THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE Fall 2017
Amid POETâ€™s 30th Anniversary, CEO Jeff Broin Remains Steadfast in his Mission to Change the World
LIVING A LEGACY
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STILL NEVER SATISFIED
P O E T. C O M
Jeff Broin talks with a local farmer and his counterpart in Kenya; both are benefitting from the technologies promoted through Seeds of Changeâ€™s Mission Grow.
FEATURES 10 POET Internship Program Offers Opportunity for Students to Gain Experience, Develop Skills
22 Living a Legacy: Amid POETâ€™s 30th Anniversary, CEO Jeff Broin Remains Steadfast in his Mission to Change the World
34 U.S. Ag Economy Poses Problems for Global Ag Markets
40 Seeds of Change Update: Seeds of Change Introduces New Mission Names and Welcomes Visitors from Kenya
Cover photo by Reistroffer Design
photo by Alex Mandiola
By Miranda, Austin and Alyssa Broin
by Brian Hefty
by Ryan Welsh
Out Of Left Field
by Scott Johnson
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Because your goals are the priority. Novozymes Integrated solutions Products | Services | Training
A Letter to the Millennial Generation By Miranda, Austin and Alyssa Broin
A note to readers:
use our voice to tell our policymakers to support American-
The driving passion and sole purpose in my work over the past
made jobs and the farmers who feed our nation, rather than the
30 years has been the desire to leave the world a better place than
countries that so desperately want to see us fall?
I found it and to provide a sustainable future for my children
Why not allow homegrown renewable biofuels to power our
and grandchildren. There’s no doubt that POET and the biofuels
vehicles while cleaning up our air and creating a healthier
industry are changing the world. We’re only beginning to scratch
the surface of what bio-based products can do for our planet.
We have the ability to be noisier than any generation that
As part of this issue’s focus on POET’s 30th Anniversary, we
came before us, and our lives will be most affected by the
want you to hear from the upcoming millennial generation who
decisions made today. Together, we are responsible for changing
will be critical game changers in taking our world from a fossil-
the game. We can clean up our polluted cities and put an end to
based society to a renewable one. My three children have a lot
exploiting the earth for oil. We can turn around the impending
of thoughts for their generation to consider. It’s exciting to see
ag crisis for Midwest farmers. And we can do this by demanding
their growing passion for making a difference in our world as we
to see more biofuels in our fuel supply. The generation before us
transition in the coming decades to a bio-based economy.
spent the last 30 years pioneering an industry. They’ve done the
- Jeff Broin, CEO/Founder, POET
hard part. Now it’s our turn to finish what they started, and it begins with raising awareness about the importance of biofuels for a sustainable future.
Our time is now.
The choices we make today matter. It’s time we start
Millennials are arguably the most unique generation yet.
Thanks to advances in technology, we are part of the most
So the question is this: What kind of world do we want to live
connected era in history.
in someday? Do we want to see a future fueled by oil, with an
Our world has arrived at an interesting point in time — a
economy that drives opportunities abroad? Or would we rather
time in which the media has a large influence on our values,
cultivate a renewable economy that cleans up our cities and
government affairs seem unpredictable, and our nation is
increases jobs here in the U.S.?
dependent on imports of foreign oil. The generation before us has set a high standard; however, they have also left unprecedented
Here’s how you can get involved and start making a real
societal, health and economic issues unsolved that will affect
our futures and the futures of our children. So what can we to do make a positive impact before we pass the baton?
fill up with any percentage of biofuel, from E10 to E85. Next time
Well, it’s simple: We need to take back our world. We can change the way society operates — in fact, we already have. According to a recent Business Insider article, the
you fill up, you can also choose E15 for any vehicle 2001 or newer (visit getethanol.com to find sites that carry biofuel blends).
millennial generation is changing well-established industries
2) Write a letter to your local member of Congress urging him
simply by how we live.
or her to extend RVP, allowing you to make the right fuel choice
But the key influence we possess is our collective voice. We all
have different beliefs; however, how can we not all agree on the
3) Follow, engage and share on POET’s and your social media to
importance of clean air, energy independence and a brighter future? There is enormous potential for effective change when we join together through something as simple as connecting within our media platforms. So why not use our unified voice toward something that makes a difference in our health, environment and futures? Why not
1) First, find out if your vehicle is FlexFuel. This enables you to
educate people on the decision they can make at the pump. It’s time for us to step up and take ownership of our future. It’s time to become the generation who restores a healthy, sustainable world we can all be proud of. Our time is now.
Contributing Every Day to the Lives of Ordinary Americans Our processes and equipment contribute to thousands of products we use dailyâ€Śthe OJ we drink in the morning, the cheese sandwich we eat for lunch, the fuel we fill our cars with, the medicines we take to be well, even the water we drink. For over a century, GEA has been working to help make the products that make our world what it is today. Moving forward, our commitment continues as we work with POET to provide the separating technology required to produce renewable biofuels and agricultural co-products. To learn more about GEAâ€™s centrifuges and separation equipment
and the industries we serve, email us at email@example.com, call 800-722-6622, or visit us online at gea.com.
Discussion of RVP Raises Awareness, Value of Offering Year-round E15 This summer industry champions
bipartisan support for S. 517. Industry
(D-Ind.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Joni
worked tirelessly to support raising
representatives are now convening
Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)
awareness for a bill that addresses
meetings to determine the next steps
and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) limits on
to eliminate market barriers enjoyed
“While we didn’t expect to reach
E15. That bill — S. 517, the Consumer
by the fossil fuels industry.
the goal line, we nevertheless had a
and Fuel Retailer Choice Act —
was considered before the Senate
Committee in June.
of moving to year-round E15 sales.
After that hearing, Senate and
We were able to activate a group of
industry champions determined that
biofuels champions in the Senate,
additional time was needed to increase
number of first downs and are closer
to scoring than when we started,” said
discussion around the importance
Rob Walther, Vice President of Federal
POET SUBMITS COMMENTS ON EPA’S 2018 RVO PROPOSAL POET submitted detailed comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of the public comment period. The following points are among the most critical to our argument that EPA must modify its final proposal. In particular, we focused on showing that EPA is underestimating cellulosic production and that the volumes called for under the RFS in 2018 must increase. 1. EPA’s new methodologies substantially and systematically underestimate cellulosic production.
4. Changes to the cellulosic waiver credit program are necessary to further Congress’s goal of promoting cellulosic biofuel. Note: Cellulosic waiver credits are credits that obligated parties may purchase to show compliance with their statutorily required cellulosic biofuel obligations, rather than by purchasing cellulosic biofuel renewable identification numbers, or RINS, which the EPA uses to track renewable fuels. Currently, EPA offers too many credits to obligated parties and gives them a pathway to avoid purchasing any cellulosic biofuel.
2. There is no basis to use the general waiver to reduce the total renewable volume requirement due to inadequate domestic supply of renewable fuel.
5. There is no basis to use the general waiver to reduce the total renewable volume requirement due to severe harm to the economy or environment.
3. EPA should also account for liquid cellulosic biofuel volumes that will or will likely result upon EPA’s approval of pathways involving corn kernel fiber conversion.
EPA’S PROPOSAL WOULD REDUCE 2018 RVOS The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made a proposal that, if implemented, would roll back the growth of homegrown biofuels. On Oct. 4, the EPA published a revised proposal in the Federal Register that could further reduce 2018 blending obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This opened a fifteen-day public comment period that ended Oct. 19.
RVO COMMENT PERIOD A public comment on the EPA’s initial proposal period ran from July 21 to Aug. 31. POET engaged team members, producers and other stakeholders to submit personal, handwritten comments to the EPA in an effort to share why the biofuels industry is important to rural America and our environment. Some examples of these comments are listed below.
The revised proposal contains a reduction in 315 million gallons of biodiesel, which translates to a reduction of 473 million gallons in advanced biofuels and the total amount of renewable fuel. POET and industry groups including Growth Energy and the National Biodiesel Board spoke out against the EPA’s actions. “These proposals would stop in its tracks any progress biofuels have made for fuel prices, public
“POET provided me with a summer job to pay for college. While there I learned a lot about the benefits of biofuels and how it
health, the environment and national security over the last
can help everyone involved.”
decade,” said POET CEO Jeff Broin. Under statute, the EPA is
MALACHI H., MITCHELL, S.D.
required to issue a final rule for 2018 RVOs by Nov. 30.
“I fully support renewable energy.
ORIGINAL 2018 RVO PROPOSAL
REVISED 2018 RVO PROPOSAL
Conventional (corn ethanol) biofuels: 15 BILLION
– unchanged from 2017
– unchanged from 2017
Advanced biofuels: 4.24 BILLION GALLONS
3.767 BILLION GALLONS
(including 238 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel)
(including 238 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel)
– down from 4.28 billion gallons in 2017
19.24 BILLION GALLONS
18.767 BILLION GALLONS
OF RENEWABLE FUEL – down from 19.28 billion gallons in 2017
I’m tired of Big Oil deciding how we depend on them for our fuel. Biofuels creates jobs, helps support our farmers. They burn cleaner energy for future generations.” COREY P., KENSETT, IOWA
“Ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Ethanol improves air quality and lowers emissions. Biofuels are a win for the environment. Do it for our kids!” TERI KRUSE, SIOUX FALLS, S.D.
“My dad works at POET making biofuels. It supports our family and our family in our community and USA.” WYATT, ESTHERVILLE, IOWA 7
Cityman 900 One of the first “compact” phones ever Cityman 900 sold but it didn’t come cheap. In today’s One of it the first “compact” phones ever dollars would have been $7,825. sold but it didn’t come cheap. In today’s dollars it would have been $7,825.
BEVERLYY BEHVILELRSL HILLS Highest Grossing Highest Movies Grossing 1. “Three Men and a Baby” Movies 2. “Fatal Attraction”
1. Men and a Baby” 3.“Three “Beverly Hills Cop II” 2. “Fatal Attraction” 4. “Good Morning Vietnam”
3. “Beverly Hills Cop II” 5. “Moonstruck” 4. “Good Morning Vietnam” 5. “Moonstruck”
Twins Win! Oct. 25, 1987 Twins Win! The Minnesota Twins Oct. 25,the 1987 defeat St. Louis The Minnesota Twins Cardinals in seven defeat St. the Louis games the to win Cardinals in seven World Series. games to win the World Series.
In October 1987 POET started making biofuel in a small bioprocessing plant in Scotland, SD. At the time it was known as Broin Enterprises. Things have In October 1987 POET started making biofuel in a small bioprocessing plant changed a quite a bit since then, both at POET and in the world around us. in Scotland, SD. At the time it was known as Broin Enterprises. Things have changed a quite a bit since then, both at POET and in the world around us.
Top 5 Songs 1. “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles Top 5 Songs 2. “Alone” by Heart 1. “WalkYou Like an Egyptian” The Bangles 3. “Shake Down” by Gregory by Abbott 2. byDance Heartwith Somebody (Who 4. “Alone” “I Wanna 3. “Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston 4. “I Wanna Dance Somebody (Who 5. “Nothing’s Gonnawith Stop Loves Me)” Whitney Houston Us Now” byby Starship 5. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship
1987 Ford Escort The No. 1 selling car in the 1987 Ford Escort United States. The No. 1 selling car in the United States.
Black Monday Oct. 19, 1987 Black Monday The stock market crashed
Oct. 19, 1987(22 percent), the 508 points The stock market crashed largest daily percentage loss 508 pointsIn(22 percent), the in history. comparison, the largest daily percentage loss in history. In comparison, 2008 was 7.87 percent.the largest daily percentage loss in 2008 was 7.87 percent.
President Ronald Reagan June 12, 1987 President Ronald Reagan President Reagan made the famous “Tear down June 12, 1987 this wall!” speech in West Berlin. President Reagan made the famous “Tear down this wall!” speech in West Berlin.
POET Internship Program Offers Opportunity for Students to Gain Experience, Develop Skills by BryAnn Becker Knecht
When POET interns presented an overview of their projects to team members this summer, there was a common theme, no matter the department: They were all given the opportunity to do hands-on work.
Forty-eight interns were part of the 2017 internship program, the largest class to date. So far, four of those interns were hired in full-time positions, and three individuals have part-time positions.
That’s one of the key factors that distinguishes POET’s internship program, says Kate Hlushak, CARE Recruiting Business Partner for POET.
“Interns at POET have many opportunities to network with leadership, attend professional development courses, give back to the community and more. With an internship at POET, you’re helping us change the world,” Hlushak said.
“An internship at POET is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Our interns are hands-on, working on projects that have a direct impact on our business. We value their insight and their fresh new ideas, which is why we give them flexibility in their projects to not only learn but to teach us as well.”
ABOUT THE POET INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
2018 INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
290 INTERNSHIPS OFFERED SINCE 2007 Engineering, Lab, Research, Grain, Merchandising, Human Resources, Accounting, Project Management, Public Policy Maintenance
VISIT POET.COM/CAREERS to view and apply for internship opportunities in areas such as Engineering, Lab, Research, Grain, Merchandising, Human Resources, Accounting, Project Management, Public Policy, Maintenance and potentially more.
64 INTERNS HAVE BEEN HIRED FULL-TIME 22 percent conversion rate of interns to fulltime 68 PERCENT OF THOSE HIRED FULL-TIME ARE STILL WITH POET TODAY, many in leadership positions across the company.
SUMMER 2018 INTERNSHIPS ARE POSTED AT POET.COM/CAREERS.
“POET has a really good safety culture — everyone really buys into it.”
CONSTANCE BREADEN -
Focusing on Safety After graduating with a degree in
Berg mentioned that Constance has
Criminal Justice, Constance Breaden
embraced the POET culture during
— like many new college grads —
her internship. “From busy meeting
struggled with finding a job that fit
schedules to team-building events,
her skill set. She ended up working for
interns are always encouraged to
a title company processing mortgages.
approach their time at POET as if
She knew early on that it wasn’t a
they were a long-time team member.
long-term career path.
management from several friends,
during her time at POET.”
she set her sights on going back to
Constance’s main internship project
school. Her school had a 99 percent
was developing a training matrix to
placement rating within the major,
streamline and add efficiencies to
which was an added bonus.
employee training. “It’s basically a
The fluidity of the job intrigued
one-stop-shop for training employees
her. It includes management and
on safety tasks so that we’re not over-
supervisor roles. “You get to know
training or under-training certain job
a lot of people — that’s what’s drew
tasks,” she said.
me to it. The people aspect,” she
Management],” she said. And she’ll now be taking her experience to a full-time role at POET. Near the end of her internship, she was offered a full-time position as Environmental Health & Safety Specialist I at POET – Glenville. “All the knowledge that I’ve gained — being here and being able to work both with POET Plant Management
and environmental aspects like air
Health & Safety Specialists (EHS)
Now, after completing a summer
at POET bioprocessing plants, and
internship at POET, she is affirmed
compared POET’s best practices with
in her choice to pursue the safety
“The training matrix Connie has
During her internship at POET, she
been working on will be a great
applied her knowledge firsthand.
resource for our EHS Specialists and
She shadowed Chad Berg, Health
managers at our locations,” Berg said.
& Safety Specialist for POET Plant
Constance will take away with her
Management, and visited numerous
the importance of safety training after
plants. She helped at POET – Groton
seeing and reinforcing safety protocols
during the monthly shutdown and
firsthand during her internship.
conducted safety spot checks. Each
“POET has a really good safety
also has degree in Criminal Justice
plant has a quota for safety spot
into it. The Work to Live program
She enjoyed the direct field work
is POET’s brand; I think everyone is
CURRENT FULL-TIME ROLE:
and experience. “I enjoyed it much
a big supporter of the Work to Live
more than office time — the days go
program,” she said.
really fast. No two days are the same
“I got more out of this summer
in a plant, so you never know what
than I did in the classroom from the
will come up,” she said.
hands-on experience and being able
plant techs here at PPM [POET Plant
safety training, contractor training
to work with plant engineers and
and at the plant level and being able to combine those two experiences — has been invaluable.”
University of Pennsylvania DEGREE:
Graduated with Bachelor’s
of Science in Safety Management, & Safety, POET
Environmental Health & Safety Specialist I at POET – Glenville
photo by Emily Spartz Weerheim
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
JAMES FORDER -
POET connection led chemical engineering student James Forder
From the Classroom to the Field: Learning about Alternative Energy
Bingham Lake. Shishir Chundawat, PhD, professor in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department at Rutgers, has
Research Scientist for POET Research, and suggested that his students apply for the internship. “He’s an advocate for the industry. ... The only place I had heard about POET was in his class, which was relevant about making ethanol in general,” James said. Biofuels were used as an example to discuss distillation during a Design of Separation Processes course. Chundawat works on cellulosic biomass
engineering cellulases for biofuelsrelated applications. “I think it is critical for our society to find a way to include more biobased fuels, chemicals and materials in our economic portfolio to achieve sustainable growth in the decades to come as we slowly wean our society away from using fossilized carbon reserves.” “I also think it is critical for
photo by Greg Latza
undergraduate chemical engineering students to work in the renewable bioenergy industry to help them
“Generally, the East coast is not well
informed about the ethanol industry.
His main project was redesigning
and opportunities in the field. These
I got an entire picture of the industry
a sulfuric acid delivery system for
internship experiences also provide
in three months, from lobbying of
POET – Bingham Lake. The system
E15 to knowing what exactly flex fuel
will support efficiency and infection
is. I was able to see the positive side
prevention at the plant. Another
knowledge they gain in classrooms.”
of the industry,” he said. “It’s such a
main goal of the project is to improve
Since that class in spring 2017, and
meaningful industry for the U.S. and
safety in the plant. He worked on the
through his POET internship, James
the world in general as we go toward
full spectrum of the project, from the
has learned more about the biofuels
alternative energy and being green.”
initial idea and determining project
industry and has a better, more well-
James plans on either pursuing
changes down to the specifications for
rounded picture of the industry, he
the pipes, valves and instrumentation.
finding a job within that field after
James was impressed by the level
HOMETOWN: Seaford, UNIVERSITY: YEAR:
POET – Bingham Lake
“It’s a special thing at POET. I’ve worked in other companies, but they pale in comparison.”
of autonomy he had during the
and being a team player.
internship. “Usually you don’t get to
Safety is the top priority of every
delegate during an internship; you get
decision, he noted. “I learned a lot
development and being open with
about having a safety mindset. The
your weaknesses and helping others
He had the opportunity to talk
culture at Bingham Lake is something
and being accessible. All of those
with vendors and be the middleman
I’ve never seen before.”
things were valuable as I delve my
between the vendors and the POET
team to discuss valves, piping and
background in process engineering —
“It’s a special thing at POET. I’ve
which he says will bolster his abilities
worked in other companies, but they
in his course work and his career —
pale in comparison,” he said.
learning opportunity,” he said. The
James also had the opportunity to
safety culture at POET also left an
develop his soft skills, like leadership
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
initial soft skills,” James said.
JOHN HELLINGA -
Developing Relationships as a Merchandiser
“It’s less about me selling — it’s more about developing those one-on-one relationships.”
photo by Emily Spartz Weerheim
The best advice that he received
grains, a nutritious animal feed),
Nutrition, John Hellinga’s favorite
from his supervisor, Gregg Koerner,
corn condensed distillers solubles,
part of his job is getting to know
was to think about his work like he’s
traditionally referred to as “syrup,”
having a conversation with a friend.
and MDGS (modified distillers grains),
He talks with some customers on
“It’s less about me selling — it’s more
which are distillers grains partially
a near daily basis — he knows their
about developing those one-on-one
dried (50 percent dry matter).
kids’ names, favorite sports, vacations
relationships,” he said.
John works as part of the wet
He markets WDGS (wet distillers
distillers team, which is parallel to the
John Hellinga visits with Jared Hagena, a POET Nutrition customer, at Hagena Farms near Davis, S.D. and
hard along with working with team
members who are similarly focused
“I was actually merchandising,”
and have the opportunity to be part
he said. “I’ve had other internships
of POET and be part of the culture
where it’s a struggle to find work for
an intern. But as an intern, I worked. I
was contributing to the bottom line.”
valuable to learn about the rhythm
of the office without taking on
communication with his supervisor
the responsibilities of a full-time
for the success of the internship: He
merchandiser. “Rather than jumping
landed a full-time job two months into
into the deep end it was a very
structured way to take on those
Although the route to his full-time
mentoring. I felt like everyone was
job may be atypical — a short but
very willing to teach, mentor, explain,
productive internship experience —
no matter who it was — either
John feels great about his career path
someone higher up or someone on a
at POET so far.
different team,” he said.
“I feel like I’ve landed where I
productive. “I went into it with the end goal of getting a full-job with POET, and at the very least I want to pick up as many skills as I can so I
trade group, dry truck, rail team, oil group and others at POET Nutrition. Before he was offered a full-time position as a merchandiser for POET Nutrition, John worked as an intern in a similar capacity. He was already working with the wet distillers team, becoming familiar with the product,
can go merchandise somewhere else,”
After some personnel changes, an
opportunity opened up for him, and
with emphasis in Agriculture
he was hired full-time. “I was extremely thrilled. After being here for two months, it was very clear that POET is a dynamic place to work — [people] like to work
POET Nutrition CURRENT FULL-TIME ROLE:
Merchandiser for POET Nutrition
hard, like to enjoy having fun but at the same time understand working
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
GET GROUNDED IN THE FACTS
Powering Your Vehicle With E15 QUESTION
Which cars models are fit for E15? ANSWER In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
date, E15 is available at 938 retail locations in 29 states.
approved E15 — a 15 percent biofuel blend — for use in model year 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks and
Beyond the cost savings to the consumer, E15 also
medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs).
brings with it myriad benefits to the environment, the U.S. economy and our energy security, not to mention
E15 is the most tested fuel for commercial use in
what it does for rural America and the country at large.
American history. The EPA’s stamp of approval to use
E15 is seen as a bridge to providing higher blends in the
E15 in vehicles 2001 and newer is based on several
U.S. Other countries like Brazil have already moved to
assessments of vehicle durability. They considered
higher blends. Brazil increased its biofuel blend from 25
results from the Department of Energy (DOE) Catalyst
to 27 percent in March 2015.
Study and other test programs, along with the EPA’s own engineering assessments of vehicle technology
Industry advocates also point to the importance of
advancements since 2000.
increasing E15 sales to help offset the ongoing grain surplus that is only expected to keep rising. Ever-
That decision means that today nearly 9 out of 10
increasing yields and stagnant demand have led to
American vehicles are approved to use E15 by the EPA.
a record world surplus of grain. The 2017-2018 corn marketing year began with a surplus of 2.35 billion
Automakers are also allowing and warranting the
bushels of corn, according to the United States
use of this lower-cost, higher-octane fuel blend. Air
Department of Agriculture. Fueling with E15 means a
Improvement Resource, Inc., which specializes in
positive step forward on numerous fronts.
vehicle emissions and air quality analysis, estimates that about 181 million vehicles in 2018 can use E15
Visit GetEthanol.com to locate the nearest E15 station
legally and without any concern that it would void the
and fill up. For more information about E15 and the
industry initiative to increase E15 sales, see the Prime the Pump section in this issue.
This fuel choice contains numerous benefits to consumers. E15 may save drivers an average of 5 to 10 cents per gallon, savings that add up over the year. To
GET GROUNDED IN THE FACTS
Total U.S. Fleet That Can Use E15 Without Warranty Concerns All Model Year (MY) Flex Fuel Vehicles
MY2012 + Non-FFVs Warrantied for E15
MY2001 + Non-FFVs Outside Warranty
MILLIONS OF VEHICLES
Source: Air Improvement Resource, Inc.
9 out of 10 cars today are APPROVED FOR E15 legally, according to the EPA waiver
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
PRIME THE PUMP
Minnoco Retailers Say Prime the Pump Is a Valuable Resource
by Janna Farley When Joel Hennen first decided to
retail adopters of higher-level biofuel
higher blends, so we focus on helping
offer E15 at his auto shop in Shakopee,
blends by awarding grants to help
retailers convey the benefits of E15 to
Minn., four years ago, he knew he’d
with their initial investments in
have to convince his customers to give
infrastructure. The biofuels industry
it a shot.
has invested nearly $70 million in this
ambassador program is a key tool
“Other than your house, the average
in highlighting those benefits. The
Prime the Pump has been a valuable
expensive investment is their car,”
consumers about biofuels and E15
says Hennen, the third-generation
owner of Hennen’s Auto Service, a
Executive Director of the Minnesota
Minnoco station. “No one had ever
Service Station & Convenience Store
provide information about the fuel
heard of E15 before, and it had been
to customers while they fill up their
a long time since a new fuel had been
Independent Oil Company (Minnoco)
vehicles, as well as answer questions.
“This type of marketing engages
Hennen’s shop was one of the first
consumer education and marketing.
directly with consumers and results
in Minnesota to offer E15, thanks to
“Simply adding more E15 locations
not only in higher awareness of E15,
the Prime the Pump initiative.
is not enough,” says Growth Energy
but also provides an opportunity to
by stationing ambassadors at retail These
CEO Emily Skor. “We want consumers
to understand their fuel options,
provide E15 access and assists early
and with that knowledge reach for
customer traffic during promotions,”
Skor says. Renewable fuel is an important piece of the Minnoco story, Klatt says. Hennen’s shop is one of 35 Minnoco retailers offering E15 in Minnesota. Today, 38 percent of Minnoco’s overall sales volume is because of E15. “That’s how big of an impact it’s had on our stores,” Klatt says. “We feel like E15 is the fuel of the future. Within five years, [I think] most retailers will have E15 to sell.” That’s great news for the biofuels industry. But more importantly, it’s good for consumers. “Prime the Pump has allowed us to bring E15 to market, which as retailers
PRIME THE PUMP
About Minnoco Minnoco (Minnesota Independent Oil Company) is a brand of gasoline developed for the members of the MSSA (Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association) by the members of the MSSA.
is a victory for us,” Klatt says. “You’re
We want consumers to understand their fuel options, and with that knowledge reach for higher blends, so we focus on helping retailers convey the benefits of E15 to their customers. Emily Skor, Growth Energy CEO
no longer limited to a certain fuel.” But for customers, it’s really a win, Klatt says. “We’ve been able to give our consumers a choice while supporting our own Minnesota farmers — our friends and neighbors,” he says. “We are happy to not only support our industry, but our local economy.” For Minnoco’s independent dealers, E15 has been an important means of differentiation — and it didn’t take long for Hennen to convince his customers. “E15 is cleaner and it’s cheaper and the performance and fuel mileage is the same as regular gasoline if not better,” Hennen says. “It’s good for your car and better for the environment. I’ve had zero issues
The brand allows members of the Association the opportunity to own and control their own brand of fuel while offering alternative renewable fuels such as Diesel, E85, E30, E15, 87, 89 and 91 octane fuels. Under the Minnoco business model, station owners invest in their own station refurbishments and engage in joint marketing. Minnoco offers coupons for discounted gas and other products via newspaper inserts, social media, e-mail and minnoco.com.
with E15 since we introduced it. It’s been rock solid for us.”
Minnoco was the first chain in its market to offer E15. In a nod to renewable fuels, Minnoco’s mostly green logo features a plant leaf.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Salute to Farmers by Brian Hefty Did you know there are fewer than 175,000 farmers in the
RFD’s coverage of the parade on their network. For this coming
United States who farm 1,000 acres or more? If you look at that
year, we at Ag PhD have been selected to have a float in the
as a percentage of the U.S. population, that’s about 0.05 percent.
parade, as we will be celebrating our 20th year on TV in 2018.
In other words, 1 out of every 2,000 Americans farms 1,000 acres
Ag PhD has aired a brand new, half-hour TV show every week
since April of 1998. That’s more than 1,000 new episodes.
Why is this concerning to me? The fewer farmers we have, the
As someone who has attended the Rose Parade once before,
fewer people there are who truly know all the good we are
seeing the parade in person is an amazing experience. If you
doing. Unfortunately, rather than getting their ag information
have never done it before, I encourage you come out to Pasadena
from farmers, most non-farmers hear about modern farming
to see us! Being able to see the floats up close gives you a new
practices on TV, radio, newspapers and the internet. Most of
appreciation for the thousands of man-hours that go into the
those journalists didn’t grow up on a farm, and they don’t know
design, construction and decoration on each float, as each one
much about what we do to produce crops.
is covered with thousands and thousands of flowers and other plants. The weather is beautiful, and I can promise you it would
The United States has the safest, cheapest and most abundant
be an unforgettable experience attending the parade.
food supply in the world, not to mention perhaps the safest drinking water supply. That’s thanks in large part to the
If you are unable to join us in Pasadena, I encourage you to
watch the parade on RFD-TV, as they will have more coverage of the Ag PhD float, compared to the other networks. The theme of
In order to bring more awareness to this, we at Ag PhD have
the 2018 Ag PhD float is “Salute to Farmers.” If you are a farmer,
something special we’ll be doing on New Year’s Day. Over the
THANK YOU for all you do for our society!
last nine years, you may have seen the RFD-TV floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, or you may have seen
IS MADE HERE.
For years, we’ve been told that cellulosic biofuel 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. ®
Jeff, Tammie, Alyssa, Miranda and Austin Broin
LIVING A 22
Amid POETâ€™s 30th Anniversary, CEO Jeff Broin Remains Steadfast in his Mission to Change the World by Angela Tewalt
photo by Reistroffer Design
LEGACY THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
eff Broin doesn’t waver.
Give him a problem, and he’ll tackle it head on.
Most people look at our oil-based society and see it as status quo, a cemented fact. But Jeff Broin — the founder, chairman and CEO of POET — sees how biofuels provide limitless possibilities.
“I can see so clearly that starch and cellulose can change nearly everything for nearly everyone on the planet,” Broin says. “There are very few industries that can have as major of an impact on the world and its future. Our industry lowers the price of gasoline and protein. It cleans up our air so people can breathe better in our cities. It can stop our children from having to go to war to defend oil. Look at all the things our industry affects! POET is in a leadership role, touching the lives of everyone who walks on the planet.” And he’s not intimidated by the challenge. In fact, he’s driven by the opportunity to leave the earth a better place than he found it. “I go to work every day with the passion to change the world through the sun, soil and the seed for future generations. Failure is not an option.” Since its humble beginnings 30 years ago, Broin’s relentless vision and passion have led POET from a single-plant operation in Scotland, S.D., to what it is today: the world’s largest producer of biofuels, with 28 bioprocessing plants, a $6.5 billion revenue company, and a global leader in the production of renewable products. Broin is often described by those close to him as tenacious, an entrepreneur and a visionary. “Jeff’s conviction is unwavering,” says Jeff Lautt, President and Chief Operating Officer for POET. “When a lot of people see road blocks, challenges, obstacles or adversity, they stop. But Jeff will find a way around them, over them and through them, no matter what or how long it takes.” When Broin was living at the Scotland plant 30 years ago (he lived there for the
I can see so clearly that starch and cellulose can change nearly everything for nearly everyone on the planet.
Jeff Broin speaks at the award ceremony for being inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame
Miranda and Austin Broin first six months to rebuild and Jeff, laterTammie, manageAlyssa, the plant), he wasn’t concerned about changing the world. He was just trying to feed his family and keep his head up. It was a family business, and his wife, Tammie, played a role early on. She traveled with Jeff when he was buying equipment from different facilities and acted as secretary for several years. She remembers that he did what it took to get the job done. “Whenever he saw an opportunity or a challenge, he took it on. He just had perseverance,” Tammie says. When they bought the bankrupt ethanol plant in Scotland, Broin knew it was a substantive risk. “Our chance for success was very low,” he says. “But where many had failed, we were able to succeed. And it quickly became very obvious what we could do for Austin, Tammie, Jeff, Alyssa and Miranda Broin
agriculture.” Since that time, Broin’s vision has grown much larger from simply feeding his family to changing the world. Within the past 30 years, his ambition has expanded as he’s seen the potential of agriculture to produce food, fuel and fiber. That vision has led to groundbreaking achievements both at POET and abroad, guiding the company to be the world’s largest producer of biofuels and backing cellulosic biofuels endeavors and helping farmers across the globe better use the sun, soil and seed to feed their own families. Despite this success, Broin returns to the theme of gratitude often — gratitude to God for his family, the team members at POET and all those who have helped him along the way. His commitment remains steadfast. “We’re put on earth to make a difference. It’s very important for all of us to leave a better future for our children and grandchildren. I’d say that’s really what drives me,” Broin says.
REFLECTING ON 30 YEARS During several recent trips, Broin had an unexpected chance to reflect on the impact biofuels has made over the past 30 years. As part of a company strategic effort, he visited several plants that he helped establish early on in his career that have numerous farmer investors. Dozens of individuals came up to him and talked about the difference biofuels have made. “We changed their lives and their neighbors’ lives and their communities. It changed entire agricultural regions of the country. It was pretty cool to hear that 30 years later.” Biofuels have allowed many of these individuals to continue farming when they otherwise may have turned to other modes of income. “I talked with a farmer yesterday. He said, ‘I haven’t seen you for 18 years. I saw you at your first meeting. You told me to leverage up and look at this like you’re buying a farm not a pick-up. I did, we made a huge investment,
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
and it’s changed our lives.’ He said, ‘You changed my life.’” As Broin reflects on the past 30 years, he’s quick to state that the work has been far from easy. POET has encountered challenges on several fronts, from raising capital for plant start-ups, to major challenges on the political front, to fighting misinformation from Big Oil. That’s one of the reasons he led the formation of the biofuels trade association Growth Energy in 2008 in order to ramp up initiatives to break through the Blend Wall. Lautt credits Broin’s vision and determination for launching efforts to move to E15. “We
underdog,” Broin says. “We have the right answers, but it’s been a significant challenge to go up against the wealthiest,
When a lot of people see road blocks, challenges, obstacles or adversity, they stop. But Jeff will find a way around them, over them and through them, no matter what or how long it takes.
most entrenched industry in the history of the world.” Broin’s
been integral to the industry’s success, notes Steve Kirby, the former South Dakota Lt. Gov. governor who now is a founding partner of Bluestem Capital Company, a private equity firm and POET investor. “Jeff has always shown a visible passion for what he wanted for POET and for the ethanol industry generally,” Kirby says. “He is just the kind of leader we needed. Who knows where the ethanol business — where POET would be — without Jeff and the leadership team he put together.” Broin’s passion for what biofuels can do for the world continues to keep him at POET today. Colleagues reiterate that he lives and breathes the business.
Jeff, this is not a job. It’s a lifestyle. He is just all in. I don’t ever see him stopping. He is just too much of a true believer to
for of says
Vice President of Corporate Affairs, POET. For
achievements, he has been honored in 2017 with three
Jeff Broin addresses the audience at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Montreal after receiving the 10th annual George Washington Carver Award from Biotechnology Innovation Organization
prestigious awards: He was inducted into the 2017 South Dakota Hall of Fame, received an honorary doctorate from South Dakota State University, and was awarded the 10th annual George Washington Carver Award from Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a trade organization that represents the biotech industry worldwide. “Jeff’s commitment to preserving agricultural production and farming as a way of life is truly exceptional,” says Jim Greenwood, BIO’s president and CEO. Their annual Carver award recognizes an individual who significantly contributes to the bio-based economy. “At a time when many of America’s rural communities are struggling, Jeff has created a model that protects the health of the planet and the economic fortunes of countless Americans. He is one of the most influential people in modern agriculture today and is an extraordinary pioneer and visionary.”
Jeff Broin receives an honorary doctorate from South Dakota State University
AN EVOLVING LEGACY The vision for POET has always been ambitious. When Jeff Lautt interviewed with Broin 13 years ago, Lautt recalls, he said to him that the goal was to be the ExxonMobil of the biofuels industry. Broin’s philosophy has always been to be the best — and that goes back to his strong, Midwestern work ethic and that passion for what agriculture and bioprocessing can do for the world. Where other companies have been content with the status quo, POET’s team members have always wanted to do things better and bolder than before. “I always say, nothing big is ever easy. This is pretty big. It’s hard, but we’ll take the challenge,” Broin says. “We have fantastic team members here at POET. We reach out and find people who are motivated by passion and love a challenge.” That focus on refinement and improvement eventually led to the company’s vertically integrated business model, which is unique to POET in the industry. In the early years, the company operated the Scotland plant and was working with small farmer-owned cooperatives to establish bioprocessing plants. Broin then formed a management sector, now known as POET Plant Management. Additional divisions were formed in the coming years. This business model allows the company
Jeff Broin with Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM, and the King of the Netherlands in 2014 at the grand opening for Project LIBERTY
to do everything from producing and marketing biofuels and their coproducts to handling research and development and pioneering cellulosic biofuels. The mindset of reacting quickly and positively to change has led POET to continued success where others have faltered. POET has been designed and built to be a growth company, which reflects Broin’s personality. “We’ve weathered a lot of storms,” Lautt says.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Kirby says the leadership team has a “laser-like focus”: “They won’t be drawn away from the direction they should be going on an issue or project.” While many companies take a “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality, POET, steered by Broin’s entrepreneurial, visionary mindset, isn’t afraid to change the model and create something new. For example, the company recently formed POET Biorefining, or PBR, a merger of bioprocessing facilities that was overwhelmingly supported by investors, in reaction to comments from shareholders about increasing diversity and growing with the company. The new entity provides liquidity options for investors and new sources of capital for future acquisitions and expansions. “PBR gives us the flexibility to invest in new capital projects such as the recent Marion addition,” Broin noted. POET - Marion broke ground in August 2017 on an 80 million-gallon expansion. Again, risk has never deterred Broin from pursuing any challenges. Just take cellulosic biofuels. POET has been working on cellulosic for over a decade now, and it is one of the company’s biggest investments. Project LIBERTY — the commercialscale cellulosic biofuels plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa — opened in 2014 and is a joint-venture partnership with global science company Royal DSM. From the start, the odds were highly stacked against this effort. One might say the pursuit of turning corn cobs, leaves and husks into fuel would even be a foolish pursuit. Not Broin. Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM, credits Broin’s determination and commitment to help realize the first commercial-scale cellulosic bioprocessing facility in the world. “Jeff’s competitive spirit drives change and helps us to overcome the challenges we encounter in the rapidly changing environment we are in,” says Sijbesma. “With this, we reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and make transportation greener. In addition, this new, competitive energy source provides an extra income to farmers and supports the U.S. to become more energy independent.” But Broin’s vision goes farther — much, much farther. If you’ve been following POET long enough, you’ve probably heard the story of how when Broin first visited Kenya and saw the stunted corn, he had to do something about it. Some may have shrugged and walked away.
He is one of the most influential people in modern agriculture today and is an extraordinary pioneer and visionary.
Jeff and Tammie Broin and their
visiting Africa together, formed a nonprofit — Seeds of Change — to support farmers in developing nations. “We sat around with the kids and decided to start a nonprofit together as a way to give back,” says Tammie. She’s heavily involved with Seeds of Change today. They most recently traveled to Kenya together in January 2017, visiting Travellers’ Oasis Centre (TOC), an all-girls school in Kenya, as well as checking in on Mission Grow, where they are helping farmers quadruple their yields within two years and
Jeff Broin interacts with a local Maasai tribe in southern Kenya on a January 2017 trip
be completely sustainable within four. “We’re helping Africa in ways where they have immediate need, but we’re also trying to make them sustainable by teaching them how to farm,” Broin says. The work in Africa is just getting started, and Broin is not content to the work being contained to Kenya. That Midwestern mindset — the passion, the work ethic, the drive — continues to fuel Broin and his vision for POET and for what biofuels can do for the world. Not surprisingly, he says that passion has worn off on his children as well. “My kids are intelligent and ambitious,” Broin says. “The kids have gotten involved, and as they’ve gotten older, they’ve gotten more passionate about the business. You never know what your kids are going to be. It seems they’ve gotten a bit of the passion of biofuels and what it can do to help the world.” Daughter Alyssa works as her dad’s Chief of Staff. Younger daughter Miranda has worked on numerous writing projects and serves on the Seeds of Change Foundation board. Son Austin interned in Summer 2017 with Growth Energy and has worked at Project LIBERTY. Tammie isn’t surprised to see their children follow suit. And it’s important to her to see their kids give back to society. “Jeff is always big on talking about what’s going on in the world and how we can make it a better place for our kids and grandkids,” she says. “When the kids were growing up, we’d sit around the dinner table, and Jeff would fill us in. The kids were always a part of those conversations, and they would feel his passion.”
Broin stresses the importance he and Tammie put on teaching their children Midwestern values and raising them to work hard. “Our kids got their first checkbooks in fourth grade and had to work and manage their own finances, which is what happened to me when I was young. I think that was a good move. We made sure they never felt privileged, and they turned out humble. They have gratitude, and that’s simply what we tried to teach them,” he says. He’s also quick to acknowledge Tammie’s support as he grew the company and the industry. “My wife has been tremendously supportive throughout my entire career. She did a great job of helping raise the family and was also supportive of me so I could be exceptionally busy, driving all over the country and flying all over the world to keep this going.”
A LOOK AHEAD The mission — and vision — continues for Jeff Broin. For Broin, never content to rest on his laurels, the focus is on what’s next, and on the immense possibilities that biotechnology holds for the future. “Before the end of the century, we will be back to getting nearly everything in our lives from the surface of the earth,” he says. “It will be better, it will be cheaper, it won’t be toxic, and it will make the world a much healthier and more sustainable place to live.” The exciting part for Broin — and for many others at POET — is to contemplate what’s in store for the next 30 years. “Thirty years ago, who would ever guess where POET would be today,” says Rod Pierson, Senior Vice President & General Manager, POET Design & Construction, who has worked at the company since 1997. “Trying to look forward 30 years from now, if there could be as much improvement and success as there was in the past 30 years, it’s going to be amazing.” The company will undoubtedly continue to expand its footprint in the biofuels arena by producing more starch gallons, growing in the cellulosic space, replacing other petroleum-based products and taking advantage of any other opportunities along the way. Whatever challenges may emerge, Broin is determined and will not be deterred by obstacles in his path. “If there is something Jeff is passionate about — or just doing the right thing for the country and the world — he gets behind it with an endless amount of energy and enthusiasm,” Lautt says. “You aren’t going to defeat the guy.” And Broin wouldn’t have it any other way. “Make no mistake,” Broin says. “We will prevail.”
Jeff Broin talks with the headmaster at Kakuswi School for the Deaf about agricultural improvements they are implementing to provide more nourishment for the students
The Best is Yet to Come by Ryan Welsh
I was going through a box the other day in the garage, a painful task I had been putting off since my father brought it when he came to town for my son’s baptism. If I wanted my car stall back, I had to clean it out. It contained all the regular stuff a parent would want out of their home as they simplify and downsize: yearbooks, old newspaper clippings, tons of papers and — I’m embarrassed to say — a senior key that I wore with my letter jacket and football jersey on game days. As I glanced at the papers getting ready to pitch them, one caught my eye: At the top of the paper in red ink it said, “Great work! But the best is yet to come for you!”, Ms. Gresert. I pulled that one out to read and pitched the rest. I hadn’t thought of Ms. Gresert,
Little did these guys know they were transforming NASCAR®
my ninth grade English teacher, in years. For some reason, she
from a regional sport concentrated in the Southeast into an
always gave me good grades and encouraging messages even
though I didn’t deserve them. NASCAR® now has 80 million fans and is televised in over 180 The paper I found was titled “Awesome,” dated Nov. 24, 1987.
countries. Consumption has expanded from platforms of radio
The assignment was a sports-themed essay, and I remembered
and television to digital and social. Our brand is one of the
picking NASCAR because the 16 other students in my class
top ten in the sport, which is in the company of Coca-Cola and
settled on football, baseball, basketball, volleyball and track. I
Goodyear. Not too shabby.
really wasn’t a NASCAR fan; I just wanted to be different and ®
stand out. My research came from an encyclopedia, magazines
Much like that of NASCAR®, the biofuels industry started with
and newspapers from the school library, and local NASCAR
humble beginnings. Around the same time Cale was firing up
fans, which really were not that hard to find in a blue-collar
his Cutlass Supreme, a team was just being born in Scotland, S.D.
town in North Central Iowa.
This team of its own personalities and drivers forever changed agriculture and rural life of that time. Like the all-star drivers
The story was on the 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup Season. It
of 1987, Team POET challenged each other, demanding the best.
focused on stock car racing, specifically The Winston, a.k.a.
POET is now the largest producer of biofuels in the world, and
the All-Star race. Dale Earnhardt Senior made the famous
they are far from contentment, because changing the world is a
“Pass in the Grass” that year, eventually winning the race and
then the points championship. Tim Richmond, suffering from pneumonia, bowed out of the season, succumbing to the AIDS
While much has changed since I worked on that paper several
virus two years later. A guy they called “Awesome Bill” from
decades ago — technology has advanced much from the days
Dawsonville set the track record for the fastest lap at Talladega
of encyclopedias, and my writing, I like to think, has improved
at over 212 miles per hour and Daytona at over 210 miles per
quite a bit — Ms. Gresert’s words still ring true to Team POET
hour. The driver that caught my attention was the legendary
today: “Great work! But the best is yet to come for you!”
Cale Yarborough because he drove a Cutlass Supreme like me and Hardees was his sponsor, a place that I loved to frequent.
We will continue to use NASCAR® and other powerful platforms
Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip,
to promote the benefits of a superior fuel, and we congratulate
Terry Labonte and Bill Elliot were on the grid too. It was the All-
POET on 30 great years!
Star Race for the ages. These guys were the faces of the sport. They were personalities and they were drivers with drive.
MASSIVE REACH. HIGH ENGAGEMENT. MULTIPLE PLATFORMS. 2017 SEASON THROUGH JULY 30
OF THE WEEKEND (18 Times)
VIEWERS TUNED IN PER MINUTE (MENCS)
OF EVENT WATCHED LIVE OR SAME DAY (MENCS)
VIDEO VIEWS (ON + OFF PLATFORM)
AVERAGE RACE DAY VISITS
AVG. RACE DAY IMPRESSIONS (MENCS)
Data is representative of all three national series unless otherwise noted. Data is from the start of the calendar year except for the TV metrics that are specific to the race broadcasts or otherwise noted. Sources: TV: The Nielsen Company; data based on Live + SD data stream. Digital: Adobe Analytics; CONFIDENTIAL – FOR NASCAR USE ONLY digital metrics represent all platforms (NASCAR.com, NASCAR Mobile Web, NASCAR Mobile Apps). Video views include videos on NASCAR.com and partner websites, including: YoutTube, Yahoo!, MSN, Motorsport, Autoweek, Facebook and Twitter. Social: Facebook Insights, Iconosquare and Twitter TV Analytics. Social followers include the NASCAR Facebook page, the primary NASCAR Twitter Handles (@NASCAR, @NASCAR_XFINITY, @NASCAR_Trucks), the NASCAR Google + page, the NASCAR Instagram account and Snapchat account.
KEY CONSUMPTION METRIC INFOGRAPHIC GLOSSARY PLATFORM
The number of people who have watched a MENCS, NXS or NCWTS race season-to-date; this represents the total audience reached on television across all three national series races.
SPORT OF THE WEEKEND
The number of times that the MENCS event ranked as the number one or number two sport among all major sports that aired on television in a weekend.
VIEWERS TUNED IN PER MINUTE
The average number of viewers watching per minute of any MENCS race season-to-date.
PERCENT OF EVENT WATCHED LIVE OR SAME DAY
The proportion of the viewing audience that watched the MENCS race live or at some point during the same day.
The number of times the NASCAR digital platforms were visited year-to-date. For example, if a single person visits the website at 10 AM and 2 PM on Sunday, they would be counted as two visits.
The total number of times pages on NASCAR.com and the NASCAR mobile app have been seen year-to-date.
The number of times videos were played on the NASCAR digital platforms and our third-party distribution partners’ websites year-to-date, including but not limited to: Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, SportingNews and USAToday.
AVERAGE RACE DAY VISITS
The average number of visits that occurred on a MENCS race day season-to-date.
The number of times NASCAR social content was displayed in followers’ newsfeeds across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat year-to-date.
The cumulative number of followers that NASCAR has on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
The number of times social followers have interacted with NASCAR social content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram such as: liking, sharing, commenting or clicking a link.
AVERAGE RACE DAY IMPRESSIONS
The average number of impressions served across NASCAR social platforms on MENCS race days season-to-date.
CONFIDENTIAL – FOR NASCAR USE ONLY Data sources: TV - The Nielsen Company; data based on Live + SD data stream. Digital - Adobe Analytics. Social - Facebook Insights, Iconosquare and Twitter TV Analytics.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
U.S. Ag Economy Poses Problems for Global Ag Markets Increasing Biofuels Demand Will Bolster U.S., Global Economy, Experts Say by Steve Lange
When corn prices drop in Iowa, or
but for the worldwide market. That
when excess corn sits in grain bins
(USDA) reported the 2017-18 market
number is going to stay the same or
in South Dakota, it doesn’t just affect
America’s farmers and the Midwest
bushels of corn carryout, or “ending
The export of corn itself would
stocks,” the amount left over after
seem to be the easy answer. To those
the immediate need for a grain has
in the know, it’s not. Over the last few
Midwest can, say, affect the price of
been met. That’s the most in nearly 30
decades, corn exports have remained
commodities in Brazil, or change the
relatively flat — an average of roughly
quality of steak in China, or threaten
“How do we work through that
1.9 billion bushels per year — as
the livelihood of a farmer in Kenya.
extra corn inventory?” asks Kip Tom,
yields continue to grow. In 2016, U.S.
Today, the current conditions of
farmers produced 2.7 billion more
the U.S. ag economy — fluctuating
managing member of Tom Farms, an
bushels of corn than in 2010.
commodity prices, declining profits,
ag sales and service company. While
Demand for American corn may
ever-rising corn yields and the excess
his family’s farm has been rooted
not be growing, but competition is.
it creates — has the global ag market
in northern Indiana since 1837, his
Argentina exported $4.2 billion worth
company has become a leader in
of corn and Brazil exported $3.7
American farmers are sitting on
global crop production. “That excess
billion during 2016 — a combined total
record amounts of corn. The United
corn is significant not just for us,
of 27.5 percent of total corn exports.
NEW CORN CROP CARRYOUT SCENARIOS Carryout projections for began Sept. 1, 2017, based on biofuels demand at 5.475 billion bushels, exports at 1.850 billion bushels and feed/residual demand at 5.475 billion bushels. Each yield drop reduces
175 CORN YIELD (BU/ACRE)
2017-2018 crop year, which
170 165 160 155 150
production, but does not change demand.
CARRYOUT PROJECTIONS (BLN BUSHELS)
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
The fastest growing corn exporters by dollar value over the past several years include Mexico (up 104 percent since 2012) and Russia (up nearly 50 percent since 2012). Kip Tom’s answer — and the answer of many industry experts — comes in the form of biofuels. “We have to increase demand, and that demand — that growth — is coming from the biofuels sector,” says Tom, who has worked around the globe and recognizes as well as anyone how local farms affect worldwide agriculture. “If we could go from a 10 percent blend to a 15 percent blend, that would use up more of the carryout,” he says. “That would help raise prices for everyone. It not only shores up the U.S. agriculture economy, but it supports the global economy as well.” And
market with subsidized corn like we did in the ‘80s and ‘90s, according to POET CEO Jeff Broin, does more than just create a short-term band aid for U.S. farmers. It also threatens the livelihoods and farming futures of like
other developing nations. Broin has witnessed this firsthand through trips with Seeds of Change, POET’s not-
biofuels in our fuel supply will
Biofuels and coproducts like DDGS
be critical as yields continue
opportunities in overseas markets.
to increase to stabilize commodity supplies and prices. This allows farmers in the U.S. and developing nations to turn a profit, feed their families and contribute to their nation’s economies.
(distillers dried grains with solubles, a nutritious animal feed) and corn oil have shown great potential for “If you are trying to develop a market for just corn, it’s a crowded playground, more so than 20 or 30 years ago,” says Mike Dwyer, Chief Economist for the U.S. Grains Council. “But we have a comparative advantage in all of these valueadded corn products. This year, those exports are going up by 16 percent. That’s corn grind. And ethanol exports are increasing big time. That’s corn grind.” In 2016, the United States exported more than 1 billion gallons of fuel ethanol (to 34 different countries), a 26 percent increase over 2015, according to
Administration. That’s almost triple the amount exported in 2010. “In corn
producers,” says Dr. Seth Meyer, the Chairman for the World Agricultural Outlook Board at the USDA. “Trade is one of the ways you can put some support under prices. We want to be trade competitive, and we see real
for-profit organization dedicated to
room for growth — and real potential
“transforming education, agriculture
— in the coproducts of corn.”
worldwide.” “Increasing fuel
things we do well, like ethanol and its
to grow (in terms of competing
countries) and shrink (in terms of
markets, will continue to drive prices
lower. “Margins have tightened, and
“We have a global surplus of
that is certainly posing problems,”
Meyer acknowledges that higher
yields continue to rise to stabilize supplies
Biofuels Policy Consulting, continues
just about every field crop you can
says Meyer, who oversees the monthly
This allows farmers in the U.S. and
imagine,” says Miller, a former farmer
forecasts of the World Agricultural
developing nations to turn a profit,
in Washington state who now serves as
Supply and Demand Estimates report.
feed their families and contribute to
an ag policy consultant in Washington,
“These corn carryout numbers are big,
their nation’s economies,” Broin said.
D.C. “It’s depressing prices around the
and we do see potential in the ethanol
The global agricultural marketplace,
world. The global market is getting
industry for exports — especially in
according to Jim Miller, an economist
more sophisticated, and we need to
and the president of Agriculture and
match that sophistication through the
Corn yields, meanwhile, continue
2200 MILLION BUSHELS
CORN EXPORTS REMAIN FLAT
Over the last few decades,
2000 1800 1600 1400 1200
corn exports have remained relatively flat as yields continue to grow.
2017 (current year)
HARVEST YEAR Source: USDA
to increase. The 2016 corn harvest
“Overproduction and volatility are
limits on E15 sales during summer
featured record-setting totals: 170
not helpful, and those issues need to
bushels per acre and 14.5 billion
be taken care of, or we’re going to be
“With the current downward trend
total bushels. Similar numbers are
set up for a really tough time,” he says.
in the ag economy, the RFS is an
expected for 2017. That’s nearly twice
“We need people to fight for ethanol,
essential tool for expanding market
the total production from 30 years ago
and to realize the full potential it has
access for farmers to sell feedstock for
on fewer planted acres. Yet today’s
to help our ag economy, our state’s
renewable fuels, including ethanol,”
total corn exports — at just under 2
economy, our nation’s economy and
says Thune, who has helped author
billion bushels — are nearly identical
the world economy.”
the last three Farm Bills. “Extending
to 1987 numbers. And technology
the RVP waiver to permit the sale
SUPPORT FOR BIOFUELS INDUSTRY BEGINS AT HOME
of E15 in the summer travel season
if we went to E15 or E30, that would
One of the policymakers with a
Still, today’s ag industry continues to
increase the demand that’s been
history of fighting for biofuels is John
increasingly rely on an ever-growing
missing in the U.S. marketplace. We
Thune, the U.S. Senator from South
international market, a market in
can also move that corn supply off
which corn from Indiana can quickly
the market with things like distillers
For Thune, backing the biofuel
make its way to somewhere like India
grains and everything that goes along
industry needs to begin here at home,
as a product like corn oil.
with the continued support of the
“Exports are a promising market
Dunn, who was a cattle rancher
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and an
expansion for biofuels producers,”
through the 1980s ag crisis, sees
expansion of the Reid Vapor Pressure
(RVP) waiver, which currently places
increased significantly, resulting in
will continue to drive yields even higher: Some experts are predicting nationwide averages of 300-bushel yields within 15 years. “Biofuels are absolutely one of the answers to help the growing yield rates,” says Barry Dunn, president of South Dakota State University. “First,
similarities to the ag industry today.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
would expand ethanol sales, generate higher demand for corn and lead to more certainty for the ethanol market and farmers,” he says. “It would also be a win for consumer choice at the pump by allowing year-round access to E15.”
Increasing biofuel and coproduct exports is an effective measure in maintaining corn prices. We need to continue to look for new markets for ethanol and its byproducts.
and starch-based ethanol,” says Tom.
biofuel and coproduct exports is an
“I can’t imagine what our country’s
economy would look like if we didn’t
corn prices. We need to continue to
have biofuels. Right now, we could
look for new markets for ethanol and
reduce extra corn inventory simply
through more demand for biofuels.
Kip Tom, who has been farming for
We could change the trend of the
44 years, also has three children — the
entire industry. It’s not just about us
eighth generation of family farmers
anymore, it’s about everyone. It’s not
— working with him.
just growth for domestic farming, it’s
He just hopes people realize how
international farming as well. If we
that farm and bioprocessing plant in
do this right, that biofuel from our
Middle America and the production
backyards can help the entire world.”
of biofuels and coproducts in South Dakota, for example, can affect that ranch in South Korea or that small family farm in Nigeria. “Our future centers around biofuels
Flooding the international market with subsidized corn would threaten the livelihood of farmers like Christine Ndula, who stands in her field in Makueni County, Kenya, where she anticipates harvesting 10 bags (approximately 35 bushels) of corn. Seeds of Change’s Mission Grow has helped Ndula and many other farmers increase their crop yields. If she planted local varieties, she would have expected to harvest only six bags (21 bushels) from the same plot.
SEEDS OF Change UPDATE Seeds of Change Introduces New Mission Names and Welcomes Visitors from Kenya by BryAnn Becker Knecht Photos by Brian Koch
Seeds of Change Foundation board members held strategy sessions with Mission Grow and Mission Hope partners.
Farmer Florence Chanya holds her indigenous chicken. Mission Grow has helped farmers diversity their revenue streams by owning livestock and small animals such as chickens.
Mission Grow has supported individuals like Anne Maundu of Muthani village in Makueni County who bought a mobile phone worth $40 after selling only seven chickens.
Seeds of Change — POET’s non-
Mission Breathe: Cookstove subsidies
of Change when I say that we are
for biofuel stoves in Haiti
eager to see how much change will
“transforming education, agriculture and
worldwide” — has new names for its projects under the Seeds of Change umbrella. Those projects are now known as Mission Hope, Grow and Breathe. Seeds of Change is still supporting the same initiatives, but the new names reflect a more streamlined approach that unites the projects under the organization’s name. “While each word is associated with a particular mission, each one also encompasses everything that we promote within our projects,” says Alicia ElMamouni, Director, Seeds of
Seeds of Change Visitors from Kenya Partners from Seeds of Change projects
headquarters in August for a week of strategy meetings and discussion with Seeds of Change Foundation board members Jeff and Tammie Broin, Miranda Broin, and Dan Loveland. The
great opportunity for the groups in Kenya to share information with the board about potential collaboration in
sustainability plans to expand the
“Because we conduct the projects in
initiatives and impact more people. Mission
Greenhouse): Travellers’ Oasis Centre (TOC) in Kenya and Kakuswi School for the Deaf in Kenya Mission
such a long distance, the little time we get with our partners is always so valuable,” said Miranda Broin. “The
Greenfield): Agricultural projects in Kenya with Farm Input Promotions – Africa (FIPS)
Mission Hope and Mission Grow from
updates we received were uplifting and motivating for all of us. So much progress has been made in such a short time, and I think I can speak on behalf of everyone involved in Seeds
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
take place down the road. We have a lot of opportunity to do great things in Kenya and, we hope, around the world.” Mission Grow and Mission Hope partners gave project updates to team members during Lunch and Learn presentations. Previous participants in Mission Hope also met for a reunion. The week also provided the opportunity for the Kenyan partners to visit POET – Emmetsburg and Project
Iowa. Mission Grow partners on the ground Paul Seward and David Priest with FIPS-Africa shared more of the remarkable transformations that are happening by introducing simple agricultural changes to farmers in Kenya. Through Mission Grow, Seeds of Change has been able to reach more than 425,000 individuals. Seward reviewed the critical core values of their process, and discussed how they have refined their approach over the past 15 years. “There’s no textbook for what we’re doing. We’re developing a page every day,” he said.
David Mutia discussed updates on Mission Hope, as Alicia ElMamouni, Director of Seeds of Change Foundation, moderates the discussion. Priest gave stories of how Mission Grow has improved farmers’ lives by introducing seed varieties suitable for the climate, improving tillage and planting techniques, and teaching grain storage methods, all of which typically result in a surplus of food each season. The
streams by owning livestock and small animals such as chickens. Priest told the success story of one woman who proudly declared, “I am now a woman who owns a cow,” which in Kenya means that she is a moderately wealthy person. While
are making progress, they are still constrained by funding in order to scale the work and reach more farmers, both Seward and Priest reiterated. David Mutia, the son of Travellers’ Oasis Centre (TOC) founders Esther and Shadrack Muiu, discussed updates on Mission Hope. He shared about the vision of the school and how they plan to reach increasing numbers of young, vulnerable women in Kenya. He discussed how his mother’s passion for education prompted her to establish the school in order to help
young girls find hope.
school’s future, including establishing
Mutia shared the progress made at
the school, including building a new
examples of how girls are being
dormitory. “I would like to thank you
empowered through the education
for the impact you’ve made on TOC,”
they receive at TOC.
“Through programs like these, girls
are learning, ‘I can be a doctor. I can be a CEO,’” he said.
they’ve been able to “focus our
He gave the example of Stella,
energies on the emotional state of
a former student who now has a
our children,” Mutia said. “For a lot
of them, the school is the first place
educated five of her siblings and two
they find stability and security and
of her children.
seedsofchange.org facebook.com/SeedsofChangeFoundation twitter.com/SOC_foundation instagram.com/seedsofchangefoundation
transformed their lives,” Mutia said.
CONNECT WITH SEEDS OF CHANGE
ENERGY FOR LIFE
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY by Sarah Knutson, Holistic Therapist Massage therapy is something I have been passionate about for several years, from the time I received my first massage up to the last massage I gave to someone. Many people think massage therapy is for mere luxury and relaxation, but we now have scientific proof that it has several health benefits that are greatly increased through regular massages. Being a massage therapist, it’s very important that I stay balanced to provide the best service, so I find it personally beneficial to get an hour massage every two weeks for maintenance and stress reduction. Consider adding massage into your normal health care routine and you will notice the benefits it provides. Research shows even a fifteen-minute massage is helpful and very effective at reducing stress-related symptoms. As always, it’s a good idea to talk to your
• Releases endorphins — the body’s natural painkiller
primary health care physician before starting any new
— and is beneficial in patients with chronic illness,
injury and post-op pain. • Reduces post-surgery adhesions and edema and
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY:
can reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred.
• Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
• Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain.
• Stimulates the flow of lymph, the body’s natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example,
• Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases
in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown
the need for medications.
to increase cells that fight cancer. • Assists with shorter labor for expectant mothers, • Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles.
as well as reducing need for medication, easing postpartum depression and anxiety, and contributing
• Reduces spasms and cramping.
to a shorter hospital stay.
• Increases joint flexibility.
Next time you’re feeling sore or stressed, consider treating yourself to a massage!
• Reduces recovery time and helps prepare the body for strenuous workouts, reducing muscle pain.
Source: Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals
ENERGY FOR LIFE
PLAN YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DAY by Melissa Fletcher, Spiritual Care Advisor Do you ever find yourself needing a break? Are you
4. Engage in activities that can reduce feelings of
easily distracted and overwhelmed? Have you lost your
depression and anxiety and can release the effects of
creative nature and feel stale or stagnant? Do you feel
endorphins in your body such as exercising, spending
stressed to the point of burnout? Perhaps you need a
time with friends and family, or getting in a good laugh.
mental health day.
Or, catch up on some needed sleep that promotes the release of oxytocin, which is thought to help reduce
Medical experts claim that in order for individuals to
stress and promote relaxation.
stay productive and perform well in their jobs, taking a mental break is a good way to promote health and well-
5. Eat healthy to promote good nutrition. Often when
being for the mind, body and spirit. The problem is,
we are stretched for time we make unhealthy food
most people don’t take the necessary time to give their
choices, filling our bodies with empty calories and
brain a break, and if they do, they generally feel guilty
empty nutrition. We also don’t always take the time to
about not being productive or filling their day with
really enjoy our food. Savor every bite.
tasks and to-do lists. If we aren’t careful, depression and anxiety can creep into our lives, which can wreak
6. Take time to be still and enjoy your
havoc on our health.
day! Proper rest is an important part of healing our bodies physically,
If you are finding yourself in need of a mental health
mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
break, here are some tips to help you take some time to 7. After returning to your normal
rest, rejuvenate and restore your health:
routine, watch for returning signs of 1. Identify a day of the week that you can utilize just for
stress and burnout. While we can’t
YOU. If this day happens to be during the work week,
always control every situation or outside
be sure to discuss it with your employer in order to
factors that influence our lives, we can
avoid any unnecessary conflicts.
begin to recognize when our bodies are being stretched to their limits. Be
2. Coordinate your day with your spouse, roommate or
proactive and guard your health — your
other family to prevent interruptions and to make sure
mind, body and spirit will thank you for it.
that your household tasks are taken care of. 3. Plan ahead. Make arrangements to have a quiet place at home or if needed, to have a time of rest and relaxation someplace else. Be sure to organize the supplies that you will need ahead of time, schedule a massage or plan activities that will give you fulfillment and a sense of joy and peace.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Hanlontown Celebrates with Four Parades POET - Hanlontown participated in Iowa parades in Hanlontown, Forest City, Lake Mills and Fertile this summer. Local farmers drove their semitrucks in the parade, which displayed the message: “Every truckload of corn helps displace 66 barrels of imported oil.” The message drew many positive
POET – Marion Breaks Ground on 80 milliongallon Expansion
comments from parade watchers. Hanlontown Materials Manager Derek Segerstrom enlisted the
POET – Marion broke ground in
help of his family to ride on
August for an expansion that is
the float, which depicted
projected to more than double its
the process of changing
capacity from 70 million gallons
corn into biofuel.
per year to 150 million gallons per year. The project is also expected to increase production of dried distillers grains from the current 178,000 tons annually to 360,000 tons. With the groundbreaking, site work has officially begun, with project completion slated for quarter three of 2018. This expansion is the largest project in the Marion area since the construction of the original POET – Marion in 2008. The $120 million project will have a profound impact on the local economy, including 225 temporary construction jobs and 18-21 new permanent jobs at the site. It also adds new corn demand when farmers sorely need support.
Hanlontown Team Participates in RAGBRAI Several team members from POET Hanlontown participated in RAGBRAI 2017 this summer. RAGBRAI is the Des Moines Registerâ€™s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa that started in Orange City on the west edge of the state and concluded 411 miles and seven days later in Lansing on the east side of Iowa. The Hanlontown team rode on Day 3 from Algona to Clear Lake, Iowa, and fought strong crosswinds for 51.4 miles and a 934foot elevation climb.
ALR Assistant Director Larry Larson, ALR Director Duane Thomas and POET Glenville General Manager Steve McNinch
Glenville Donates to American Legion Riders
Adding Some Fun to Vacation Bible School in Coon Rapids Kristin Lair, POET Maintenance Clerk at POET â€“ Coon Rapids,
POET - Glenville donated
added some excitement to
funds to purchase ten Road
Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) in
Guard signs for American
Coon Rapids, Iowa, this summer.
Legion Riders (ALR) Chapter
Lair brought in a four-month-old
56. The signs are required
Boer doeling named Pearl for the
by law to protect riders
kids to pet during VBS in August.
during an organized run of
This was an opportunity for the
20 or more motorcycles.
kids to learn about the animal as they raise money to purchase one on their own to donate. The kids brought their loose change each day to donate toward the purchase of an animal for a needy family. Last year the kids raised enough money to buy a goat to donate to the outreach mission.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
RENEW Chancellor Hosts Family Safety Day The POET - Chancellor Safety Committee hosted a Family Safety Day in September for team members and their families. The purpose was to incorporate the “Work to Live” message to team members and their families. They learned about safety protocols and hazards their family members may encounter at work and also learned about safety protocols
POET, LLC Supports Project: SOS
they can incorporate at home. The day started with a pancake
Project: SOS “Supply Our Students”
breakfast, followed by safety
provides free school supplies for
presentations and bioprocessing
families with limited resources
plant tours. Southeast Electric
in Sioux Falls, S.D. POET, LLC
demonstrated the dangers
raised money for Project: SOS
and effects of electricity. KELO
this summer and delivered about
weatherman Brian Karstens
$1,500 worth of school supplies
presented tips on weather safety.
to The Banquet on Aug. 11.
The Chancellor and Minnehaha
Backpacks and school supplies
Fire Departments provided
were distributed to families in need
the fire safety house. Everyone
from around the Sioux Falls area.
learned what to do in case of a fire and how to escape a smokefilled room. The Sioux Falls Landfill gave tips on recycling and waste management, and they also helped the kids make edible landfills in a cup out of candy and cereal. The National Guard provided an inflatable jousting competition. Plant tours were given on a trolley provided by the Turner County Fair.
Leipsic Tour for Teachers
Indiana POET Plants Sponsor Habitat Build, Youth Orchestra Performance
Science teachers from all over
Each year the four Indiana POET bioprocessing plants take part in
Ohio toured POET – Leipsic in July
sponsoring Habitat for Humanity at the Indiana State Fair. Habitat for
and learned more about biofuels
Humanity builds homes at the fairgrounds during the week of the fair.
production and its environmental advantages. The tour was part of a
This year, the Indiana plants also helped sponsor a Michigan-based
Feed the World workshop sponsored
youth orchestra group called Chelsea House Orchestra to play
by Ohio Corn & Wheat. Each
at the fair.
participant received a biofuels kit and training to use it, as well as classroom
The high school musicians tour worldwide and perform on violin,
supplies. POET team members at
viola, cello, bass guitar, woodwinds and percussion instruments. Jed
Leipsic tested the biofuels sample
Fritzemeier, Orchestra Director and a Sioux Falls, S.D., native, founded
produced during the workshop lab
the group 21 years ago. “Time and again, I’m shocked at what level of
performance the kids take on. The group pushes kids to new heights of performance,” he says.
PEOPLE OF POET
‘Whatever it Takes’ No matter the challenge or project, Jim Hill meets it with levelheaded, pragmatic approach
by BryAnn Becker Knecht photos by Greg Latza
In the late 1990s, POET — then
on things. He’s always looking for
risk, opportunity and enthusiasm
Broin & Associates — was leading
what’s the best way we can make this
— qualities that attracted talented,
several bioprocessing facility start-
work versus making it hard to do,”
energetic professionals like Hill to
ups simultaneously. The crew was
Broin & Associates.
small but mighty and dedicated. Many
Those on his team say he’s a good
“Really what attracted me was the
worked 12-hour shifts, 30 days in a
sounding board because of his down-
passion of the leadership team,” Hill
row. Jim Hill was one of those crew
to-earth approach to situations.
“He doesn’t quickly react to a
Hill started as a controls systems
situation. Jim lets it play out —
engineer working at POET - Bingham
Lake. After working at Bingham Lake,
Innovation, POET Research, recalls the
first time he met Hill while delivering a lever controller. “We met in Luverne. It was 100 degrees outside. When I met Jim and gave him the piece of equipment, he was sweating like crazy. I could tell he had been working probably 70-80 hours that week and not getting much sleep. That was my first impression of
practical, did whatever it took to get the job done. It was amazing at the time that we could get so much done with so few people. I think it was testament to the hard work and vision and leadership of some of those early guys, and Jim was a leader on the electrical engineering side.” Hill’s resolve to meet a challenge hasn’t changed. Those who know Hill, who is
Hill began working on the electrical
He doesn’t quickly react to a situation. Jim lets it play out — he doesn’t rush to conclusions. He’s always been optimistic about things working out for the company in general.
side of the house with another new start-up in Preston, Minn. The company then was akin to today’s tech start-ups. Job responsibilities and duties flexed to meet the demands of a burgeoning company. With only nine people in the office, Hill’s job duties went beyond the confines
and utilities. Some days it was doing computer networking, or ordering software for computers or phone systems. “Because the company was so small, you found yourself doing things you hadn’t done before,” Hill said. “You had to be a jack-of-all-trades. You had to adjust. Every day was a new challenge.” Lewis recalls that modus operandi.
now the Automation and Electrical
“Since we were a start-up, we did
whatever it took to keep pushing the
Design & Construction, speak to his
ball up the hill,” Lewis said. “As a
commitment to the company and his
start-up, Jim had a very practical way
of doing things that always took safety
He has the ability to see the big
says Ben Blomberg, Lead Process
into account. But he got things done in
picture — and then make decisions to
a very rapid, reliable, practical way,
carry out the project, no matter what
& Construction. “He’s always been
and that always impressed me.”
optimistic about things working out
Lewis recollects start-up stories
Rod Pierson, Senior Vice President
for the company in general.”
that involve Hill and others digging
& General Manager, POET Design & Construction, makes the connection to Hill’s military background: Hill has served with the Army Reserves since
in to meet those challenges. “During
BEGINNINGS AT POET
1990. It takes discipline to complete a
start-ups you learn more about the engineering and the biology of the plant than any other time — not everything is engineered according to
mission; the same goes to completing
Hill started at Broin & Associates
how it should have been.”
in February 1997 when the biofuels
“We said that Jim Hill reminded
“Jim has always had a positive view
industry was young and full of
everyone of Michael Keaton from the
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Jim Hill visits with Rachel Kloos, Plant Manager, in the electrical room at POET Chancellor.
movie ‘Mr. Mom,’ or Kevin Costner on
works closely with other engineering
he said. “You go out and you assess
a good day. We used to ask him, ‘What
disciplines to configure the computer
multiple different areas and sites.
are you going to wire that with, Jim?’
You work with utilities. Once you
And he’d say, ‘Whatever it takes.’”
plants to safely operate the facility
pick a site, you actually start the
engineering. Really the satisfaction is,
exactly according to the original
Engineering team’s vast experience
once you’re done, you walk away from
specifications, Lewis says, you had
allows them to engineer and design
the plant and you have an operating
to find out what work was actually
the entire bioprocessing facility from
facility. To take a field and turn it into
completed. “He was like a detective
the utility substation down to the low-
an operating biofuels facility is pretty
and he would go back in and find
voltage subsystems, Hill noted.
out what actually was done by the
Hill’s team is also part of the site
Hill moved into a management role
facilities. They look at greenfield
in 2004. Today, Hill oversees team
sites and evaluate electric utilities
members who work in electrical
in the area to determine which ones
engineering and process automation.
provide the best overall electric rates
Cumulatively, the two groups have
or infrastructure to those facilities.
the most tenured employees in POET
Then, the team works on engineering
Design & Construction, a factor that
for the plant on both the automation
team members say improves team
and electrical side.
“It still is incredibly exciting starting
from a site development perspective,”
AN EMPOWERING LEADERSHIP STYLE Hill’s
and his overall work style is residual from those early days when there were a handful of people at Broin &
We said that Jim Hill reminded everyone of Michael Keaton from the movie “Mr. Mom,” or Kevin Costner on a good day. We used to ask him, “What are you going to wire that with, Jim?” And he’d say, “Whatever it takes.”
when to get out of the way and
coming to work easy; they make it
empower someone else to do their
exciting,” he says.
For Hill, his work at POET today
continues to reinforce that decision to
Engineering Designer III, POET Design
start at the company 20 years ago.
& Construction, has worked for Hill
“We’re changing something. Most
since she started at POET in 2004.
people in their entire careers don’t
“He’s laid-back and great to work for.
get the opportunity to do this kind of
He lets you do your job.”
work — the number of projects, the
Hill is quick to say that his team
size of projects. That’s exciting.”
is the best part of his job. “Each day has different challenges. They make
Steve Lewis, Vice President of Innovation, POET Research
responsibilities earlier, and faster. Team members say that one of his stand-out qualities is that he trusts employees to do their jobs. Blomberg
with Hill since 2008 — recalls that Hill sent him to Mitchell, S.D., to do commissioning for the control system when he was new to POET and just 23 years old. “He has the mindset that it’s best for people to learn on the job and to give them latitude to make decisions,” Blomberg said. “He gives people the benefit of the doubt. He gives you a chance to do it.” “That [his management style] is a testament to Jim’s practicality,” Lewis said. “I think he knows that no one individual can do everything. He’s knowledgeable enough and confident enough in his abilities that he knows
JIM HILL HOMETOWN Clark, S.D. EDUCATION BA, Science Electrical Engineering Technology, Southwest State University FAMILY Son Eric (24) and daughter-in-law Ashley; daughter Lauren (22); son Jacob (20) HOBBIES Skiing, hiking, traveling
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
ACROSS 1. POET’s nutritious animal feed, abbr. 5. “What ___ now?” 9. ___ burning ethanol stoves 14. Function 15. Health juice from Asia 16. Bone, prefix 17. Part of SEATO 18. Lackluster 19. Pacific island republic under Australia 20. Chance for everyone to vote 23. Oktoberfest container 24. Secretary booboo 25. Org. for Michelle Wie 27. Sky lights 32. Serpent 35. Biblical-birthright seller 38. Gaseous radioactive element 39. Project Liberty’s feedstock
30. Don Juan 31. Again
44. Drescher of TV 45. Finish (up)
1. Pull behind
32. Budget Rent ___
2. Teaspoonfuls, sometimes
33. Piece of furniture
48. Calculator displays
4. Sushi offering
36. Percentage rate
51. Arty district in Manhattan
5. At risk
37. Russian mountains
6. Genre for Aretha Franklin
40. Almond, e.g.
57. Jive replaces it with non- toxic
7. Arm of the sea
41. Not far apart, as eyes
8. Actress Jennifer of “Liar Liar”
9. Classic car show, ____
47. Harry’s pal at Hogwarts
49. A dwarf
65. “The Lord of the Rings” singer
10. Law sch. exam
50. Bed sheet fabric
66. Artistic category
11. Case for small articles
12. Prefix for dynamic or space
53. Old enough
13. Verb’s partner
55. Beatle drummer
21. ___ Van Winkle
56. Goes up and down
22. They recently introduced
57. Waiting-room reading
a Renewal Volume Obligation
59. Extend credit
60. “Gone With the Wind” estate
28. International Bollywood
61. Winter coating
star (last name) 29. Race postings
62. “The New Yorker” humorist Ogden
67. People in charge, for short 68. Me, myself and I 69. Egypt’s memorable co-Nobelist 70. Understands 71. Bite
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Seeds of Change
OUT OF LEFT FIELD
Buying in Bulk: WHY ONLY A FIVE-POUND TUB OF PEANUT BUTTER WILL SUFFICE by Scott Johnson, Data Systems Administrator, POET I don’t mean to flaunt my affluence, but I really enjoy my
that may seem excessive, that’s only 1 pound of peanut butter
membership to one of the local private clubs in town. I’m not
per person, my weekly quota. Peanut butter containers without
talking about golf courses and swimming pools. I mean bulk
their own gravitational pull simply do not suffice.
discount warehouse shopping. These are indeed exclusive
Cheese: My eldest child sprinkles shredded cheese on
clubs. You only qualify as a military veteran, small business
everything like fairy dust, making all foods magically delicious.
owner, teacher, student, if you own a cat, know someone who
We buy so much cheese, Wisconsin has granted us honorary
owns a cat or can spell “cat.” Actually the only requirement for
dual citizenship as a thank you.
membership is to pay an annual fee. Then you have access to ...
Toilet paper: There’s no distinguished way to roll through the
buy more stuff. And oh boy, do they have stuff!
warehouse club with 10,000 square feet of toilet paper. Want a
There may be some readers who are unfamiliar with the bulk
sure-fire way to run into your ex-girlfriend? Toss a couple 36-roll
warehouse club lifestyle. I’ll enlighten you. Let’s say you’re out
packs of toilet paper in your cart, and you’ll be sure to reunite in
of pickles. You go to the store to restock. Typically, you replenish
the next aisle.
your pickle supply with a 16-ounce jar for $1.79, or $.15 per
The excitement of a new bargain can sometimes fog the
pickle. This store, however, only sells pickles in 55-gallon drums
memory, causing O.I.A.B.T. syndrome (Oops, I Already Bought
for $699, or $.13 per pickle. Naturally, after calculating the pickle
That). During a recent trip, I
return on investment, you go home with the barrel of pickles, set for life. You contemplate how the pickle industry can survive this unsustainably discounted offering. You purchase an extralarge mocha latte on your drive home to celebrate all the money you saved. The warehouse club is where you find all the things you never knew you always needed. I often wonder what each shopper’s original grocery list looked like before entering the store. Fifty pound bag of rice? Check. Twenty pounds of ground beef? Check. Box of 10 avocados? Check. Kayak? Check. Wait, what? Gun safe, pergola, hot tub, snow tires, seven-night stay at a Cancun resort,
We buy so much cheese, Wisconsin has granted us honorary dual citizenship as a thank you.
forgot I had already purchased a three-pack of giant contact solution bottles ... twice before. I might as well just swim in the stuff with my eyes open. Maybe I can give away bottles to trickor-treaters next Halloween. Free
the definitive perk of any warehouse club. Rationality is completely abandoned on free
milk, eggs and bread. Check, check, checkity-check. Ah, lists
sample day. I’m never quite
are just a “starting-point” anyway. These shopping carts need
sure of the appropriate level of politeness required in this
independent suspension and anti-lock brakes.
unique social situation. I feel guilty if I gobble down one server’s
Like many of my random stories, bulk warehouse clubs have a
offering, but refuse the neighboring sample. What if this is their
fond tie to my childhood. I initially dreaded bulk shopping with
own personal recipe? Gluten-free bologna pesto egg rolls? Uh ...
my mom, until the day I discovered they sold entire boxes of
sure, I’ll try one. Wow, you can really taste the lack of gluten. Oh,
baseball cards, of course at a handsome discount compared to
they’re on sale today? Well, I guess I’m getting a pallet of these
single pack value. I broke into a cold sweat when I computed the
tasty treats. I imagine this to be a slightly less awkward version
wax pack math (only 27 cents per pack! This can’t be possible!).
of speed dating.
I convinced Mom this was a necessary “investment opportunity”
Some day in the not-too-distant future, I’ll have fewer reasons
for our family. From then on I was hooked.
to buy in bulk. One by one the kids will move out. My ridiculous
Today, I’m feeding my own family of five. I now realize man
impulse buys will be harder to justify. Soon a 16-ounce jar of
can’t live on baseball cards alone. Man (and his family) needs
pickles will suffice. Until then, I’ll cherish my membership to the
stuff. Lots of stuff:
“club” and honor it like the land of milk and honey. (Check and
Peanut Butter: We need a 5-pound tub of peanut butter. While
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