THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE Winter 2019
THE FUTURE IS PAVED WITH JIVE POET Is Improving Asphalt With a High-quality, Bio-friendly Replacement for Petrochemicals
RURAL OPTIMISM IN CHALLENGING TIMES Young Farmers Committed to Agriculture, Rural Lifestyle Even in Difficult Ag Environment
CELEBRATING WOMEN IN STEM A NEW ERA LAUNCHES WITH PBR â€” POET Biorefining, LLC
opportunity is everywhere if you know where to look
At POET, the workday ends, but the work never does. Weâ€™re using renewable resources and our endless passion to create biofuels, nutrient-rich protein and oil alternatives.
FEATURES 10 A New Era Launches With PBR â€” POET Biorefining, LLC
26 The Future Is Paved With JIVE POET Is Improving Asphalt With a High-quality, Bio-friendly Replacement for Petrochemicals
36 Rural Optimism in Challenging Times Young Farmers Committed to Agriculture, Rural Lifestyle Even in Difficult Ag Environment
Visit VitalByPOET.com for exclusive online content, including a Vital Follow-Up podcast about JIVE.
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By Jeff Broin
Automotive Advice from the Under the Hood radio show
by Brian Hefty
by Ryan Welsh
Out Of Left Field
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POET’s Vital magazine is an important conduit to share how POET is moving our country and our world from depending on fossil fuels to producing sustainable resources from the Earth. We will represent the voices of producers and biofuels supporters, as well as educate and inform readers about agriculture and industry knowledge, opportunities and the power of the human spirit.
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Biofuels: The only real solution to climate change by Jeff Broin, Executive Chairman and CEO of POET
Climate change: two words we often hear circulated in the media and in heated political debates (no pun intended). We’re
The only emission from burning ethanol is carbon dioxide,
no strangers to the frantic speculations attached to the topic.
and 100 percent of that CO2 is utilized by the corn that will be
Is the earth’s temperature rising? Is it destroying our oceans
used to produce next year’s ethanol. Plus, unlike other so-called
and marine life? Is it impacting agricultural production? Will it
solutions to climate change that are even more expensive than
change the lives of future generations?
fossil fuels, biofuels are actually less expensive than gasoline.
As of now, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding
So why isn’t this option being more widely discussed? Why
“yes.” Several recent studies assert that climate change may
isn’t everyone using more biofuels?
be even more detrimental than anyone predicted. Temperatures
patterns are changing more rapidly than anyone could have anticipated and, unless we take action, the results could be catastrophic. While this is a universal problem that affects literally everyone on the planet, rural America could take one of the hardest hits. According to our government’s own National Climate Assessment, “Projected changes in precipitation, coupled with rising extreme temperatures before mid-century, will reduce Midwest agricultural productivity to levels of the 1980s without major technological advances.” Nearly all climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, a significant percentage
transportation. We can’t power our vehicles without some source of energy, so unless we all intend to go back to riding horses, this is an issue we need to address. But it seems that all the solutions that have been offered to turn this dire situation around involve
Many of us are all too familiar with
The truth is that biofuels can replace gasoline, and the protein, corn oil and micronutrients that are produced as co-products help to lower protein and food prices worldwide.
outrageous costs or impractical ideas.
exorbitant amounts of money creating myths and using every possible outlet to discredit the only sustainable solution to fossil fuels that exists in order to protect their markets. But someone needs to tell this story, and who better than us — ethanol producers and supporters, ag companies, farmers and farm organizations — to come together and spread the truth about what we can do to solve one of the world’s most dire challenges? The truth is that biofuels can replace gasoline, and the protein, corn oil and micronutrients that are produced as coproducts help to lower protein and food prices worldwide. And new research is developing additional exciting products that can replace other derivatives of petroleum. The truth is that biofuels are the only short-term solution to global climate change that exists. We need to own this fact, we need to sell it, and we need to make sure everyone knows it. Year-round E15 will be a fundamental step, but it is only the beginning.
There’s really only one solution to reduce the impact of
As we move into this new year, let’s all make a pledge to bring
emissions from the transportation sector: biofuels like ethanol.
the truth to light and change the narrative around biofuels like
Traditional starch feed stocks are 43 percent cleaner than
ethanol — agriculture’s prized product that can reverse global
gasoline; when coupled with new innovations in feedstocks
and production technologies, that number can be as high as 100 percent.
the reasons. The oil industry has spent
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POET State Affairs Update Policies at the state level can have a major impact on the production and consumer adoption of biofuels. Decisions made by governors, state agencies and legislators can incentivize investment, support rural jobs, improve air quality, protect the environment and public health, and save consumers and taxpayers millions. POET continues to work with state policymakers across the country to help achieve their goals by ensuring greater access and promoting expanded use of homegrown biofuels. The following are a few focus areas:
Fueling State Vehicles Most Midwest states currently have policies for fueling government flex fuel vehicles, but unfortunately those programs are often underutilized and not properly enforced. Fueling state vehicles with E15 and E30 is a great way for government agencies to support family farmers and biofuel jobs, and help state agencies save taxpayers hard-earned money on the cost of transportation fuel.
Infrastructure for Higher Biofuel Blends Providing economic incentives for fuel retailers to offset the cost of installing blender pumps is another important way that states can improve consumer access to higher ethanol blends. Supporting the installation of blender pumps is an investment in the future as more consumers start to realize the savings and recognize the many benefits of higher ethanol blends.
Low Carbon Fuel Standards Lawmakers in numerous states are considering enacting Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) as a way to battle climate
Ensuring Access to E15 in California and New York
change and improve air quality. California and Oregon led the nation in developing and implementing the LCFS,
Even though it is an EPA-approved fuel, two of the largest
and neighboring Washington may be the next state to pass
fuel markets in the United States currently do not allow
legislation curbing the carbon intensity of transportation
drivers the freedom to fill up with E15. POET is working
fuel. A coalition of biofuel producers, environmental
to educate policymakers in California and New York on
advocacy groups, agriculture associations and policy
the many benefits of bringing E15 to their states, including
experts is working to develop a model LCFS program for
saving drivers money at the pump and replacing toxic
the Midwest, and a dozen Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
emissions that contribute to poor air quality and respiratory
states are formally collaborating on new transportation
fuel standards through the Transportation and Climate Recent analysis shows that transitioning from E10 to E15
in New York would cut carbon emissions by 748,000 metric POET continues to partner with policymakers from coast
tons per year â€“ the equivalent of taking approximately
to coast to ensure that the many environmental benefits
129,000 vehicles off the road.
of biofuels are appropriately recognized and accurately measured in each stateâ€™s LCFS program.
STATES IN FOCUS:
According to the state’s
POET operates six ethanol plants in
POET has four ethanol plants in
Department of Motor Vehicles,
South Dakota. According to a 2015
Minnesota; POET’s ethanol activities in
California boasted more
economic impact study, POET’s
2014 in the state accounted for more
than 25 million registered
ethanol activities in 2014 accounted
than $318 million of Minnesota’s GDP
vehicles on the road in
for $636 million of South Dakota
and generated $26.2 million in state
2017. Unfortunately, tailpipe
GDP and generated $384 million in
and local tax revenue, according to a
emissions from those vehicles
household income and $38.4 million
2015 economic impact study.
is contributing to some of the
in state and local tax revenue.
worst air quality in the country.
Iowa is the leading state in ethanol
POET is constructing a new biofuel
POET opened an 80-million gallon
production, according to Iowa
facility in Shelbyville, Ind. POET
expansion at its Marion facility.
State University’s Agricultural
Biorefining – Shelbyville will be the
With this expansion in place, POET
Marketing Resource Center.
28th starch biofuel plant in POET’s
Biorefining — Marion has an expected
Iowa’s ethanol production during
network, and the fifth in Indiana. It
annual capacity of 150 million gallons
2016 and 2017 was estimated (on
is expected to add 45 full-time jobs
of clean-burning biofuel and 360,000
average) at record volumes of
and $110 million in annual corn
tons of high-protein animal feed per
4.1 billion gallons and 4.2 billion
purchases for farmers in the area,
year. New production from this facility
primarily within a 30-mile radius.
is expected to add 26 million bushels of annual corn demand for area farmers.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
‘This Is an Effective, Easy Way to Have a Voice in Washington’
Active engagement in the political process is important to protect the future of biofuels and rural America. POET established its own nonconnected political action committee (PAC) in 2008 to engage elected leaders and show how biofuels will lead to a cleaner and brighter future. Read why a few of our members feel that
POET PAC Members Share Why They Give
their investment makes a difference.
Gary Van Hoosier, Truck Driver, POET Ethanol Products | Independence, Mo. Giving to the PAC means that you have some skin in the
Why do you give to POET PAC? ANSWER: I believe in the products, the people and the industry I work for. In a heavily regulated environment, it
game and that your voice will be heard in Washington, D.C.
makes that possible. I can’t be in two places at once, so we
Q: What would you say to encourage someone else to give to POET PAC?
need to rely on our team in Washington to advocate for our
A: It’s a way to contribute to something that unifies the
voices of many and fights for what we believe in. You have
is important to have advocates in Washington, and the PAC
to look at the big picture. There are things happening in
Q: What do you wish other people knew about POET PAC? A: It is a necessity for our company and for the future.
each of our lives and locally, but there are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes in Washington. POET PAC is our advocacy tool and it works!
Mike Lovejoy, Fifth Generation Farmer, Lovejoy Farms | Wakonda, S.D. What motivated you to give your first gift to POET PAC? A: In 2018, I attended a What’s Fueling Ag event hosted by POET. This meeting covered a lot of information concerning the ethanol industry and the resistance we face from the oil companies who are concerned about losing market share. The thing that motivated me to give to POET PAC was understanding how PAC dollars are used and that PAC dollars helped us have eight White House meetings in 2018.
that help elected officials understand the challenges we face in agricultural states. The success of the biofuels industry will help raise the price of corn and will positively impact rural America. POET PAC gives small producers like me a chance to influence policy that ultimately drives supply and demand.
Q: What would you say to encourage someone else to give to POET PAC?
It was clear that PAC dollars work!
A: This is an effective and easy way to have a voice in
Q: Why do you give to POET PAC?
know we need a strong political presence. The squeaky
Washington. After 38 years running the family farm, I
A: As a farmer, I know that I cannot make a big impact in
wheel always gets the grease!
Washington on my own. I need to invest in opportunities Contributions to POET PAC are not tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions to POET PAC will be used in connection with federal elections and are subject to the limits and prohibitions of federal law. The maximum an individual may contribute to POET PAC is $5,000 per year ($10,000 per couple). Corporate and foreign national contributions are not permitted under federal law. Please make checks payable to POET PAC. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to obtain and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 per calendar year. Your contribution to POET PAC is strictly voluntary.
PAID FOR BY POET PAC 8
Tammy Rupe, Credit Manager, POET Ethanol Products | Wichita, Kan. come from a long line of grain farmers in South Dakota and
What motivated you to give your first gift to POET PAC?
Kansas. I have seen success and failure and people working
A: The PAC allows me to support both the agriculture and biofuels industries, both of which are bombarded by falsehoods. My contribution, combined with others, provides an avenue for POET External Affairs to dispel the falsehoods about biofuels to the nation’s leaders.
all hours of the day and night to provide for their family and others. Giving to the POET PAC is a way for me to further the farmers cause as well as support the industry I work in.
Q: What do you wish other people knew about POET PAC? A: POET PAC is bipartisan and issue-focused. I’m one person
Q: Why do you give to POET PAC? A: I give because I believe in the issues POET is passionate about, such as reducing our nation’s dependence of foreign oil, expanding the market for clean and green renewable fuels, and improving the economic environment for
and by myself am not able to make as big of an impact as I want. POET PAC affords me the opportunity to make my voice heard about the matters that I care about to the people who make the decisions and laws of our land.
agriculture and rural America. Although all the issues are important to me, agriculture and rural America pulls on my heartstrings the most because it impacts my family. I
Seth Artz, Director of Investor Relations, POET | Sioux Falls, S.D. What motivated you to give your first gift to POET PAC? A: I was once at a table with a Congresswoman from Illinois and witnessed firsthand the dialogue and questions between her and those at the table. I learned she used the information from that discussion in a committee meeting a few weeks later to defiantly push back on misinformation being peddled by our opposition. From that moment forward, I was sold and understood how critical POET PAC is in creating those conversations and sparking those
A: POET PAC is less about funding politics and more about piercing through those political complexities for a worthwhile and noble purpose. POET PAC funds are used effectively to positively influence policy that impacts this industry and our country.
Q: What would you say to encourage someone else to give to POET PAC? A: Ask questions and let POET policy team members tell you their stories. Every year they interact with hundreds of
moments of truth.
governmental officials to tell the truth about biofuels. They
Q: What do you wish other people knew about POET PAC?
building advocacy. These chances don’t come easy, but PAC
are good at establishing relationships, gaining support and dollars give them the chances they need to influence flawed understanding and fortify support.
How do I join? www.poetpac.com
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
A NEW ERA LAUNCHES WITH PBR â€“
POET BIOREFINING, LLC
POET Chief Operating Officer Jeff Lautt speaks to investors at a meeting in fall 2018.
Unifying Under One Entity to Become the Worldâ€™s Largest Biofuel Producer by Miranda Broin | photos by Brian Koch
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
ov. 30, 2018 marked a
question. Eventually, we realized that
pivotal day in the next
it was going to have to change to allow
chapter of the POET story
for future growth.”
when the consolidation
That realization came in late 2012,
officially completed. Operating with
emerging, battered and bruised, from
the strength of those 26 facilities,
a period of exceptional challenge.
POET Biorefining, which has come to
Recession, drought and financial crisis
be known as PBR, is now the largest
had decimated several companies;
producer of biofuels in the world.
many ethanol plants went bankrupt
The bulk of this massive transition
and were sold to outside entities.
took place in numerous mergers
“Before we had just competed with
over a period of three years, but it
other small companies and farmer-
took over a decade of patience and
owned plants,” said Lautt. “Suddenly
planning to lay the groundwork that
we found ourselves competing with
made it possible.
large public companies — even oil companies — and we knew we needed
“We can go public, or we can be patient.” POET’s substantial growth over the past 30-plus years has required extraordinary vision, common sense, and,
adaptability. The company has been faced with countless big decisions, all of which have been met with intention and precision to anticipate the needs of an ever-changing industry. Until now, one of the most prevalent examples was the bold decision to unite all of the company’s divisions under a new name in 2007. The initial discussions that would eventually lead to PBR date back to roughly that same time. “We began looking at the model and saying, ‘Is this still the right model to continue to build the business?’” recalled Jeff Lautt, POET President and Chief Operating Officer. “And at the time, it was. But we would sit down year after year and ask the same
to reposition ourselves.” It was in that same year that POET
taking the company public. Prominent bankers, consultants and lawyers were brought on board to assess what the process would entail, and with all that horsepower on board, things were barreling rapidly in the direction of going public. The team went through all the necessary motions of working with Wall Street banks, meeting with plant boards, and appraising each plant and division of POET with the intention of rolling everything together. D-Day was looming closer, but something just wasn’t sitting right with the POET team. “My gut was telling me that we were about to make the wrong choice for the company,” remembered
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “So I went to the executive team and said, ‘We have two options: We can go public, or we can be patient. It will
We began looking at the model and saying, ‘Is this still the right model to continue to build the business?’ And at the time, it was. But we would sit down year after year and ask the same question. Eventually, we realized that it was going to have to change to allow for future growth. Jeff Lautt, POET President and Chief Operating Officer
POET executive team begins process of taking company public, but pulls the plug before the public offering is completed
2012 POET Grain is formed in order to improve the companyâ€™s grain position, bioprocessing plants and financial structure June
Still seeking to position POET to best handle future volatility, discussions begin about attaining the benefits of a public company without becoming one
2013 In response to the success of POET Grain, the model for POET Biorefining is created
PBR I is completed and seven plants become part of POET Biorefining
Nine additional plants join PBR in phase two
2017 Three more plants are acquired by PBR June
When the remaining seven plants join PBR, consolidation is officially complete. POET Biorefining is one company operating with the strength of 26 bioprocessing plants December
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
I think that following our intuition is a discipline POET has practiced really well, and it was very meaningful in this case because going public at that time would have been exactly the wrong thing. Jeff Lautt, POET President and Chief Operating Officer
require us to grow more slowly, but it
was the establishment of POET Grain
will allow us to do it our way. This just
in 2014, which united every plant’s
isn’t feeling right, so I think we should
individual grain business under one
pull the plug.’”
large grain division. “That strategy
The team was in agreement, so they
has been fantastic,” said Broin. “We’ve
hit the brakes. In hindsight, there’s no
improved our grain position, we’ve
question that was the right decision.
got the right financial structure, and
A downturn in financial markets had
all the plants are now investors in that
made the public offering difficult to
single company. POET Grain was the
complete. In addition, some of POET’s
first step we needed to take in order to
competitively sensitive information
make the leap to PBR.”
would have been made public, which
The success of that endeavor fueled
would have been detrimental to the
further conversations about an even
long-term success and profitability of
bigger merger, which would involve
the aggregation of multiple plants
into one entity. Strategic discussions
companies is they get on the one
continued, and in 2015 the team
yard line, and there’s so much inertia
arrived at the model that is known
that they go forward even when it
today as POET Biorefining. But, as
becomes obvious it’s a bad decision,”
Broin had predicted, the process
said Lautt. “I think that following
would require patience.
our intuition is a discipline POET has
“We knew it would be next to
practiced really well, and it was very
impossible to get 26 boards and plant
meaningful in this case because going
entities all rolled together at once,”
public at that time would have been
said Lautt. “It would be like trying to
exactly the wrong thing.”
swallow a watermelon. So we decided
PBR is born
to do something we knew we could execute.” They started in the Eastern Corn
As the dust settled and 2013 rolled
Belt, since all seven plants in that
around, a new idea took hold: How
region were built around the same
could POET attain many of the
time, with similar boards and investor
advantages held by public companies
bases. Meetings were held with each
without actually becoming one? The
plant to initiate PBR I, the first stage
drought of the previous year had
of the consolidation. While it took
proven that the company needed
some time to work out the details,
to establish new financing options
negotiate the valuations and convince
to handle volatility in the future.
each board of directors that PBR was
Executives and plant boards sought
the right vehicle for future growth, by
to achieve consistent stock values,
early 2016 all seven boards had voted
liquidity options for existing investors,
unanimously to take the merger to a
and the expandability and flexibility
membership vote. Shareholder votes
of one large financial structure.
were held at each plant that spring,
The first phase in that transition
and in the end the approval rate to
Minnesota Michigan South Dakota
PBR I (2016) PBR II (2017) Three-Plant Merger PBR III (2018)
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Seth Artz, Director of Investor Relations, POET, answers investorsâ€™ questions after a meeting.
move ahead with the merger was
rate of more than 96 percent in favor.
plants were approached with the
more than 97 percent.
POET Biorefining had 16 plants
opportunity to join POET Biorefining,
The following year POET embarked
among its ranks. Only ten remained.
and after numerous meetings with
on PBR II, the accumulation of nine
Then, in mid-2018, PBR purchased
additional plants located largely in the
three additional POET plants in a
boards voted to take the mergers to
Western Corn Belt. Once again, POET
transaction that once again generated
their shareholders for a decision.
executives worked with the boards of
a high investor approval rate of 98
Once more, every single shareholder
directors to explain the proposition
percent, bringing the total to 19.
group voted in favor, with a 94
and negotiate the values for each
The final acquisition, PBR III, had a
percent collective approval rate. The
facility. After the boards approved the
wide array of complexities and would
consolidation was finally completed
merger another membership vote was
prove to be the most challenging phase
at the end of November 2018.
held, yielding a shareholder approval
of the three. The seven remaining
I am truly motivated by this new opportunity to once again make the world a better place – for farmers, for consumers, and for future generations – through biofuels.
An ‘exciting new era’ begins True to their reputation as ethanol pioneers, the POET team had achieved yet another industry first with PBR: The consolidation of 26 individual plants into one unified entity had given POET the strongest capital position for a standalone dry mill biorefining company in our nation’s history. It also made them the world’s largest producer of biofuels. Through
had proven once again that there is strength in unity. “If you were previously an investor in a single plant, your opportunity to grow the value of that investment was limited based on the plant’s ability to grow,” said Lautt. “Now investors are able to grow along this large platform of a
Jeff Broin, POET Chairman and CEO
business, which provides a plethora of potential new opportunities.” Those
transparency and diversification of investment risk. Shareholders can also participate in new ways to create income and receive enhanced share prices. “More
originally invested in POET plants over time, and their investment strategies have evolved over the past one to two decades,” said Seth Artz, Director of Investor Relations, POET. “PBR is doing
of the PBR share repurchases, both in part and in full.” Perhaps most notably, PBR provides unprecedented
opportunities. “PBR’s partnerships with investors, producers, and communities continue just as they did before the mergers,” said Wyatt Haines, Treasurer, POET. “One material difference is PBR’s improved ability to grow its gallons and co-products per plant. Plant expansions allow those facilities to reach
efficiency by offsetting fixed costs, while bringing more dollars to those communities and increasing demand for local corn producers.” In
already enabled an 80 million gallon expansion at POET Biorefining – Marion — the largest in POET history — and the construction of a new plant in Shelbyville, Ind. And that’s only the beginning. “PBR has launched a very exciting new era for the company in terms of potential growth and expansion, as well as mergers and acquisitions,” said
essentially all of my adult life to the ethanol industry and its impact on the American farmer, and I am truly motivated by this new opportunity to continue making the world a better place — for farmers, for consumers, and for future generations — through biofuels.”
a great job supporting those needs in various ways, and liquidity options are a key feature. Those options have had a major impact with nearly half of the investor base taking advantage
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
It All Starts With the Fuel Automotive advice from The Under The Hood radio show
Don’t fear the fuel. We try to avoid politics on Under The
lead to premature failure of them.
Hood at all costs. But we do take sides with the car when
On the vehicles we’ve had in our shop that belong to our
we can offer some advice that will extend the life of that
customers that are using higher blends of ethanol, we just
vehicle or help it to run better.
don’t see nearly the amount of carbon on the fuel injectors
Cars are much like humans or computers: garbage in,
as we do without the ethanol.
garbage out. So, as you can imagine, if you put garbage in
Let me give you a quick example: Replacing a set of
the gas tank, you’re going to get garbage out of the vehicle
direct injectors on a vehicle can be more than $1,000. It’s
in the way of performance and longevity.
not something you ever want to have to do. The vehicle
But what if you don’t know what to feed your vehicle?
manufacturers are asking to run the best fuel possible in
There are so many choices in fuel today, so how do you
these engines in the form of top tier fuel, but we believe
choose? If all you have to go on is what you hear from
there is something even better. If something as simple as
the voices of the news or from people who just want to
lifting up the handle that is labeled E15 can prevent that
offer their personal opinion without some sort of factual
from happening, why wouldn’t you want to try it?
grounds, it’s a difficult choice without some guidance.
Our customers ask us regularly what they should be
I can tell you as a manager and a tech in a professional
doing to care for their car. They want to know what will
service center for more than 30 years, I have never seen a
save them repair costs in the long run. When we tell them
fuel issue caused by ethanol use in a vehicle, unless it was
that they can start with the fuel in the tank as the first and
caused by misfuelling when someone puts an E85 blend in
most important item, they are surprised. It all starts with
a non-flex fuel car, and even then, it was simply a matter of
the fuel. Without it the car won’t run, and with a poor
changing out the fuel in the tank, and they were on their
quality, it won’t run as long.
Our national radio show Under The Hood has been on the
For years we’ve been taking apart engines in our shop and
air since 1990, and we’ve seen huge changes in cars over
making repairs on them, and we have found consistently
that time. Cars get more expensive with every new model,
For years we’ve been taking apart engines in our shop and making repairs on them, and we have found consistently that vehicles using ethanolblended fuels are much cleaner inside that ones that are not.
and we need to do everything we can to get as much life out
blended fuels are much cleaner
of our cars for as little money as possible, and we believe
inside than ones that are not. As
the best place to start is with that first tank of fuel.
we have transitioned in the past few years to many vehicles now
The Under The Hood radio show is America’s Favorite
using direct injection in order to
Car-talk show heard on over 230 stations and podcast.
get higher horsepower and fuel
The Motor Medics — Russ, Chris and Shannon — are
mileage, we are coming into a
three great friends having fun and offering a wide range of
whole new set of complications
as far as the maintenance needed
without the aid of
with these vehicles.
We have found that when
or reference guides.
people use a non-ethanol blended gasoline
vehicle, the byproducts in the fuel leave behind a heavy deposit in the injectors that will eventually
MARK YOUR CALENDARS June 10-12, 2019 Indianapolis, IN
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PRIME THE PUMP
Strategic Retail Partnerships Pave Way for Increase in E15 Supply at Terminals Across the U.S. by BryAnn Becker Knecht Since President Trump announced
awarding grants to help with their
purchase the product, it’s delivered to
in October 2018 that he would lift
initial investments in fuel dispensing
the gasoline station and it’s dispensed
restrictions on year-round E15 sales,
infrastructure to support E15.
many gasoline retailers across the
This fall Casey’s announced it
Delivery of E15 via terminals hasn’t
industry have responded with gusto.
will expand its offering of E15 to
been widespread, and many retailers
potentially more than 500 of its
instead have typically blended their
locations over the next few years and
own E15 using a blender pump.
will soon be the nation’s largest E15
Blender pumps mix E85 with E10/87
retailer. Cumberland Farms will begin
octane regular fuel to make E15 at the
selling E15, also known as Unleaded
offering E15 at more than 120 of its
88, a federally approved biofuel with
stores over the next four years.
“In a lot of cases without terminal
15 percent ethanol and 85 percent
There’s also been growth in another
supply that’s been the approach we’ve
gasoline. Casey’s and Cumberland
key area that has potential to pave
brought to the market,” said Mike
Farms are the two latest retailers to
the way to even more robust growth
O’Brien, Vice President of Market
sign on with new Prime the Pump
of retailers offering the product:
terminal availability. Terminals, or
the largest trade organization in the
fuel distribution facilities, are the
major method to deliver fuel into the
But recent retail station targeting
and assists those retail adopters
marketplace. For retailers that use
from Prime the Pump has put pressure
of higher-level biofuel blends by
terminal delivery to offer E15, they
on fuel terminals to start offering E15
on a much broader basis, O’Brien said.
Our strategic retail partnerships have been a game changer that’s ushered a significant increase in E15 supply at terminals across the country. These include groundbreaking partnerships with Kwik Trip, QuikTrip, Casey’s, RaceTrac and Cumberland Farms, which have pushed open the doors to terminal availability across most of the country.
supply in place, those in the industry expect even more accelerated growth of gasoline retailers offering E15. “In the last six to eight months, we’ve seen the terminal growth with E15 explode,” said O’Brien. Growth Energy works with gasoline retailers across the country who are interested in selling E15 and other higher blends through the Prime the Pump campaign. Having E15 available via terminals means that a retailer can use existing
Ray Defenbaugh, President, CEO and Chairman of Big River Resources
And by having increased terminal
equipment with minimal upgrades,
PRIME THE PUMP
which typically means the retailer can more quickly add E15 to more sites, O’Brien noted. With terminal supply in place, O’Brien expects to see more examples of rapid E15 expansion like Kwik Trip has undergone. The Wisconsin-based retailer joined Prime the Pump in May 2017 and expanded from zero to 350 sites offering E15 in less than six months. Prime the Pump’s Chairman, Ray Defenbaugh, attributes the ramp up in E15 supply at terminals across the country to the partnerships with big name retailers like Kwik Trip and Casey’s. “Our strategic retail partnerships have been a game changer that’s ushered a significant increase in E15 the
with Kwik Trip, QuikTrip, Casey’s, RaceTrac and Cumberland Farms, which have pushed open the doors to terminal availability across most of the country,” said Defenbaugh, who is also the President, CEO and Chairman of Big River Resources. That targeted approach has tipped the scales for many terminals to offer E15, said Majda Olson, Director of Communications,
Kwik Trip joined Prime the Pump in May 2017 and expanded from zero to 350 sites offering E15 in less than six months.
“That’s what we’ve been trying to do all along: Work with the big players to move the market.”
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Variable Rate Fertilizer: Improving Crops, Cutting Costs by Brian Hefty Below is a 60-acre field that was sampled in one-acre grids.
would go out in their fields, pull a few soil cores down to six
The numbers listed represent the amount of phosphorus in
inches deep, mix them all together, and then look at that one
parts per million in each grid. Note the variance from nine on
sample as representative of their field. For example, in this field
the low side to 91 on the high side.
the average phosphorus level is 42 parts per million. A farmer
As an agronomist, I will tell you that nine parts per million
would likely look at that and apply another 20 to 50 pounds of
(ppm) is ridiculously low when trying to raise great-yielding
phosphorus, depending on his yield goal. The nine ppm area
corn or soybeans, but 91 is far more than adequate. What
would then have insufficient fertility to raise high yield, while the
farmers are now able to do is create what we call “controller
91 part per million area would be left with excess phosphorus
files” based off maps like these, and then apply different rates of
that could potentially erode away, creating an environmental
fertilizer as they cross the field. If I was creating an application
issue, not to mention the wasted dollars that were invested.
map for this field, I would likely have no phosphorus applied in
My dream is that someday we will be able to sense soil fertility
the 91 ppm grid, with a significant amount being spread in the
levels not just in one-acre grids — which is 43,560 square feet
nine ppm area.
— but every few feet as we cross our fields. The more we know
What this allows farmers to do is better invest their fertilizer
about our land, the better we can use our fertilizer dollars wisely,
dollars. Instead of spreading the same rate across the entire
the more food we can produce for our growing world, and the
field, this type of precise application means all areas of the farm
more income we’ll have. Soil sampling in small grids or zones
can have a good chance of producing high yield. Plus, it is a great
and then fertilizing accordingly is an enormous step forward for
thing for the environment. Instead of having excess fertility
farmers, and it’s one of the reasons we are seeing new record
in certain areas, those spots are effectively “mined” down to
yields almost every year. The soil is our most valuable resource,
and thanks to modern technology and the innovation and hard
All this is made possible by conducting more soil testing than
work of the American farmer, we will continue to improve it.
ever before. The way soil testing used to be done was farmers
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. ®
R E C Y C L E D AS P H A L T P AV E M E N T ( R A P ) P R O C E S S
THE ROAD TO SUSTAINABILITY IS PAVED WITH JIVE As a product of POET, JIVEâ„¢ is produced with the smallest environmental footprint, and it contains none of the cancer-causing chemicals in petroleum. The sustainable approach to production helps everyone breathe easier knowing the roads we are driving on are meeting industry green standards, while helping all of us breathe easier, period.
RECYCLED ASPHALT (MILLED OLD ASPHALT)
*Bio-based alternative to toxic petrochemicals
NATED ASPHALT (Colors are for depiction purposes only and do not represent actual pavement or product colors.)
THE FUTURE IS PAVED WITH JIVE POET Is Improving Asphalt With a High-Quality, Bio-friendly Replacement for Petrochemicals
by Steve Lange 26
JIVE is used in a roadway project in Utah.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
As the world’s largest biofuels
terms, an asphalt rejuvenator and
Matt Reiners, is part of a small team
producer, POET is largely known
modifier. It can be added to aged
at POET that has been working on
asphalt (as a rejuvenator) and to
market and product development for
environmentally friendly biofuel to
performance-grade asphalt to obtain
JIVE applications. “There’s less raw
power cars on the road. Now, through
different grades (as a modifier).
material cost. They can include more
As a modifier, JIVE softens the
RAP, but at the same time get the same
JIVE™ asphalt rejuvenator — POET
asphalt and improves its temperature
mix performance, because JIVE is
properties, making it less likely to
helping to rejuvenate and soften the
bio-based products in a completely
crack at low temperatures. “JIVE
material so it can be better used for
different market: the asphalt industry.
pavement design,” McCurdy said.
The renewable product — which
is a derivative of POET’s corn oil, a
softening effect that’s too dramatic,”
co-product of ethanol production —
says Matt Reiners, Vice President
allows asphalt producers to use more
of Business Development at POET
recycled asphalt, which makes their
product less expensive and is better
for the environment.
As a rejuvenator, JIVE reduces
JIVE gives asphalt more flexibility,
stiffness and makes recycled asphalt
less brittle, giving it a second life.
By including POET’s JIVE product,
asphalt producers can increase the
— temperatures. It also replaces
level of Recycled Asphalt Pavement,
or RAP, in a mix.
petrochemicals that are hazardous to
A higher level of RAP equates to
lower costs for asphalt producers,
JIVE has a dual purpose when it
noted Alex McCurdy, Ph.D., POET
comes to asphalt: It is both, in industry
Senior Research Scientist, who, with
If we could make it work, we knew we could provide this industry with a green, sustainable alternative that could replace those toxic petrochemicals. Sure, it was a new industry for us, but that mission is everything POET stands for. That was a really exciting realization.
The road to enter the asphalt industry
winding one. There was a belief that a byproduct of POET’s production process could have similar chemical characteristics of tall oil, an ingredient in asphalt. Samples were sent off to a test firm in Tulsa, Okla., and it was learned that this unique product actually outperformed the tall oil. “We thought that this could work,” says Reiners. “And we knew one thing for sure: If we could make it work, we knew we could provide this
enough to even know how to speak the language,” says Reiners, of the period after that initial conversation. “We
with people who knew the asphalt business. We would go to conferences and we would have 18- to 20-hour days and it was nothing but learning about asphalt.” “Taking a new product and going into a new market is one of the most challenging and risky things for any business,” says Greg Breukelman, President of POET Nutrition. “This team has worked together to do whatever it takes.” “We weren’t in the asphalt business, so it took a long time — sometimes two industry with a green, sustainable
also use our in-house shipping to get
alternative that could replace those
people the product faster,” says Ashley
toxic petrochemicals. Sure, it was a
new industry for us, but that mission
at POET Nutrition, who was working
is everything POET stands for. That
with McCurdy and Reiners on market
was a really exciting realization.”
and product development. “And we
Additional outside testing of JIVE
don’t rely on the price of crude oil,
which can go up and down. Our prices
to reveal positive results. POET’s
have remained consistent, and we can
lock people in for a longer term so
converts corn starch into sugar using
they know what they’ll be paying.”
enzymes instead of heat — has long made their ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) stand out in the industry because of the unique process by which it’s made. BPX also provides a benefit for the vegetable-based asphalt rejuvenator: They found that the BPX process helps make JIVE less expensive and safer than
also providing the necessary product consistency
demands. Because of its beneficial properties, manufacturers can add a higher percentage of recycled asphalt to the mixture. “Not only is our JIVE better than other current products, but we can
years — for people to even want to talk to us,” says Hummel, who has spent a week or two per month traveling to conferences over the past few years. “But we kept calling and showing up and sending them samples. We knew we had a great product; we had to make them realize we were serious.” The team sought out input on the performance of JIVE from a testing lab at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) at Auburn University, a research and
LEARNING THE BUSINESS
technology center highly regarded
At the beginning of 2018, POET
McCurdy noted. The study from NCAT
across the asphalt industry. NCAT’s testing showed that JIVE improves mix performance in asphalt mixes containing
was a stamp of approval that helped
producers. In February of 2018, they
the team gain more credibility in the
made their first sale. But they got the
word out and let producers test their
Now they are seeing the product
new product. In March, sales doubled
take off, and it’s exciting to see how
and kept growing from there. “The
JIVE fits in with POET’s overall vision
team already knew we were headed
in the right direction, and that carried
renewable products, they say.
through to the rest of the year,”
“One of the cool things about POET
is that we’re not scared as a company
It’s been a long road.
to step outside of our comfort zone and
“It took a year for us to test it
give stuff like this a try,” says Reiners.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
If we can function as a society by getting the resources from the top of the earth instead of having to dig down to the bottom, then we’re all going to be better off for generations to come.
“It took a little while, internally, to gain enough momentum for people to really start to listen to this crazy idea, but we got a ton of support from our leadership team. Now we’re providing a green alternative that’s not carcinogenic, that’s not harmful
hazardous to workers on the job site
to the environment, and that’s less
and hazardous to the environment.”
expensive and works better than any
JIVE, he says, is just the start of
of the alternatives in the marketplace
what could be a new marketplace
today. Once we put the collective
for POET, a marketplace that will let
horsepower of POET behind a project,
POET expand that vision of replacing
we’re able to make things happen.”
petroleum-based products with plant-
grown, renewable bio-based products.
everything that makes POET a leader
“As long as agriculture’s been part
in bio-products. “We’re always looking
of our world, we still believe that
for new applications, especially those
there’s almost infinite opportunities
that fit the vision of POET,” says
for agricultural-based products,” says
McCurdy, whose co-workers on the
Breukelman. “And if we can function
project have dubbed him “Dr. JIVE.”
as a society by getting the resources
“We’re producing a renewable, non-
from the top of the earth instead of
toxic product and, like a lot of what
having to dig down to the bottom,
we do, it’s replacing materials like
then we’re all going to be better off for
generations to come.”
JIVE is used in a roadway project in Utah.
Sterling Ethanol’s Dave Kramer presents the American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award to Kevin Harvick.
POWERED BY ETHANOL Congratulations, Kevin Harvick, on winning the 2018 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award.
NASCAR® is powered by American Ethanol. Sunoco Green E15™ has fueled more than 11 million miles of high-octane performace — performance that counts most during race restarts. Congratulations, Kevin Harvick, for your achievements in 2018.
Brought to you by:
NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. NASCAR® runs on Sunoco Green E15, a race fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol, in their three national series.
Tomorrow Is Ours American Ethanol’s Partnership With Universal Technical Institute Prepares Employment Pipeline for Auto Technicians, Mechanics by Ryan Welsh John Dodson’s office is probably only 10 by 12 feet, but the auto racing memorabilia, including trophies and keepsakes, that line his walls could fill a museum. Dodson is the Vice President of Alliances
and NASCAR Technical Institute. I was on the Mooresville, N.C., campus — which is called the NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) — with a group from Growth Energy, POET and ECR Engines, the premier engine builder in NASCAR and other series of automotive racing. We were there to tour the campus and learn more about American Ethanol’s new partnership. In 2018 American Ethanol forged a strategic partnership with the Universal Technical Institute (UTI), a network of
13 technical school campuses that train
His knowledge of the students and passion for education also
the future automotive technicians and mechanics of America.
revealed his thoughts on what matters the most: shaping the
The partnership is starting with the Mooresville campus. We
also picked North Carolina, as it is an E15 market. Like American
What I noticed was a lot of action in the classrooms and not a
Ethanol, the NASCAR Technical Institute is an Official NASCAR
lot of sitting. I spent most of my traditional learning parked in a
Partner, and that is how we came together. With the success of
desk staring at a book. You could see they were solving real-time
this program we plan to roll out the program to the other 12
problems as a future technician would do on a real engine.
As we walked through the commons, John stopped and said,
“See those gloves over there? Those were Tim Richmond’s.
“I had a mother of one of the students come to me and say, ‘I
That’s my daddy’s trophy from Bowman Gray, and that’s me in
don’t get it. My son is not a strong student. He struggled through
the white sleeves as a rear tire changer for Rusty Wallace during
high school and college didn’t take, but he came here and he’s
our championship season,” he eagerly told us as we scanned the
getting straight A’s.’ I said, ‘Hey, people learn in different ways.
room. I could have spent all day in that room, but we had a full
He probably learns with his hands like me.’”
schedule in front of us.
The area we were most interested in was the new American
John gave us a 35-minute tour of the facilities, from state-of-
Ethanol Resource Center — a high-tech place that somewhat
the-art engine building labs to the career placement center.
resembles a traditional library.
I had a mother of one of the students come to me and say, ‘I don’t get it. My son is not a strong student. He struggled through high school and college didn’t take, but he came here and he’s getting straight A’s.’ I said, ‘Hey, people learn in different ways. He probably learns with his hands like me.’
We finished the tour in an auditorium
friend Dr. Andy from ECR Engines was going to teach students about fuel and engine performance, including, most importantly, the benefits of using ethanol. We reached more than 320 students and 40 instructors through our workshop. It was impressive, as these were highly motivated and
emulated John’s passion of why they were there. The students were accustomed to learning about the performance of each of the components of the engine. The fuel, and especially ethanol, was a new and exciting frontier. This three-year pilot program allows us to open a dialogue about ethanol and engine
us the opportunity to educate students and instructors alike, so that graduates understand the benefits of biofuels before
As we were finishing up the tour
they enter their field. This partnership gives
by the E-3 Spark Plug lounge, I
us a direct line to future auto technicians
asked John about the make-up of
and mechanics. I got some good advice
the student body. He said more
once, and I think this partnership displays
than 5 percent were female, which
it: “Plan ahead; it wasn’t raining when
is great because currently females
Noah built the ark.”
constitute less than 2 percent of auto technicians and mechanics in the workforce. Like the ethanol industry, they are comprised of a large percentage of veterans as students.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
ENERGY FOR LIFE
WHAT’S YOUR WORD? by Melissa Fletcher, Spiritual Care Advisor, POET Words are powerful. They can build up or they can tear down. They can bring joy or they can bring pain. In fact, the Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21). That’s why we need to be careful of what we say and always choose our words wisely. With a new year in full swing, it’s time to speak words of life. Words can also motivate and inspire us, and even help us identify a mantra to live by. A simple word can be a daily reminder to help you affirm your goals and keep you focused on the direction that God wants you to have in your life. Let me put this into perspective. This past year brought about a lot of changes in my life — some that were exciting and expected, and some that were not. And, with the changes, it also brought new challenges. Sometimes change can bring about fear of the unknown. So, my word focus became “fearless.” I wrote the word “fearless” on a sticky note and placed it on my bathroom mirror so that I could be reminded in the morning and at night that no matter what came my way, I would not live in fear — I would be fearless. I meditated on Scriptures in the Bible that talked about not living in fear. The word “fearless” helped me to remember where my strength came from — God. The word “fearless” reminded me who I belonged to — God. And the word “fearless” reminded me that I had the power and strength to rise above my circumstances and overcome any obstacle that was placed in my path. It was a simple word that spoke life over me every day. This year I challenge you to find your word. Pick a word that will help you stay focused on your goals, your dreams and positive things in your life. Use it to help you meditate on God’s goodness and live your life with purpose. My word for this year is “overcomer.” One word just may change your life. What’s your word for 2019?
SIMPLE TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP by Sarah Knutson, Holistic Therapist, POET With our hectic lifestyles, many of us have issues with falling asleep, waking up through the night or never feeling completely rested. If you’ve resolved to improve your sleep quality this year, here are a few tips for a good night’s sleep.
1. ESSENTIAL OILS Essential oils have myriad uses and are very effective. A few in particular have a calming effect and might help you sleep. Lavender oil and Roman Chamomile are believed to help promote relaxation, or you could try orange oil for an uplifting effect. You can even blend them for added benefits. You can diffuse the oils, add them to a warm bath, put a drop on your pillowcase, or mix them with water in a spray bottle and mist your linens with it. For kids, you could add a drop to a favorite stuffed animal or blanket before bedtime.
2. HERBAL TEAS Many herbal teas do not contain caffeine, so they are safe to drink before bed, and some can actually promote sleep. Chamomile tea, Sleepy Time or Gingerbread Spice are a few of my favorites to sip on while winding down for the evening. Remember to read labels and avoid anything with caffeine well before bedtime.
3. MEDITATION If you find yourself worrying about tomorrow’s agenda, try meditating. There are several apps that guide you through a meditation, such as Calm or Headspace. It’s a good idea to create a peaceful sleep environment as well. Turn off your TV, keep the room cooler and make sure it’s dark and peaceful.
4. DON’T EAT LARGE MEALS RIGHT BEFORE BED Give your body time (a couple hours) to digest dinner and you will probably feel more rested in the morning. Also, eating nutritious, unprocessed foods such as organic veggies, fruit, grass-fed meats and healthy fats like coconut oil can help promote a healthy digestive system and greater sense of well-being. Physical activity is important too and can help reduce the effects of stress. Just a brisk 30-minute daily walk can make a big difference in how you feel!
TURN S.A.D. INTO GLAD
30 seconds. These are like jumping jacks, except your arms and feet should be straight out like the points of a star at the peak of your jump.
by Cole Fricke, Wellness Coordinator, POET Those of us who live in Northern climates during the winter months are aware of Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly known as SAD. Cold temps, gray skies, short days and lack of sunshine and vitamin D are enough to make even the jolliest Midwesterner feel depressed to some extent. The good news is that it’s usually seasonal and pretty treatable with some basic tenets of health and wellness: nutrition and activity. Try this home workout to get the blood flowing, the endorphins pouring and keep you smiling as you beat those winter blues!
DONKEY KICKS 30 seconds. Crouch down with your weight on your palms placed next to your feet. Keeping your palms on the ground, kick both feet back into the air as high as you can like a donkey.
STATIONARY SPRINTS 30 seconds. Run in place as face as you can. Pump your arms and keep your knees up as you run.
AIR SQUATS 30 seconds. Turn it into Jump Squats if you’re feeling
THE SAD-BEATER HOME WORKOUT
Perform this workout up to three times a week. Always
consult your physician before starting any new exercise
REVERSE LUNGES (ALTERNATING)
30 seconds. Instead of stepping forward like a normal Do 3-5 rounds. Perform the exercises as directed all the
lunge, step backward, keeping the front leg planted.
way through in order, moving as quickly as possible
from one exercise to the next. That’s one round. Rest 1-2 minutes between rounds.
JUMPING JACKS 30 seconds
PUSHUPS 30 seconds
PLANK 60 seconds
REST 1-2 minutes
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
RURAL OPTIMISM IN CHALLENGING TIMES
Young Farmers Committed to Agriculture, Rural Lifestyle Even in Difficult Ag Environment
By key economic indicators, the ag
For some, keeping one foot in
For this group, even when there’s an
economy is down. Commodity prices
farming means balancing another
ag downturn, that can’t stop the pull
are stagnant, farm income is down
full-time job, like Brent Pekelder
of the land. Weber, 26, returned to
and farm debt is up.
does in his work as a Grain Buyer in
farming a few years ago after leaving
But that doesn’t deter many young
Ashton, Iowa, for POET. Or, for Abi
his family farm after graduation. “It’s
farmers across the Midwest. Instead,
and Lucas Wright, who took over the
in my blood. It gets you hooked,” he
this group of young farmers and
family farm in Albany, Ind., after Abi’s
proponents of agriculture beats to a
dad passed away, it means balancing
different drum of what you might call
a full-time job along with raising
two kids. Despite that, Abi loves the
Despite the challenges today of
farming lifestyle. “I can’t imagine
making a living in ag, farmers like
doing anything else,” she said.
Logan Weber of Atlanta, Mo., keep
This group connects with farming
going by having the right perspective.
for myriad reasons and sees the power
Farmers have resilience on their side,
of agriculture and what it can do, like
he said. “Farmers are optimists. They
Marji Guyler-Alaniz, who founded
have a ‘we’ll get it next year’ attitude.
FarmHer as a chance to highlight
It’s something you have to roll with.
women showing up and making a
You have to have a good attitude and
difference in agriculture. She sees
the value in connecting women in
Read their stories to see how agriculture and farming is shining bright in rural America.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
ABI + LUCAS WRIGHT Albany, Ind
Farming Lifestyle Appeals to Indiana Family Couple Takes Over Family Farm, Balances Additional Full-Time Job
by Janna Farley | photo by Katie Williams
Date night for Abi and Lucas Wright
driving a skidsteer down the road.”
isn’t the most romantic — at least not
When Abi’s dad died in 2016, she
“Obviously, farming is a business,
in the traditional sense.
and Lucas took over the 2,100-acre
There are no fancy outfits and
corn, soybean and wheat farm in
way,” Lucas said. “But you have
candlelit dinners. Instead, there are
to have people who care, who are
tractors, a lot of dirt and long drives
“The freedom, the ability to do your
emotionally engaged in the work.
together to look at the crops — and the
own thing, to make your own schedule
This isn’t big business. This isn’t Wall
two Indiana farmers wouldn’t have it
— it gets into your blood,” Abi said. “I
Street. Farming is still dependent on
any other way.
don’t know any other lifestyle than
individuals out there doing the work,
“We’re always talking about the
and you’ve got to have that personal
farm,” Abi said. “We’re talking about
These days, Abi spends more time
touch to be successful.”
with their kids, Lucy and Charles, than
That personal touch — and a lot
need to be fixed or what we should
in the field. Lucas also has a full-time
of hard work — is what makes it all
upgrade next. Before we had kids,
sales job off the farm with Nutrien Ag
worthwhile, Abi says.
we’d even take a long road trips every
summer and drive though Iowa and
together, Abi admits. And no one
South Dakota to look at crops in other
sometimes “organized chaos,” Lucas
ever said farming was easy. But the
regions. We’re nerdy like that.”
said. “But I like the fact that every day
Wrights can’t imagine doing anything
Abi, 32, and Lucas, 35, met as
is different. Like today, we’re hauling
students at Purdue University, and
beans to the elevator, I’m going to
started farming together in 2009.
pick up an auger and in between it
something to do every day,” Abi said.
Lucas grew up on a small farm and
all, I’ll be making calls to customers
“There’s always something to fix, to
always had an interest in agriculture.
throughout the day.”
clean — there’s always more work to
Abi started working on her family’s
Still, neither Abi nor Lucas could
be done. It’s never-ending, but I love
farm as a young girl. “I was always
imagine doing anything else — even
helping my dad out,” she said. “I was
with the challenges of today’s farm
probably the only kindergartener
economy. The work they’re doing is
BRENT PEKELDER Ashton, Iowa
Dual Career in Biofuels, Agriculture Farmer Sees Biofuels as Biggest Driver for Ag
by Miranda Broin | photo by Emily Spartz Weerheim For Brent Pekelder, passion for
spends nearly as much time out in the
agriculture to fuel the world,” Brent
agriculture quite literally runs in
field during the planting and harvest
said. “I think the way we source things
his blood. He is a fourth-generation
seasons. That means an additional 30
is going to change. We’re going to need
farmer on his family’s land, a corn
to 40 hours of work, and although that
more protein, more energy sources,
and soybean farm near Sheldon, Iowa,
may sound daunting to some, Brent
more renewable products, and I think
where — like many farm kids — he
wouldn’t have it any other way. He is
agriculture is poised well to meet a lot
began working alongside his father,
simply grateful to do two jobs that he
of those needs. Most of them are co-
uncle and grandfather at a young age.
products of ethanol production.
“I wasn’t just riding around with
“I wanted to be part of a company
“Farm technology is improving and
them,” said Brent, 24. “I was actually
that was pushing the envelope for
farmers are producing more all the
working with them, helping to get
time, but you can’t have high yields
things done. They even trusted me
POET is definitely doing that,” he
without demand for your product.
said. “And what’s even better is how
You have to have a growing market
outdoors, working the land with them
supportive my bosses are about letting
for it, and the push for E15 is a good
every day — I kind of fell in love with
me farm. They see the importance in
start. I truly believe that biofuel usage
farming. And I knew that carrying on
it — obviously POET thrives when
is going to be the main source to grow
their legacy was something I always
farmers thrive — and their flexibility
demand for farmers. It will be the
wanted to do.”
has been essential in my ability to do
biggest driver in the profitability of
In 2017 Brent graduated from Iowa
State University with an agronomy
For now, Brent relies on the lessons
degree and went on to forge a career
and dual career have given him a
he learned growing up on the farm
in a different sector of the ag industry:
unique perspective of the agriculture
to motivate him in these challenging
biofuels. He currently works full time
industry. That’s why, despite the
times. “I was taught that the only way
as a grain buyer at POET Biorefining
challenges many farmers currently
to get results is to put in the work.
face, he is optimistic about the future
oftentimes his work for the day is not
of ag. The key, he says, can be found in
things don’t go your way won’t get
done at five o’clock.
you anywhere. Keep working, and it’ll
In addition to the 40-plus hours
“I wouldn’t be working for POET
he puts in at POET each week, Brent
if I didn’t believe in the power of
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
HANNAH FLAMING Paxton, Neb.
‘We Felt that Trump was willing to go to bat for us’ Farmer Sees Community Outlook Improve
by BryAnn Becker Knecht | photo by Jessica Braithwait Photography In Paxton, Neb., a tiny dot on the
“You were in town wondering who
Overall, she recently has seen a new
map in Nebraska that is home to a
was going to go under next,” she
spark in the town. She said that while
tight-knit community of 600 people,
said. “We feel more optimistic that
the market prices aren’t there yet to
agriculture is the life force.
we’re going to get a fair shake of the
signal a strong economic recovery
Hannah Flaming, a third generation
for the ag industry, farmers in the
She credits President Trump, in
community have the belief that it will
particular, for helping to elevate the
farmer. They are raising four young
issues concerning rural America. “We
“We’re seeing that our purse belt is
children, and Flaming is intricately
felt that Trump was willing to go to bat
getting less tight. The market prices
acquainted with the rise and fall of the
aren’t there yet. We have that security
ag markets because those numbers
that they’re going to get there. That
directly translate to her family farm’s
community outlook has been more
makes people more apt to find a new
optimistic and brighter over the past
feed variety, or maybe upgrade their
Times are still tight for farmers in
two years. “Honestly, I can really
the community, she says, but it’s not
only put it to Trump. It was a slow
Thinking about it more, Hannah
as dire as it was a few years ago when
progression,” she said. “Since our
said, “Really what it boils down to is
she was worried every time she came
town is 600 people, the majority of
the community itself. Everyone in
into town about hearing the name of
them farm. Our whole fate depends
general is more upbeat.”
the next farmer who had decided to
on agriculture. When agriculture’s
give up the farm.
not doing good, no one is doing good.”
LOGAN WEBER Atlanta, Mo.
‘It’s in my Blood’ Family Ties, Precision Ag Practices Lure Logan Weber Back to the Farm
by BryAnn Becker Knecht | photo by Joy Young Photography When Logan Weber left his family’s
“It’s special to be able to work
decisions about which variety to
farm in Atlanta, Mo., after high school
beside your dad and grandpa. That’s
use.” Yield mapping provides data on
graduation, by all accounts he wasn’t
something that drew me back. That’s
where to place fertilizer on the field.
planning to return to the farm. But
part of what I like about farming; it
“It’s exciting to see how precision ag
it seems that his farming roots just
draws us together.”
is changing farming. I’ve seen those
wouldn’t leave him alone.
Logan sees the possibilities in
changes,” he says, referring to last
He obtained a welding certification
year’s crops. “We had a drought this
at Missouri Welding Institute and
to transform the future of farming.
past year, and the crops were better
started working at ethanol plants
He first got into precision ag shortly
than expected,” due to the change in
across the U.S. During his drive from
after his return to farming, when he
how far genetics have come in the
his hotel to the ethanol plants, he saw
started working for a precision ag
farmers out in the field and felt a tug
business and started selling precision
Along with the boost that farming is
to go back.
ag equipment to farmers.
getting from precision ag, Logan also
“It’s in my blood. It gets you hooked.
Soon after working in precision
sees another factor that farmers have
I missed the satisfaction of planting
ag, he began incorporating those
on their side: resilience.
something. I enjoy sitting in a tractor
practices at his family farm. “I saw
For Logan, what keeps him going
and watching things grow through the
the benefits and how awesome it was.
despite the current ag conditions is
season,” said Weber, 26.
Since I was installing it, I saw the
having the right outlook.
In 2015, he decided to get back into
reaction of our customers and how
“I guess it’s a farmer thing,” he says.
farming and returned to farm with his
much it was benefitting them and
“Farmers are optimists. They have
dad, Stan, and grandfather, Warren,
how much they used it.”
a ‘we’ll get it next year’ attitude. It’s
who raise cattle and also grow corn,
At their family farm, they now have
something you have to roll with. You
soybeans and occasionally wheat.
row shutoffs on their planters, which
have to have a good attitude and look
That’s a large part of the appeal, he
saves money. Yield monitoring on
their combines “helps us make better
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
MARJI GUYLER-ALANIZ Urbandale, Iowa
FarmHer Spotlights Women in Agriculture Company Has Become Opportunity to Connect, Empower Women in Agriculture
by BryAnn Becker Knecht | photo by Diane Heckman Since Marji Guyler-Alaniz started
weren’t very visible, which made it
words at that time,’” Marji said.
FarmHer as a photo project in April
difficult to pave her path as a younger
2013, it’s become much more than
woman. “When I saw that, I took it
economic conditions in agriculture,
that. You might even say it’s sparked
to heart: This is a problem, and it’s a
she says that, as a photographer, she
problem all throughout ag.”
sees the resilience of farmers. When
FarmHer has evolved from photo
Other women need to see that you
asked what she thinks keeps women
essays and stories to a monthly TV
can be a successful woman working
working in what can be a challenging
show on RFTD, a podcast called
in agriculture, Marji said. “If you can
environment to make a living, she
“Shining Bright” and a SiriusXM
see it, then you can go be it. Let’s show
points to the “inherent love and
radio show, and annual events and
people the amazing women that are
connection to what they do” as the
there,” she said.
drive for their work.
brand. FarmHer highlights women
Beyond seeing other women as role
For Marji, it goes back to that
showing up and making a difference
models in ag, Marji views FarmHer as
connection piece: to the land, to other
in agriculture across the U.S.
speaking to a wider audience outside
strong women, to the ties of the land.
Marji — who lives in Urbandale,
of the ag sector. “From a consumer
“Whether that’s a passion to have
Iowa — started FarmHer to address the
standpoint, we all should know and
dirt under your fingernails and a
gap she saw in the media concerning
support the women who are working
connection to the land, or a connection
the representation of women in ag.
so hard to grow the food and raise the
and want to raise livestock … they
After watching the “God Made a
livestock that is part of all of our lives,
will dig at it to make it work versus
Farmer” Super Bowl ad in February
and we just don’t see it.”
walking away from it.”
2013 — which was the top-grossing
For Marji, the pulse of FarmHer
commercial of that SuperBowl —
is all about connection, specifically
difference showcasing women in ag
she realized that while the images
women connecting with other women
is motivation for her and her team
were raw and powerful, there was
to keep running FarmHer, including
something — a big something —
Hearing from other women how
traversing the country to film the TV
“That was wonderful but where
connect — by hearing and reading
“The best thing we can do is to share
were the women? And where were
the FarmHer stories, by meeting other
those stories and to give back in that
the women in agriculture?”
women at FarmHer events — is “fuel
way. It helps you feel like you’re not
on the fire” to continue doing what
alone. It’s a goal of ours in giving
her career working in corporate
she does. “I posted something recently
agriculture, she noticed that — much
on social media on FarmHer and
like in production ag — women
someone said, ‘I needed to hear those
the best ideas
are the ones you haven’t thought of yet POET.COM
At POET, we’re not looking for easy fixes for obvious problems. We’re looking for the next generation of problem solvers, who can identify challenges we don’t even know exist yet. So if you’re more interested in unanswerable questions than answers that can’t be questioned, you’ll probably fit right in.
A Cleaner Fuel for a Brighter Future”: POET Debuts New Float at Sioux Falls Parade of Lights POET’s new holiday float brought the message of the benefits of biofuels in a bright way during the annual Parade of Lights in downtown Sioux Falls on Friday, Nov. 23. The float featured an E15 pump and a sign promoting “A Cleaner Fuel for a Brighter Future: Biofuels.” POET team members from Team Inspire walked along the parade route and handed out glow sticks.
POET Biorefining – Mitchell Sponsors a Salvation Army Angel Tree POET Biorefining – Mitchell adopted a family from the Salvation Army Angel Tree during the holiday season. Employees shopped and donated gifts of an outfit, shoes, underwear and two toys for each of the four children. POET team members said it was heartwarming to be able to make Christmas for these families a little brighter!
POET, LLC Donates Gifts to Local Salvation Army Between POET Plant Management and POET Design & Construction, the two groups delivered two trucks worth of gifts to the Salvation Army in Sioux Falls, S.D. In 2018 the Salvation Army received requests for 2,372 children in Lincoln and Minnehaha counties.
Helping Families in Need in Jewell POET Biorefining – Jewell donated food to Hector’s Cupboard, a food pantry for low-income families, for the Christmas Meal Box Projects. Forty-five boxes were packed with recipes for those in need.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
RENEW “No-Shave November” Fundraiser Raises $1,750 to Fight Cancer You may have heard of “No-Shave November,” but did you know that this concept is also a way that many participate in to raise money for cancer awareness? Team members from POET Design & Construction’s Process Engineering Group (PEG) enacted a “No-Shave November” as a team building activity and took it one step further to raise money for cancer research. Shane Roby, Process Engineering Manager, pitched the idea of doing a “No-Shave November” as another team building activity. “We all have someone we know, whether it is friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc., that is battling cancer. This was an opportunity to help grow awareness by growing out beards.” Roby registered their group at no-shave.org, and through the donations of 21 individuals and families (including PEG team members), they raised $1,750 to help fight cancer! Roby said it was a great opportunity to help raise cancer awareness, and it was a fun group effort by all — even from those who can’t or don’t grow beards. “We’ve now set the benchmark for which future years we will try to beat!”
Macon Flags Support Veterans Macon Flags was started to help raise money for veterans in the Macon, Mo., area. Since April 2018, Dave Baase, who works at POET Biorefining – Macon, has made 106 flags for individuals and has held fundraising events across the U.S. This flag purchased by POET supported a fund to feed holiday meals to 50 area lower-income veteran families and spouses of veterans. Baase is a retired U.S. Army Sr. Non-Commissioned Officer and Combat Veteran, and his motto is “United We Stand,” for without support we would surely fall.
Safety Crew Visits POET Biorefining â€“ Portland
The team at POET Biorefining â€“ Portland invited the local police, sheriffs, firemen, first responders and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the facility for lunch and a tour. Visits like this increase layout familiarity for safety scenarios.
PEOPLE OF POET
CELEBRATING WOMEN IN STEM Exposure, Exploration and Empowerment for STEM Careers Should Begin at a Young Age, Women at POET Say by Angela Tewalt
When Rachel Kloos was growing up
workforce in these critical areas. Of
passionate about alternative energy,
in Southern California, she and her
STEM professionals, nearly 15 percent
works primarily with Project LIBERTY
family often spent time cleaning the
of them are women, and it is thanks to
shores of California’s largest lake, the
the example set by predecessors who
commercial scale cellulosic biofuels
have followed their passions rather
facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa — and is
“My parents used to hang out there
than being intimidated by antiquated
proud to be part of an effort that no
a lot, but by the time I was in high
other company in the world is doing.
school, it was an environmental mess,
More than 30 percent of science and
Hanson is a Process Engineer for
so I learned a lot about the ecosystem
technical positions at POET Research
POET Design & Construction, and she
and water conservation,” Kloos says.
are filled by women, notes POET’s
would like to see even more women
That strong family commitment to
Senior Vice President of Research
working as engineers.
the environment shaped her identity
Dave Bushong. The area of expertise
“We’re going to change the world
and drove her down a historically
that female scientists and engineers
of biofuels and the world as a
male-dominated career path. Kloos
bring to POET include analytical
whole,” she says, “but we could
studied chemistry and environmental
chemistry, enzymology, microbiology
benefit from having more female
engineering at Creighton University
engineers, because we are both wired
in Nebraska. She went on to work
“First and foremost, POET offers
at POET’s Sioux Falls headquarters
great science and technical positions.
Hanson, like many others, garnered
before becoming the Plant Manager
Our scientists and engineers have the
interest in STEM fields at a young age.
at POET Biorefining — Chancellor for
opportunity to develop innovative
In eighth grade, she participated in
the last seven years.
technology in renewable fuels that
a girls engineering day in Rapid City,
Across POET’s footprint, Kloos and
have a global impact, and the women
S.D., where chemical engineering
other women have led a change in how
in research contribute every day
at the South Dakota School of Mines
we think about science, technology,
to the success of POET’s technical
“caught my eye,” she says.
engineering and math (STEM) careers.
innovation,” Bushong says.
Camille Nelson, Research Scientist
More women today are entering the
Dani Hanson, who has always been
at POET, grew up on an acreage in
Rachel Kloos, Plant Manager at POET Biorefining â€“ Chancellor
photo by Greg Latza
Dani Hanson, Process Engineer for POET Design & Construction
photo by Greg Latza
Minnesota, where she was always
Nelson says women need to feel
faculty, and he encouraged her to
curious about agriculture. “I was
empowered “to contribute to these
things that are advancing our society.”
agriculture impacted and remember
understanding,” Biersbach says. “And
spending time looking at and studying
it was so rewarding to see all the
At Iowa State University, she received
schedule flexibility, and a genuine
her undergrad degree in agricultural
desire to make people successful,
engineering and her masters in ag and
biosystems engineering. “The major
had a really influential culture I was
happens outside of the workplace, too,
drawn to, and I always felt included,”
as was the case for Gwen Biersbach,
who today is a Senior Research
She has been a Research Scientist
Scientist at POET. She was a quality
for POET since 2015. “I have a lot of
plant manager at POET for 13 years
female role models I look up to here,”
before she felt compelled to go back
to school to receive her masters in
Mentorship is an important element
research. She reached out to a former
of continuing to grow and advance at
fellow student at South Dakota State
University who was now one of the
We’re going to change the world of biofuels and the world as a whole, but we could benefit from having more female engineers, because we are both wired differently.
things that had happened in biotech
throughout its footprint.
since I was an undergraduate.”
“We do different activities at middle schools
INTEREST IN STEM BEGINS AT A YOUNG AGE Women at POET say the important work of getting more women into STEM careers begins at a young age. It must be cultivated early in life. POET has recognized that need and holds outreach programs to generate interest and enthusiasm in young women who may be uncertain about a STEM career, Bushong says. “Increasing the number of women interested in STEM careers is critical for business success as well as providing great careers for women,” he says. To begin that engagement in STEM for young women, Nelson says POET participates in significant outreach
because you never know what is going to impact people,” she says. Antje Skiff, who is a Mechanical Engineering
adds that POET partnered with Girl Scouts last summer, “to show them the basic principles of engineering,” and Biersbach says they’ve hosted science fairs as well, where girls are interactive and excited. “You might expect a bunch of eighth grade girls rolling their eyes, but on the other hand, I was surprised at how energized and attentive they were!” she says.
We are changing the world to make things better for the next generation. We have a positive environmental impact, and we have a positive impact on economy and agriculture. That makes me so excited about my workday!
Biersbach admits that STEM is not a highly visible career choice. “What do they do behind those brick walls?” she says. “I like to approach young adults and be able to tell them,
Gwen Biersbach, Senior Research Scientist at POET
photo by Brian Koch
I have learned so much that I would have never known had I not taken this job, and that is very motivating to me.
this is how we approach our work. If they can’t see or understand our work environments, why would they be interested?” Biersbach
adults that of the 600,000 occupations waiting to be filled in the U.S., there is plenty to offer right here in the Midwest. “We live in a rural state, and it may seem there is not an abundance
by POET Nutrition President Greg
Bruekelman, where he talked about leadership and the key influ-encers in
the rural economy — particularly
“And she was just soaking this up!”
market, which depends on farmer
says Kloos. “Even for weeks thereafter,
she was referencing his talk, and I
agronomy, commodities, accounting,
thought to myself, if she spent a half
hour sitting in the back of a room
listening to him and that influenced
high-tech jobs are actually due to it
her, how much of an influence could I
human resources are all fields that
be? I want to have the reputation that
I am a resource and I am here to help
Kloos also works to show her children positive role models. “I want my kids to visibly see that you can do whatever you want to do, and there is no limit!” Last fall, she took her 17-year-old daughter to a presentation given
ENCOURAGEMENT IN STEM Skiff says we need problem solvers more than ever — women and men who can continue to “help the world
Camille Nelson, Research Scientist at POET
photo by Brian Koch
Antje Skiff, Mechanical Engineering Manager at POET
photo by Brian Koch
You might expect a bunch of eighth grade girls rolling their eyes, but on the other hand, I was surprised at how energized and attentive they were!
so much going on, and it is always
“Our work can seem mundane, but
changing,” Biersbach says. “We have
there is always a new problem to solve,
new tools to deal with problems that
and if you talk to us, we’re pumped,
weren’t even surmountable a few
excited and passionate about what we
years ago. But because we have so
do!” says Biersbach. “We are changing
much information to get our arms
the world to make things better for the
around, we’ve got to almost change
next generation. We have a positive
our approach to how we deal with
environmental impact, and we have
a positive impact on economy and
She suggests group-oriented tasks
agriculture. That makes me so excited
and sharing of ideas, and Skiff
about my workday!”
encourages young women not to be
“We are always learning,” Nelson
discouraged in that.
adds. “It feels like the more we know,
“Do not be afraid, and don’t let
the less we know! But I have learned
anyone stop you!” Skiff says. “We can
so much that I would have never
make the world a much better place
known had I not taken this job, and
through STEM innovation.”
that is very motivating to me.”
And the work that women in innovate” — and Biersbach agrees. “In the biotech world, there is
STEM do is rewarding and making a difference for the next generation.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
DOWN 1. Powder room powder 2. As a whole 3. Cowboy activity 4. Ultimate object 5. Salinger story subject 6. Sleep-time annoyance 7. Gulf state 8. Part of E.T.A. 9. Word form for “bad” 10. Billy Joel’s “___ to Extremes” 11. Agreement 12. Nautical dir. 15. Greek letters 16. Wagner’s “___ fliegende Hollander” 20. Lie down a while 23. Bill featuring Washington 24. Thickness measures 25. Gallic girlfriends 26. Undue speed 27. Despite 29. Wonder’s “years of bad luck” 38. Pool exercise
30. Side (with)
31. Grabs (onto)
1. It may eventually become bald
41. Son of Adam and Eve
32. Custard apple cousin
5. Atty.’s name follower
42. Magician’s command
33. Where to hear an aria
8. Hydrogen compound
44. Keyword improvements for
35. ___ in victory
13. Nameless as an author, briefly
36. ___ mode
14. Showy bloom
45. POET’s bioprocessing plant in
37. __ de plume (pen name)
17. “Shane” star, Alan
Ohio that recently opened an
39. Impertinent one
18. Miner’s dream
80 million gallon extension
43. Mariner’s “Help!”
19. One of POET’s
46. Announcement over a
47. “Shop ___ you drop”
48. Social event
a website (abbr.)
21. 1970 Kinks hit
50. Two out of two
22. Destinations for EMTs
50. Flock sound
51. Malaysian or Chinese, e.g.
23. D-Day beach
52. In unison
28. Records that may be broken
56. Energy source that cannot
30. Dakota Gold provides
high nutrient value in
59. Sheepskin presentation
56. Something everyone
64. “Green Gables” name
31. Official US publisher
57. ___ 500
34. Fervent supporter, of
66. Quite fond of
58. Rock singer Russell
67. Is ___ (probably will)
59. Govt. property org.
68. Napoleon’s marshal
60. Exercise unit
69. Clancy hero Jack
61. False show
sustainable fuels for example
FOR ANSWERS, VISIT
support us forever, 2 words
62. Email punctuation
63. Numero ___
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Seeds of Change
OUT OF LEFT FIELD
English Is Confusing by Scott Johnson, Data Systems Administrator, POET “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode
violations. They are thoroughly scrubbed by the Vital editing
through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough,
staff — people who actually know the rules of English — before
he coughed and hiccoughed.”
making it to official publication. I digress…
Read that again.
Do I have a beef with the English language? Perhaps. Maybe
Notice anything odd — besides the entire heartbreaking
I would be more forgiving if the language didn’t insist the word
story of a ploughman, whatever that is? Perhaps you noticed
“beef” means meat from a cow AND also an informal complaint.
this statement contains eight different pronunciations of
Our language is loaded with similar instances of words with
“ough.” This bizarre sentence tells us everything we need to
know about the English language: English is confusing. It’s a
On the other hand of polysemy (the capacity of a word or
ridiculous compilation of rules and guidelines that are always
phrase to hold many different meanings), English contains
followed except when they aren’t. Inconsistencies in spelling,
labyrinthine (complicated, intricate and confusing) words
pronunciation and verb conjugation are enough to drive one mad. There are times when patterns of our language flow so routinely and expectedly, they falsely lull us into a belief that English makes sense. Example: What a horror this is! This is horrible! I am horrified! This is horrific! What a terror this is! This is terrible! I am terrified! This is terrific! Wait ... did you say “terrific”? Those sentence groups mean almost exactly the same thing, right up until the part where they are complete opposites. Sink, sank, sunk: Sink is present tense. Sank
that are utterly superfluous (unnecessary,
Sometimes we sing a song that’s never been sung, but we never bring a brong that’s never been brung.
is past tense. Sunk is the past participle tense.
the following words and their definitions: Erinaceous: “of, pertaining to, or resembling a hedgehog.” Nudiustertian: “Something that happened two days ago.” Cruciverbalist: “a person who makes up crossword puzzles.” Using words like these is a bunch of grandiloquence: the pompous, bombastic, style of using language, and one that is overly complicated in order to attract admiration and attention, especially in order to make someone seem important, but actually adds up to nothing. In other words, my personal writing style. So, to my friends across this great country,
I sink the boat. He sank the boat. The boat has sunk. Likewise,
from Des Moines (“Duh-MOIN”) to Des Plaines (“Dez Plainz”), it’s
Drink, drank, drunk
true: Sometimes we articulate two mid-sized, Midwestern towns
Shrink, shrank, shrunk
of Frenchly-named origin only 331 miles apart in a completely
Think, thank, thunk
different manner. Sometimes we reiterate a point, even though
Sorry, “thank” and “thunk” are legitimate words used for other
“iterate” already means to repeat something. Sometimes we sing
purposes, so they can’t possibly be used again in “thinking”
a song that’s never been sung, but we never bring a brong that’s
context. Instead, use: Think, thought, thought.
never been brung. Sometimes we wonder why time flies like
As in, a ploughman thought about his doughy face as he sank
an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana. (Bananas are delicious.)
into the slough.
Yes, English is confusing. It can be understood through tough
You might be painting me as one of those grammar snobs
thorough thought, though.
who thinks he has all the answers. (I cited “past participle verb
conjugation,” after all.) I love correcting people on improper use of there/their/they’re as much as the next guy, but I’m far from a grammar expert. My rough drafts are littered with grammatical
excessive, needless). For example, take
4615 N. Lewis Ave. Sioux Falls, SD 57104
is an endless resource
At POET, we understand that when it comes to energy solutions, the earth provides everything we need, no drilling required. Right here in South Dakota, we use renewable resources to create biofuels, nutrient-rich proteins and oil alternatives. Even after three decades, brand new innovations keep sprouting.