverdale, Ind.
lives: our experiences we share with people. Not the things that we own or
Dave Paulson – POET Biorefining – Hanlontown, Iowa (mother Darlyne Paulson)
the food that we ate, but the moments
Lauren Studer – POET Biorefining – Laddonia, Mo.
that we spent with the people who
Deb Roth – POET Research Center, Scotland, S.D. (daughters Sasha and Cheyanne Roth)
made us feel. Those are the things that
Lisa Hilder (Mission Trip Leader) – POET Biorefining – Corning, Iowa
continue to live on.
Lisa Gerrity (Mission Trip Leader Assistant) – Luray, Va.
Sasha Roth (middle) with sister Cheyanne and mom Deb.
A CHANCE TO FOCUS ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN LIFE
Greenhouse has made a huge impact
people don’t have their loved ones
on TOC, but going into this, I never
would have imagined the impact
opportunities together, so we did
those girls would have on me. From
while we had the chance.
the welcoming ceremony, to dancing
They have so little over there, and it
and singing our hearts out with the
almost makes you feel guilty because
girls, and doing crafts with them, and
of all the stuff we have that we take
getting to know a little bit about each
for granted. But that’s just it — stuff.
of them, they have opened my eyes
Sometimes we get so materialistic,
and my heart.
and traveling to the other side of the
Their strong faith has inspired me.
world to see how people live over
Their caring and loving hearts make
there opens your eyes. We are living
me want to be the best person that I
in luxury compared to them.
can be and to help others any time I
But then when you really think
get the chance.
about it, they are the lucky ones. They
We even had the opportunity to
don’t have all this stuff to fantasize
about, so they focus on what’s really
during our time at TOC. They helped
important: their relationships, their
us pick up sticks, move rocks and dirt,
faith and everything that God has
and help make cement! They enjoyed
put in front of them. That’s part of
helping out, and we loved getting to
the reason why I wanted to go on this
Mission Greenhouse at Travellers’
spend more time with the girls!
mission trip — not only to help them,
Oasis Centre (TOC) is a trip that
I was blessed to be able to go on
but for them to help me. To put the
I will never forget. It was truly a
this trip with my mother, Deb, and
stuff down and focus on what’s truly
my younger sister, Cheyanne… Some
important in life.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Benefit at POET Research Center for Mission Greenhouse POET Research Center raised funds to support the trip cost for POET team member Deb Roth, Plant Manager, and her daughters to go on the Mission Greenhouse trip. POET team member Joey Paji, who went on a previous Mission Greenhouse Trip, volunteered to have his hair cut to support raising funds. The eccentric hair cut raised $1,145 for Mission Greenhouse!
“Watch Me Grow” at Corning Students participate in Watch Me Grow at POET Biorefining – Corning. The Watch Me Grow program was developed by Greg Olsen, General Manger at POET Biorefining – Corning, and his team as a community outreach initiative. Watch Me Grow is an educational program for elementary students. The program kicked off in May 2016. Through hands-on learning, students learn about the entire agricultural process and the biofuels industry.
Making Our World A Cleaner Place A group of team members from POET Biorefining – Mitchell picked up garbage along a four-mile stretch of Highway 37. They picked up a total of 180 pounds of garbage! Team members included Rick Mueller, Marcia Eidahl, Todd Freudenthal, Joseph Brandt and Sara Schoenfelder (not pictured).
Student Tour at Leipsic POET Biorefining – Leipsic held a tour for more than 75 fifth and sixth graders from Grove Hill
Corning Celebrates 10th Anniversary
of why ethanol is an
In honor of POET
Biorefining – Corning’s
fuel, and learned
the team held a
principles used by
flag ceremony that
Elementary. They toured the property, developed
commemorative flag given by U.S. Rep. David Young. The flag was raised, allowed to fly for 10 minutes, and then lowered and placed in a commemorative display case.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
RENEW Student Learning Session at Coon Rapids POET Biorefining â€“ Coon Rapids hosted two third grade classes for a tour, learning session and pizza party. The students had a great time and several commented on wanting to work at POET in the future.
Fourth Grade Students Learn About Fermentation, Distillation at Glenville Four tour groups of fourth grade students from the Albert Lea, Minn., School District recently visited POET Biorefining â€“ Glenville. The initial goal was for students to recognize the differences between popcorn seeds, sweet corn ears and field corn. Students also learned about fermentation. Small Erlenmeyer flasks with active fermenting, with a balloon on top to capture the CO2, were also on display. A lab-scale distillation was also set up. Students visited the scale house, lab, and maintenance shop and learned about POET team member roles in each area. POET team members discussed their roles and favorite parts of their jobs. Students also shared what they wanted to be when they grew up. 48
Park Bench Dedication at Hudson Team members at POET Biorefining – Hudson dedicated a park bench at the Hudson Community Center in memory of Doug Haverhals, who retired in 2014 after a bout of Encephalitis and passed away in August 2016. He is remembered fondly as a cherished team member and Minnesota Twins enthusiast.
POET Celebrates Flag Day In honor of Flag Day on June 14, POET celebrated by displaying 100 American flags around the corporate office in Sioux Falls. POET team members also received hats. In addition, some biorefineries gave away hats to local veterans and producers. POET Biorefining – Hanlontown distributes a hat to a Korean War veteran. At POET Biorefining – Alexandria, team members served lunch to more than 60 people and gave away hats to producers.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
PEOPLE OF POET
The Problem Solver As Senior Project Coordinator, Doug Stevenson manages projects with an innovative spirit, even temperament by BryAnn Becker Knecht photos by Greg Latza
Doug Stevenson oversees day-to-day activities during construction projects at POET biorefineries.
During the course of a construction
takes care of those things — it’s a big
project superintendent for dozens of
project, things don’t always follow the
projects at POET over the past several
original project schedule. Materials
Stevenson started working at POET
decades, including the expansion at
may be delayed. Multiple contractors
in the late 1980s when the company
POET Research Center and at POET
may want to work in the same area
was the newly formed Broin and
Biorefining – Chancellor.
— at the same time. Weather may
Associates. He had just completed
Stevenson and his family moved
necessitate adjustments. But whatever
working on the flight deck in the Navy
from location to location based on
the issue, it needs to be addressed
for four years and was looking for
his assignments until finally settling
quickly so that construction doesn’t
something different. “I was young, out
down in Madison, S.D., in 2000. “It
come to a halt.
of the Navy and ready for a change,”
was a lot of fun, but we get to go home
now — we found a neighborhood,” he
Senior Project Superintendent for
He knew that his high school
says of the many relocations. Today,
POET Design & Construction, plays
classmate Jeff Broin had launched
he stays near the project location
such a critical role in a project’s
an ethanol business in Scotland, S.D.,
during the week and visits his family
success. In his role, Stevenson oversees dayto-day activities during construction projects
from working with contractors, to monitoring safety, to keeping track of
maintenance. Stevenson — who has worked at POET since 1989 — is seen as a go-to resource because of his experience, approach to problem solving and even temperament, which is a boon on a construction site especially. “He has a great ability to see a situation and find a way to solve it. He has an approach to solving problems
He has a great ability to see a situation and find a way to solve it. He has an approach to solving problems in a way that is innovative and low-cost.
on the weekends. Most recently, Stevenson worked as the project superintendent at Project LIBERTY,
Biofuel’s commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol
Iowa. He held that position since 2012. Stevenson will next work on the expansion at POET Biorefining – Marion, where he’ll draw upon his experience during the initial plant construction
Marion. At Project LIBERTY, Stevenson’s expertise has been invaluable to POET Design & Construction, says Brandon McLellan, Senior Project Manager,
in a way that is innovative and low-
who is the lead project manager for
cost,” says Jeff Heikes, Vice President
of Project Management – Engineering,
During the construction of LIBERTY,
POET Design & Construction. Heikes
first worked with Stevenson during
constructability and sequence of build
the construction of POET Biorefining
so he called Jeff and asked him for
that he had gained from work on other
– Lake Crystal in 2005.
a job. He was hired as an operator/
plants. “He saw the advancements of
technician at the Scotland plant.
POET’s centerline plants going from
Construction’s on-site representation
“It was a lot of work. It was a big
15 up to 60 million gallons. He could
for projects. “Back in Sioux Falls, it’s
learning curve,” he says, but Jeff Broin
relate to those changes and provide
especially helpful to know that Doug’s
and his brother Rob Broin were great
insights on how to better approach
on a project because you know that
mentors. “We were all learning at that
the design and constructability at
things are being managed,” Heikes
LIBERTY,” says McLellan.
says. “He has the ability to take an
After working in Scotland for a
Stevenson and Greg Tryon, Senior
few years, Stevenson moved into site
Project Manager, POET Design &
bring it down to the detail of how it
management at the Aberdeen plant —
Construction, worked together on the
will work on-site, down to when the
the company’s first from-the-ground-
original construction of Marion, and
concrete is delivered and placed. He
up project — and has since been the
will again work together during the
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Doug Stevenson drives across the site of Project LIBERTY in his pickup. As Senior Project Superintendent, Stevenson is POET Design & Construction’s on-site representation for projects.
Doug by surprise. With his experience
“The big benefit of him being back
LIBERTY, for example, there were
and background, he’s seen it all. If
is his experience with the site,” Tryon
upwards of 400 to 500 people on site.
something unexpected comes up,
says. “He understands a lot of the
Coordinating that many contractors is
he’ll be able to relate it to a similar
as-built conditions. We have all the
akin to being an orchestra conductor,
problem that happened on previous
drawings, but the final construction
McLellan says. “Emotions sometimes
projects. He’s very practical with his
never matches the drawings exactly
run high, but he’s that calming factor.
suggestions and solutions, too. You
He’s a great sounding board.”
can’t teach anybody that. That just
changes that take place throughout
Establishing relationships with the
comes from doing the job as long as
contractors is key, Stevenson says.
One challenge with an expansion
“I like to think of it as teamwork.
Stevenson also prioritizes making
You have to establish teamwork
sure the job gets done safely, correctly
Stevenson says, noting that there will
relationships. I’m the guy that makes
and cost effectively. “Forty to 50
be 150 to 160 contractors on site, with
sure we can succeed.”
percent is safety. It becomes a big part
upwards of 250 individuals at times.
Stevenson has a steady approach
of your duty,” he says.
A large part of Stevenson’s job
to overseeing contractors and the
One factor that makes Stevenson so
is working with contractors and
construction progress, Tryon says.
successful is that he capitalizes on the
coordinating the delivery of supplies.
“There’s really not a lot that catches
skills that he learned during the early
days of POET when it was a much smaller team, Heikes says. “Having worked at POET Research Center and the early plants, Doug has the experience when you don’t have a large-scale team. He’s self-reliant and innovative and get things done. Doug creates answers. He has that innovative spirit that has made POET such a great company.” Stevenson says he wouldn’t still be doing what he does today — after nearly 30 years — if he didn’t like it. “I feel that POET is doing the world a good thing. You feel like you are doing the country — and the world — a good thing. You have to believe that.”
If something unexpected comes up, he’ll be able to relate it to a similar problem that happened on previous projects. He’s very practical with his suggestions and solutions, too. You can’t teach anybody that. That just comes from doing the job as long as he has.
DOUG STEVENSON HOMETOWN Madison, S.D. EDUCATION Four years in the Navy FAMILY Wife Barbara, twin daughters Shannen and Lexi (23) HOBBIES Camping and fishing
Greg Tryon, Senior Project Manager, POET Design & Construction
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
ACROSS 1. Australian gemstone 5. Humid 9. Peter or Paul, but not Mary 13. Inside info in slang 14. Most populous continent 15. Singer Branigan 16. Active Sicilian volcano 17. Speak to rudely 18. Remove wooden pins from 19. Umbrella organization for
POET’s outreach programs
22. Tremor 23. Rainbow shaped 24. Lobster eggs 27. Neslon Mandela’s org. 28. Silo contents, for short 32. London’s river 34. Trout’s home 36. Queen of Hearts pastry 37. One of the steps in POET’s dry
33. High over 34. Spot in the Senate
1. “The _____ File” spy thriller
35. Stallion’s lady
2. Irish whiskey
3. Relating to a
38. Small bird
39. Adult insect
mill process 40. Light greenish-blue 42. Live frugally 43. Mideast ruler 46. ____ precedent 47. Video maker, for short 50. Chum
40. Nile viper
5. Carpenter’s groove
41. In the character of
6. Skeptic’s retort
44. Type of scarf
7. Catchall abbr.
45. Matrix character
8. Ottoman Empire title
9. Citrus-flavored drink mix
10. Role for Reeve
49. Situations that got out
12. Maid’s cloth
52. Major heart vessel
15. Noontime meal
54. Two-thirds of Earth
20. Will of “Men in Black”
56. Some tributes
21. Gallery display
57. Dark powder in eastern
25. “__the land of the free ...”
26. DC time
58. Realtor’s map
59. High roller’s town
30. Hospital essentials
60. Alliance that includes Ukr.
FOR ANSWERS, VISIT
31. Jacobs and Anthony
61. Cell constituent, abbr.
51. Baltic or Black, e.g. 53. It flies in a formation 55. BPX description 60. Doctrine 62. Acting part
63. February’s mischief-maker 64. Picture within a picture 65. Compared to 66. 4840 square yards 67. Freshness 68. Singing range 69. Realizes
To receive free information about products
or services advertised or listed in this issue, please contact advertisers via their Web address.
OUT OF LEFT FIELD
On Demand by Scott Johnson, Data Systems Administrator, POET
Imagine standing in line at the bank. Based on the number of
every day as a consumer of information and entertainment.
customers ahead of you, you roughly calculate the time it will
Free time is so scarce, it’s almost a mythical concept — like
take until your turn to be served. You use your estimated free
mermaids and bipartisan health-care reform. Spending that
time productively is more challenging than ever. Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. I can dance at
weddings and mow my lawn shirtless, but that doesn’t mean
b) Contemplate remaining tasks on personal to-do list
Speaking of crimes against humanity, what if the brilliant
c) Lament the financial industry as a whole while
devising a complex scheme of burying cash
reserves in corrosion-proof coffee cans in
those are good ideas. minds of yesterday had access to the same time sucks we have today? Maybe Beethoven would have stopped at Symphony No.4 if he had a Netflix account. He would have really enjoyed that closed captioning feature. Imagine Benjamin Franklin posting
The answer is likely d) None of the Above. If you are like me, you’ll grab your phone to check Facebook, Twitter, email and review any new viral cat-related videos on YouTube you may have missed since this morning. Advances in technology continue to reduce our time in a state of boredom. Our phones provide instant access to information and entertainment on demand. While the idea of streaming realtime data is relatively fresh, human’s desire to demand more of what we want, when we want it is certainly not a new concept. Man harnessed fire to be warm on demand instead of patiently waiting for the Ice Age to end. We created the telescope for on demand access to the stars. (Not to be confused with “Access Hollywood” or “Entertainment Tonight” — both notable creations in their own right.) The Internet was invented so my mother-in-law can efficiently collect computer viruses I’ll need to extinguish later — on demand. 3-D printing has given us the ability to create an almost limitless inventory of physical objects, on our demand (medical devices, car parts, tools, prototypes). We can print a 3-D lime green plastic likeness of my left pinky toe, 31/32nd size, simply because we DEMAND to do so. (Because why wouldn’t you?) Technological advancements like these have provided humanity with comfort and convenience. However, as we
selfies of his new bifocal lenses on social media instead of spending his time discovering electricity. (I realize that doesn’t make sense as social media technically requires electricity. Just go with it.) J.R.R. Tolkien spent 16 years writing the Lord of the Rings trilogy — roughly the same amount of digital programming currently stored on my DVR. That guy had no room for extra distractions. These pioneers spent their time giving to the world instead of taking from it. Creating instead of consuming. Today we have the same opportunities to produce, but also have unprecedented temptation to exist in a perpetual state of consumption. The more time we spend consuming, the less time we have to create. Try as we might, we can’t stream inspiration. We can’t download innovation. The really good ideas come in moments of quiet. Perhaps even in — Heaven forbid — moments of boredom. So next time you are waiting in line, put the phone away and just let your mind wander. Maybe you’ll come up with humanity’s next great idea. Footnote: It only took me three months to write this column. Eat your heart out Tolkien! I would have finished sooner, but I was wasting time watching cat videos and looking up useless information on the Internet, like, “How long did it take Tolkien to write the Lord of the Rings trilogy?”
continue DEMANDING instant fulfillment of our own needs, wants and whims, do we eventually hit a point of diminishing returns? We now have the ability to fill every free moment of
Ever wonder what makes Dakota Gold the best?
July 27 9:00 AM CST
Learn more about our latest research on the digestibility of Dakota Gold DDGS by viewing our upcoming webinar:
NEW INSIGHT: CAN DDGS BE ECONOMICAL AND DIGESTIBLE? FEATURING DR. PAUL KONONOFF, PHD Associate Professor Dairy Nutrition/Dairy Nutrition Specialist University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Watch any time at WATTAgNet.com/webinars
4615 N. Lewis Ave. Sioux Falls, SD 57104