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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 ‘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 DECADES’ WORTH OF GOOD IDEAS. SEETHEWORLDD IFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD DIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLY SEETHEWORLDDIFFERENTLYSEETHEWORLD

STILL NEVER SATISFIED

P O E T. C O M


16

42

FEATURES 10

28

2017 POET Never Satisfied Scholars

Are We Reliving the 1980s Ag Crisis?

Inaugural class embodies spirit of being Never Satisfied

16

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

20

42

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

projects

the growth in biofuels demand

26

avoid repeat of ‘80s Ag Crisis

ONLINE

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


COLUMNS 04

In Sight

By Jeff Broin

24

Farm Fresh

by Brian Hefty

36

Nascar® Update

by Ryan Welsh

56

Out Of Left Field

by Scott Johnson

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Policy Corner

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COPYRIGHT

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 hello@newover.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.

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IN SIGHT

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

4

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.

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Contributing Every Day to the Lives of Ordinary Americans Our processes and equipment contribute to thousands of products we use daily‌the 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 GEA’s centrifuges and separation equipment

2251

and the industries we serve, email us at sales.unitedstates@gea.com, call 800-722-6622, or visit us online at gea.com.


POLICY CORNER

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

want it.

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

Deb

Works (EPW) Committee before the

Fischer

Grassley

(R-Neb.)

(R-Iowa)

and have

Chuck been

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

farms.

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

waiver?

(Environmental Protection Agency) regulation prevents most

6

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,

VITALBYPOET.COM


POLICY CORNER

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

business revenues

5,300 JOBS

$555 MILLION

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 ’ 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


2017 POET

Never Satisfied SCHOLARS

Inaugural Class Embodies Spirit of Being Never Satisfied by Courtney Heitkamp and BryAnn Becker Knecht photos by Emily Spartz Weerheim

10

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

Satisfied.”

POET

1 diabetics in poor communities to

Never

Melissa

Alexa Bruick has enjoyed learning

revitalizing health care in Bosnia and

Montoya Mairena discussed why she

more about POET throughout the

Herzegovina.

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

POET’s

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

Scholars

also

spent

time

and the creative ways they apply

shadowing

at

POET

Corporate

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,

Each

Never

Never

Satisfied

scholar

Satisfied

Satisfied

scholar

scholar

job

Shane

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.

VITALBYPOET.COM

Never

Satisfied

determination

and

scholar

hard

graduation.”

visit Poet.com/neversatisfied


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.

homeland.

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

11


Madeline Antonson Hometown: Beresford, S.D. Junior at Augustana University, pursuing Biology and Psychology

Mariah Volesky

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.

12

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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

13


Cooper Kelly Hansen Hometown: Hanlontown, Iowa Enrolled at the University of Utah, pursuing Computer Science Internal scholarship recipient

Shane Mueller

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!

Nutrition.

14

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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.

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

May.

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

extraordinary

Jeff’s contributions by this honorary

accomplishments

have benefitted society,” according

doctorate degree.”

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.

16

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Excerpt from SDSU Nomination Speech: During the ag crisis of the 1980s

production

when Jeff Broin was a teenager, his

entities.

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

research

main source of farm income. The

marketing. POET is also pioneering

family turned to a new ag opportunity

cellulosic

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

biofuels.

foundation for the future.

Broin’s

vision

Jeff Broin led the growth of that

business.

He

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

seven

include LifeLight, Children’s Home

states,

have

a

combined

plants

These

and

entities

and

perform

development,

bioethanol

at

extends

formed

Project

beyond POET

Society,

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

agriculturalist,

and

business

leader,

environmental

conditions

worldwide. Current projects include

national advocate for the biofuels

Mission Greenfield, which spreads

industry.

a

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

Africa.

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,

and

seed and soil for future generations.

Midwest

has

played

cornfields,

which

has benefitted grain farmers and

He holds a degree in Agricultural

stimulated economic growth for our

Business

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

system

and Austin.

that

includes

multiple

from

the

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.

Ministries,

and

Broin

spokesperson

Health

the

and

annual production capacity of 1.8

philanthropist,

Global

corporate

University

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

of

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.

17


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

cropland.

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

18

VITALBYPOET.COM


GET GROUNDED IN THE FACTS

Ethanol Production Is Up as Total U.S. Cropland Acres Are Down 405 14.3

16

14.8 15.3

400 13.3

395

12

390

10

385

8

380

6

6.5

380 378

375

379

U.S. Ethanol Production Billion Gallons/Year

MILLION ACRES

402

14

380 4

370 2007

2013

2014

2015

2016

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

19


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

of

higher-level

ethanol

blends by awarding grants to help with their initial investments in infrastructure.

The

industry

has

invested nearly $70 million in this initiative. Prime

the

Pump

volume,

high-profile

targets

high-

retailers

to

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.”

20

VITALBYPOET.COM


PRIME THE PUMP

Major Independent Retail Chains Made Commitments to Offer E15

supporting retailer investment.”

To

Prime the Pump retail sites sell an

date,

major

independent

retail chains including Kwik Trip,

The

momentum

has

prompted

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

ACTION ITEM

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

consumer choice.

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

21


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

22

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

Minnesota

The

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

and

Wisconsin.

VITALBYPOET.COM


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

results.

Americans are having access to it each

To find your nearest E15 station, visit GetEthanol.com.

day.”

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

23


FARM FRESH

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.

FACT#1:

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

FACT#2:

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

FACT#3:

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.

24

VITALBYPOET.COM


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-DSM.COM

Advanced Biofuels


POET Biorefining – Marion to Double Capacity with Expansion

Plant has capacity to produce 150 MILLION GALLONS of biofuels per year, 360,000 TONS of DDGS

MARION

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

26

VITALBYPOET.COM


POET Biorefining – Marion (Ohio)

commodity

incomes

“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

annually.

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

a

this

too. We’re so fortunate to have POET

expansion, high-protein animal feed

community,

talented

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-

tons annually.

and steadfast supporter of biofuels.

working farmers.”

“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

ever.”

grain,” said Gus Comstock, CEO of the

Officer.

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.

the

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

this community.”

the grain market for farmers at a time

the fall and completion estimated for

when agriculture is facing challenging

fall 2018.

strong

prices,

farm

partnership there

is

with a

expanding

opportunities

and

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

27


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

28

VITALBYPOET.COM


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

fundamentals

that

drove

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

back then.”

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.

downturn.

‘80s again.”

“It runs like a top,” says Losure, who

Policymakers

the

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

support

Fuel

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.

newer equipment.

and efforts to find a fix to the Reid

“Like a lot of farmers today, we

“I was fortunate in the ‘80s,” he says.

of

the

point

to

Renewable

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

29


“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.

POET’s

years for the ag industry.”

bushels.

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

total bushels.

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

clean-burning

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

legislative

E15

and

to

political

customers.

also need RVP relief to realize the

POLICY SOLUTION

differences between the 1980s and

30

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

VITALBYPOET.COM


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

Communications, POET.

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

increased.

“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

Ethanol

consumption

typical

market

for

the

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

20

CORN

BILLION BUSHELS

SOYBEANS

15

10

5

0 2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

2016

2017

31


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

1866–1936 1937–1955

280

1956 –1995 1996–2001

240

2002–2016 2017–2030

Bushels/Acre

200

Biotechnology

INDUSTRY PREDICTION

160

Source: USDA

Single Cross Hybrids 120

80 Hand Mating

Organic

40

0 60

18

32

80

18

00

19

20

19

40

19

60

19

80

19

VITALBYPOET.COM

00

20

20

20

30

20


U.S. Farm Income U.S. Farm Income

$150 billion

U.S. farm income continues to drop. The United States Department of

100

Agriculture projects 2017’s farm real estate debt will increase by 5 percent and reach a

50

historic high of $240.7 billion. Net U.S. farm income is estimated

0

to be $62.3 billion this year, down from $123

2006

billion in 2013.

2008

2010

2012

2014

2016

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

States

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,

“The

plummeting

dramatically.

Department

past

year

of

Agriculture

has

been

a

Unless

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 income.”

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

commodity

in overseas markets.”

sentiments: “Persistent declines in

exports

will

remain

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

Jim

Agriculture

Miller, and

President Biofuel

of

Policy

Consulting, exporting ethanol — and ethanol co-products — represents a

relatively

untapped

export

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

33


farmers’ incomes will drop 9 percent

In

late

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

fourth year.”

farmers and too many policymakers

remember it vividly: the foreclosures,

At 82, John Block, who served as U.S.

overlooked

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

increasing

profits,

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

“There

are

certainly

hindsight,

acting

or

yields,

too

underestimated falling

parallels

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.

late.”

Farmers

Jerry

Losure,

Roy

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

RFS1

CLEAN AIR ACT

RFS2

RVP? 23.7

5.1 -8.9 -3.9

32.5

-5.9

15.9 14.3 22

ETHANOL INDUSTRY EMERGES

15.6

5.5 3.9

15.6 -16.1

-6.1 -19.8

20.5

8.1

6.6 0.4 2.5 2.1

6.4

7.3

4.3 3.7

9.2

8.2

10.8

-2.2

10

E10 BLEND WALL

9.2

-2 -1.1

11.2

-30.1 -17 1980

34

1982

1984

1986

1988

1990

1992

1994

1996

1998

2000

VITALBYPOET.COM

2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

2016


NASCAR UPDATE

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

From

an

industry

perspective,

we

also

deal

with

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.

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VITALBYPOET.COM


American Ethanol driver and spokesperson in Victory Lane after the longest race of the year. also launched a social media initiative

with

Childress

Racing

the

Richard

pit

crew

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,

but

equally

vital

audiences — aspiring technical professionals. American Ethanol coordinated with ECR Engines’ Technical Director, Dr. Andy Randolph, to host an engine-performance seminar

at

UNC-Charlotte’s

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

37


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

is available.

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.

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VITALBYPOET.COM


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,

again.

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.

in mind:

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

39


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

40

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MISSION GREENHOUSE 2017

POET Team Members Return to Kenya to Work on New Construction Projects

42

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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,

projects.

— 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

agriculture

environmental

students in their country obtain an

the girls doing crafts, playing sports,

conditions worldwide” — provides

and

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

included

would be unable to pay for education,

ride home allowed reflections to

partners.

investors

and

business

but are qualified to attend through

begin surfacing. Read a few of those

After a series of grueling flights,

achieving

The

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

adventure begins!

and dining hall, modern dormitory

experiences from team members.

Training takes

place in Mt. Kilimanjaro in Amboseli

with

National Park. After two days there,

classrooms,

Lauren Studer

FINDING COMMON BONDS WITH THE KENYAN PEOPLE: ‘THEY ARE EVER HOPEFUL’

high

running

test

water,

green

scores.

refurbished houses

and

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

they were.

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

times

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,

Horrendous, discomfort

and

but

all

downright

hilarious.

Each

of

that

they continue to place their faith in

displeasure

was

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

43


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 Travellers’ 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

around

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

to

share

these

amazing

We even had the opportunity to

don’t have all this stuff to fantasize

work

girls

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

life-changing

my younger sister, Cheyanne… Some

important in life.

experience.

Mission

side-by-side

with

the

THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE

45


RENEW

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.

46

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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

an understanding

Corning Celebrates 10th Anniversary

of why ethanol is an

In honor of POET

environmentally superior

Biorefining – Corning’s

fuel, and learned

10th anniversary,

fundamental science

the team held a

principles used by

flag ceremony that

the facility.

incorporated a

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

47


RENEW Student Learning Session at Coon Rapids POET Biorefining – 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 – 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

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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

49


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.

50

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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

help.”

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

Stevenson says.

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

That’s

where

Doug

Stevenson,

success. In his role, Stevenson oversees dayto-day activities during construction projects

at

POET

biorefineries,

from working with contractors, to monitoring safety, to keeping track of

materials,

to

overseeing

site

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,

POET-DSM

Advanced

Biofuel’s commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol

facility

in

Emmetsburg,

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

from

2007-2008

at

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

LIBERTY.

of Project Management – Engineering,

During the construction of LIBERTY,

POET Design & Construction. Heikes

Stevenson

first worked with Stevenson during

provided

insights

on

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

point.”

LIBERTY,” says McLellan.

says. “He has the ability to take an

After working in Scotland for a

Stevenson and Greg Tryon, Senior

engineer’s

Stevenson

is

POET

10,000-foot

Design

view

&

and

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

51


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.

52

expansion project.

During

Project

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

because

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

the project.”

contractors is key, Stevenson says.

he has.”

One challenge with an expansion

“I like to think of it as teamwork.

Stevenson also prioritizes making

project

space,

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

there

is

the

are

several

confined

field

construction

at

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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

53


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

DOWN

33. High over 34. Spot in the Senate

54

1. “The _____ File” spy thriller

35. Stallion’s lady

2. Irish whiskey

37. Tedium

3. Relating to a

38. Small bird

39. Adult insect

breathing problem

mill process 40. Light greenish-blue 42. Live frugally 43. Mideast ruler 46. ____ precedent 47. Video maker, for short 50. Chum

4. Conducts

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

47. Force

9. Citrus-flavored drink mix

48. Classify

10. Role for Reeve

49. Situations that got out

11. Exist

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 ...”

cosmetics

26. DC time

58. Realtor’s map

29. Blubber

59. High roller’s town

30. Hospital essentials

60. Alliance that includes Ukr.

FOR ANSWERS, VISIT

31. Jacobs and Anthony

61. Cell constituent, abbr.

vitalmagazineonline.com/answers

51. Baltic or Black, e.g. 53. It flies in a formation 55. BPX description 60. Doctrine 62. Acting part

of control

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63. February’s mischief-maker 64. Picture within a picture 65. Compared to 66. 4840 square yards 67. Freshness 68. Singing range 69. Realizes


DIRECTORY

PG

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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 to:

time productively is more challenging than ever. Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. I can dance at

a) Daydream

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

your backyard

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

56

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Vital Magazine - Summer 2017  
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