THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE Spring 2019
ADVANCES IN INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY UNLOCK ACCESS TO CORN FIBER POET NAMED TO FAST COMPANY’S ANNUAL LIST OF WORLD’S MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES DOMINO EFFECT Corporate Sustainability Partnerships Have Impact Beyond Company Doors
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 POET Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of World’s Most Innovative Companies
12 Biofuels Are Key to Boost Ag Markets, Ag Policy Consultant Says ‘It’s going to be demand for ethanol that will help turn this boat around’
28 Domino Effect From Tyson Foods’ New Pact to POET’s Partnership with the City of Sioux Falls, Corporate Sustainability Partnerships Have Impact Beyond Company Doors
38 Advances in Innovation and Technology Unlock Access to Corn Fiber
Another Use for Lignin Research Collaboration Demonstrates Lignin, a Coproduct of Cellulosic Production, Is a Replacement for Fossil Fuel-based Glues
Visit VitalByPOET.com for exclusive online content.
Cover photo by Emily Spartz Weerheim
By Jeff Broin
Automotive Advice from the Under the Hood radio show
by Brian Hefty
by Ryan Welsh
Out Of Left Field
by Scott Johnson
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Prime the Pump
Energy For Life
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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.
In the spirit of its continued commitment to being good stewards of the environment, POET is proud to produce Vital using 100% recycled
Vital is published quarterly by POET, LLC and other individuals or entities. All materials within are subject to copyrights owned by POET. POET, JIVE, Dakota Gold, BPX, ProPellet and other associated designs and logos are registrations or trademarks of POET, LLC. Growth Energy is a registration or trademark of Growth Energy, a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the District of Columbia. Any reproduction of all or part of any document found in Vital is expressly prohibited, unless POET or the copyright owner of the material has expressly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit or republish the material. All other rights reserved. For questions, contact the POET legal department at 605.965.2200. The opinions and statements expressed by content contributors and advertisers in Vital are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of POET. Neither POET nor its third-party content providers shall be liable for any inaccuracies contained within Vital, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. ©2019 POET, LLC. All rights reserved. Publication Design & Layout: Cassie Medema email@example.com
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Taking care of future generations depends on plants like yours.
Your partner in feeding and fueling our growing world. The ethanol industry is built out of more than just plant infrastructure. It’s built on a shared responsibility to hand the next generation a sustainable future — and a thriving bioeconomy. As your industry partner, we’re committed to investing in products and solutions that help you do your job better. And we will continue to do so, keeping our innovation focused on giving you options so that you can succeed in any market condition.
Growth Energy 10 Years Leading an Industry
by Jeff Broin, Executive Chairman and CEO of POET
Time flies! It has been an entire decade since POET, along
number will increase quickly and significantly once RVP relief
with 10 other industry leaders, left behind the existing ethanol
is granted. In fact, we have enough commitments to reach 3,500
advocacy groups and launched Growth Energy. It was a bold
E15 locations within the next few years.
move, but the E10 Blend Wall was fast approaching and the
Today, Growth Energy is the largest organization of its kind
previous organizations weren’t doing enough to get us beyond it.
in the world, with a budget four times larger than any other
Little did we know that an organization formed out of necessity
ethanol trade association. While others’ membership and
would grow to not only lead the ethanol industry in the next 10
revenues are decreasing, ours are growing. We currently have
years but also change the world.
100 plant members and 88 associate members, as well as a
The formation of Growth Energy was far from impulsive; we had previously tried to unite the existing advocacy groups for the good of the industry. Although their boards of directors were interested, their executive directors worked hard to make sure it didn’t happen. Our goal to create a new industry powerhouse was scoffed at by many. However, there were 11 ethanol producers that understood the vision and wanted to see things handled differently in the future. That group decided to come together to take biofuels to the next level. Those companies had the courage to go against the grain in order to establish a new organization with the vitality, drive and budget to reach that goal — and quite frankly, there wasn’t another option. At the time, commodity supplies were increasing with no market to consume them. If we couldn’t obliterate the Blend Wall, the future looked bleak for ethanol and agriculture. But we saw opportunity just beyond that wall, so we
staff of 22 talented individuals located in six
There were 11 ethanol producers that understood the vision and wanted to see things handled differently in the future. That group decided to come together to take biofuels to the next level.
took the leap and established Growth Energy.
different cities across the country who work tirelessly every day to represent and champion our industry. We believe E15 will become America’s fuel in just a few short weeks, thanks in large part to the efforts of Growth Energy. E15 will create 7 billion gallons of new ethanol market and 2 billion bushels of new corn demand, and it will show the world that ethanol is the best readily available solution to global climate change. Once thought of as the underdog, Growth Energy has become the unlikely hero of the ethanol industry and has grown into a dynamic organization. Were it not for the vision of those 11 companies and the many members that have joined along the way, we would still be years away from realizing the market for E15. It took more than 30 years to convert the nation to E10, but the strides we’ve made with E15 in only a decade prove that Growth Energy is a
Our first action as an organization in 2008 — within the
great example of what it takes to be successful. Change requires
first month of operation — was the writing and filing of
extraordinary vision, significant risk and exceptionally hard
the E15 Green Jobs Waiver. In the years that followed, we
work. It takes the blood, sweat and tears of an army to move a
continued to take charge. Growth Energy took the lead on every
mountain. E15 is that mountain, and Growth Energy is our
legislative, political, legal and public relations issues facing the
industry on both federal and state levels.
I would like to thank and congratulate the board of directors
In 2013 we created the Prime the Pump initiative to generate
and members of Growth Energy as well as our highly dedicated
retail momentum for E15. Since its inception, Prime the Pump
staff for a remarkable 10 years. We are moving a mountain.
has become the largest marketing program in the history of
We are changing the world. We are creating a better future for
biofuels. Our retail partners are now selling biofuel blends at
everyone on the planet, and it’s something we should all be
more than 1,700 stations across 30 states, and we believe that
Providing Technologies that Bring More than Food to the Table Our processes and equipment contribute to thousands of products people use every day...from immune-boosting juices to the wine we drink in celebration. Even the condiments on our burgers, the cheese on our sandwiches and the vegetables that nourish us are processed with GEA equipment. Going beyond food, GEA solutions are put to use in power plants, on all types of boats and in water treatment plants. What’s more, sustainability and environmental conservation are key in each and every process we develop. That’s why our commitment to provide the separating technology required to produce renewable biofuels and agricultural co-products is as strong as ever. To learn more about GEA’s centrifuges and separation equipment and the industries we serve, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 800-722-6622, or visit us online at gea.com.
Biofuels Industry Leaders, Stakeholders Applaud EPA’s Plan to Provide Uninterrupted Access to E15 On March 12 the Environment Protection Agency (EPA)
near-term solution that can get agriculture out of crisis
announced its long-anticipated plan to allow uninterrupted
mode and help get farmers back on their feet,” Broin said.
access to E15, a fuel blend with 15 percent biofuel. The
In Iowa — the nation’s leading producer of biofuels —
EPA’s proposed rule would change the nearly 30-year-old
policymakers praised the announcement, saying it just
limitations on year-round E15, allowing consumers to have
makes sense for farmers and the U.S. economy.
unfettered access to the clean, lower-cost option at the
“Ending the nonsensical ban on summertime sales of
higher blends of ethanol is a no-brainer and a big victory for
Iowa, Midwest farmers and the country as whole,” said Sen.
announcement as a significant achievement for the industry
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a statement. Gov. Kim Reynolds
and a win for farmers, consumers and the environment.
said the proposed rule helps bring “greater stability to our
But many also expressed concerns to changes in the
Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market that could
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate
hinder investment in proposed higher blends.
Environment and Public Works Committee, also said she
“This rule is a critical milestone for rural Americans who
was “thrilled to see the proposed rule” and reiterated
make renewable biofuels and for all American drivers, who
the importance of the rule being in place in time for this
may soon have a cleaner, more affordable, higher-octane
summer’s driving season.
fuel all year long,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We
For Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate
look forward to working with the EPA to ensure that any
Agriculture Committee, the EPA’s plan is a long-awaited
changes — particularly in the RIN market — do not upend
announcement. In a statement, he noted that it is a win
the marketplace, and continue to encourage investment in
for farmers, consumer choice and energy security. “I’ve
E15 and other higher ethanol blends. We appreciate the
pushed for the year-round sale of E15 for over a decade,
administration’s efforts to fulfill the president’s promise
and I thank President Trump for his commitment to seeing
and will continue in our commitment to making the
this through. Extending E15 sales through the summer
environmental and economic benefits of E15 available to
driving season will expand consumer choice for a lower-
cost and cleaner fuel, reinforce our energy independence,
and provide a shot in the arm for our farmers.”
rulemaking process by June 1, in time for this summer’s
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also expressed that it has
driving season. During the rulemaking process, the EPA is
been a long fight to reach this point. “Allowing for the year-
accepting comments from biofuel producers, farmers and
round sale of E15 will give us cleaner, more affordable
fuel choices — it will bring down prices at the pump,
Year-round E15 sales will benefit not only consumers
strengthen our homegrown energy economy and decrease
but also help to boost the nation’s crippling ag economy,
our dependence on foreign oil. I have been fighting for
years to allow for the year-round sale of E15, and this
Agriculture (USDA) reports that the amount of debt held by
announcement is a positive step for consumers, farmers
America’s farmers reflects a level of strain that hasn’t been
and the environment.”
seen since the 1980s agricultural crisis.
EPA’s announcement is an example of a promise kept
The rule is anticipated to bring in demand for an
by the Trump administration, said Congresswoman Cheri
additional 7 billion gallons of ethanol in the coming years,
Bustos (D-Ill., 17th District). In a statement, she applauded
which will require an additional 2 billion bushels of corn
“the White House for finally taking this commonsense step
that will help farmers and consumers across the heartland.”
Year-round E15 is a fundamental step to remedy the ag economy, said POET CEO Jeff Broin. “Biofuels are the only
What is E15? Ethanol is an advanced, homegrown biofuel that is already in 98 percent of the U.S. fuel supply and is moving America forward every day. And E15 — a fuel blend with 15 percent biofuel — gives drivers across the country a cleaner, higher-performing and more affordable choice at the pump. Did you know? E15: • Is a higher-blend, higher-octane fuel choice • Burns cleaner and cooler, which is good for your engine • Utilizes more earth-friendly ethanol, which cuts carbon emissions by 43 percent and displaces chemicals that create smog and are linked to cancer and asthma
E15 for Drivers: • E15 is sold at more than 1,700 locations across 30 states • The EPA has approved E15 for cars 2001 or newer • E15 is approved by automakers for 93 percent of new vehicles • Using E15 saves drivers up to 10 cents per gallon compared to traditional fuel • American motorists have driven seven billion miles on E15
E15 for Our Communities: • E15 offers an opportunity to reverse a 44 percent plunge in farm income over the last six years • E15 boosts employment by 136,000 jobs, on top of nearly 366,000 jobs nationwide supported by ethanol today • E15 creates a market for up to seven billion additional gallons of U.S. ethanol and two billion bushels of American corn • Support rural manufacturing at more than 200 biofuel plants across the heartland by using E15
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Join POET PAC Today POET PAC is committed to advancing the interests of its members through educating legislators and regulators on the benefits of biofuels
WHAT does POET PAC do? POET PAC builds strategic relationships with and educates policy leaders on issues that are important to our industry and supports candidates who will be bold champions for the biofuel and agricultural industries in Washington D.C.
WHY is having POET PAC so important to the industry? What happens in Washington D.C. over the next few years will impact the biofuel and agricultural industries for the next decade. POET PAC must invest in champions who are on the frontlines of our most difficult battles as our biggest competitors invest millions to undermine our success. PAC dollars are strategically used to: • Keep congressional seats in the hands of pro-biofuel and agricultural lawmakers • Counter the influence of anti-biofuel candidates and lawmakers • Reserve our industry a seat at the table during critical discussions that impact the future of biofuels and rural America
WHO can make a difference? YOU! Your investment in POET PAC today will go a long way in helping create a pipeline of champions and a bright future for biofuels and rural America. The future of biofuels and rural America depends on YOU. Join today!
FAST FACTS FACT 1 POET PAC collects voluntary contributions from people who want to influence the decisions made in Washington D.C. that impact the future of biofuels and rural America.
Over 1,600 members strong
FACT 2 The key advantage of a well-financed PAC is that small and large individual contributions are pooled together to go against our well-funded opponents. PAC members from all over the country fight for a better future.
FACT 3 POET PAC is bipartisan and does not consider a candidateâ€™s political affiliation when making contribution decisions. PAC dollars are strategically utilized to support those who support issues that are important to the biofuel and agricultural industries.
2018 POET PAC Distribution:
How do I join? www.poetpac.com
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 THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
POET Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of The World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019
POET, the world’s largest producer
the way in bioproducts and biofuel
New studies on global warming
of biofuels, has been named to Fast
from 13 U.S. federal agencies and the
Company’s prestigious annual list of
“Our world is addicted to fossil
United Nations continue to indicate
fuels. At POET, we’re breaking that
the urgency of this problem and the
addiction,” POET CEO and Founder
need for biofuels as the solution.
highlights businesses with the most
Jeff Broin said. “Biofuels like ethanol
impactful innovations from the past
are the best solution to reverse the
continue to show the wide-reaching
devastating effects of climate change
effects of air pollution on human
POET’s mission centers on being
caused by a century of burning
health. A study from the University
good stewards of the Earth and on
of Texas found that, looking globally,
developing technologies to efficiently
extends beyond the fuel tank; we’re
outdoor air pollution reduces the
average life expectancy at birth by
oil alternatives to clean the air and
from starch and biomass including a
reverse the detrimental impacts of
new eco-friendly, renewable asphalt
“There’s really only one readily
component for U.S. roadways. We’re
available solution to reduce the impact
POET is being recognized for this
making the roads we drive on as
of emissions from the transportation
award for the company’s pioneering
green as the biofuels used to power
sector: biofuels like ethanol,” Broin
work on its JIVE™ asphalt rejuvenation
noted. “Omitting the flawed theory
product. POET and JIVE earned the No.
of indirect land use change, biofuels
3 spot in the transportation category.
recognized by Fast Company for
are currently more than 60 percent
JIVE allows asphalt producers to use
creating sustainable solutions to our
cleaner than gasoline.”
more recycled asphalt, which makes
world’s most challenging problems,”
POET is featured in Fast Company’s
their product less expensive and is
Broin said. “At POET, we’re committed
Most Innovative Companies issue
better for the environment. The latest
to striving for innovations to help
in POET’s co-products, JIVE is another
build a sustainable future for our
available online and in app form on
example of how POET is leading
children and grandchildren.”
Ethanol Is the Fuel of Cars, Conversations Automotive advice from The Under The Hood radio show
Ethanol is the fuel that feeds not only our engines’ fire
their cars without having to go into their shop. From those
but also the fire of many conversations. It is our belief that
conversations we find that many shops have told them to
ethanol is the fuel that can make a difference in our future.
not use ethanol so they are leery of it and switch between
It’s clean burning, renewable and good for our vehicles.
10 percent and no ethanol or buying premium non-ethanol
That is what we believe now, but even as mechanics we
fuel when their car didn’t require it. Under The Hood is not
needed education first to reach that conclusion. In 1990, when I came to South Dakota, one of the first things I noticed was a difference at the fuel pump. The pump read “contains ethanol.” I wasn’t sure what it meant, so I asked and received a mix of everything from love to hate. I had been a mechanic for a while and I had to make a choice, and my choice was to use ethanol. My car was a carbureted 1979 Chevrolet. While driving it for another 15 years, I never had an issue with it due to the fuel. I spent a large amount of time over those years as a mechanic and attending trainings
independent trainers. Working with mechanics, technicians often discussed ethanol. Cars would come in, and when a drivability issue couldn’t be nailed down as one specific thing, a lot of techs would say, “It has to be the fuel, so try non-ethanol gas.” I have now been a
about politics; it’s about what’s good for
Under The Hood is not about politics; it’s about what’s good for your car. We will continue to bring our listeners information that helps them save money and keep their car running as best as it can.
mechanic for over 30 years, and while
your car. We will continue to bring our listeners information that helps them save money and keep their car running as best as it can. We believe there is a need for educating both
consumer. For years we have listened to mechanics and consumers who have said ethanol is bad. But when you ask them why, they can’t give an educated answer
testing. Rather, it’s from word of mouth. As a mechanic and talk show host, I strive to know more. I look at many test results and ask my friends who are mechanics to show me evidence of parts that failed due to ethanol. All of the results I found reaffirm my decision that ethanol is the best choice for a car’s fuel. I will continue to research and study findings as automobiles change. The Under The Hood radio show is America’s Favorite Car-talk show heard on over 230 stations and podcast. The Motor Medics — Russ, Chris and Shannon
some views on ethanol have changed, others have not.
— are three great
Unfortunately, most of it is based solely on opinion.
friends having fun
As the working manager of an automotive service center,
and offering a wide
it is my job to pass on accurate information to my customers.
range of automotive
Consumers want to know how to care for their vehicles, and
advice without the
the No. 1 source for their information is often the shop that
services their vehicle. As the host of Under The Hood, my
partners and myself also are a source of that information
over the radio where listeners tune in to learn more about
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
BIOFUELS ARE KEY TO BOOST AG MARKETS, AG POLICY CONSULTANT SAYS ‘It’s going to be demand for ethanol that will help turn this boat around’ by Steve Lange
The recent ag headlines don’t paint a pretty picture for
Miller grew up on and eventually ran his family’s century-
old farm in Washington state before getting more involved in lobbying efforts and moving to the other Washington —
“Corn prices hovering at 10-year lows.” “Corn carryover
D.C. — to serve as vice president for government affairs at
threatening to break 30-year highs.”
the National Association of Wheat Growers. He served a two-year stint as Under Secretary for Farm and Agricultural
“Interest rates and farm debts rising.” “Farm profits falling.”
Services, held a senior position for the National Farmers Union, and has spent the last five years as the Vice President
“Farm bankruptcies up.” “Farm investments down.”
and Chief Economist for Growth Energy.
For some, the news reminds them a bit too much of the late
Today, Miller is still watching those headlines and pushing
1970s and early 80s, just before the ag industry fell into its
for policy changes from Arizona, where he runs Agriculture
worst six-year stretch since the Great Depression.
and Biofuel Policy Consulting (ABPC), a company he started in 2017.
Jim Miller, a farmer and longtime ag policy consultant, has closely followed and sometimes helped lead U.S. policies on
In this interview for Vital magazine, Miller discusses
agriculture, energy and trade for more than 40 years.
biofuels’ ability to lift agriculture out of a crisis, the importance of value-added products, and the anticipated
He was farming during that 1980s ag crisis. He was helping
uptick in grain and ethanol demand from year-round E15.
craft policy soon after it.
Vital: Can you, in a few words, characterize the current state of the ag economy?
Miller: I think everyone in the industry is looking at, “Okay, how do we process this corn into other products?” One key element is the bioethanol industry. That is our
Miller: Pretty poor. That’s primarily due to declining commodity prices, especially for major grains such as corn, wheat and soybeans.
best opportunity to increase demand for corn. We need to increase the production of ethanol and find good markets both at home and around the world. If we can do that, we can work our way through this.
Vital: So, are we in the middle of a farm crisis? Miller: I don’t know that I would characterize it as a crisis at the moment. But if these commodity prices continue to be depressed and we continue to see a fairly significant uptick in the number of farmers declaring bankruptcy, we could be entering a crisis.
Vital: OK. So why isn’t the answer just to export more corn? Miller: History has shown that we just don’t see huge changes in the amount of demand for number two yellow corn around the world. We really haven’t seen any sort of a major shift in the export demand for yellow corn in decades.
Vital: Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently said conditions today mirror the early ‘80s: ever-increasing yields, falling profits, rising interest rates. Do those comparisons scare you? Miller: Well, they can. The domestic market for major agricultural commodities is pretty well saturated. A lot of what we need centers on international trade. What we really have to do is find new demand for corn around the world, especially if we’re going to continue to have the kinds of productivity increases that we’re witnessing.
Vital: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is predicting nearly 2 billion bushels of corn carryout (or “ending stocks”). How do we work through that huge corn inventory?
Vital: Is there a history of biofuels helping pull ag out of this kind of crisis? Miller: Yes. Historically, biofuels have done that repeatedly. If one looks back over the past 10 to 20 years, and especially from the time that the U.S. passed its Renewable Fuel Standard, you see the ethanol industry has continued to figure out new and better ways to export this excess corn. And now the industry utilizes about 5.6 billion bushels of corn to produce ethanol as well as coproducts such as distillers grains. The real change in the demand for corn has come from the ethanol industry over the last decade or so. And there are opportunities for that demand to continue to grow.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
US FARM INCOME
0 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016
Vital: How will it grow?
Miller: That demand will grow through higher ethanol blend grades in the United States and through rapid increases in the amount of ethanol being demanded in many overseas markets. It’s going to be that demand for ethanol that will help turn this boat around.
Vital: The EPA has announced a proposed rule that allows retailers to sell E15 yearround, including summer. Is that one of those steps in the right direction? Miller: Oh, it certainly is. Allowing E15 to be marketed year-round will result in a significant increase in the number of retailers that begin to offer E15. That’s a big step to introduce more ethanol into the market.
Vital: You’ve been doing this for a long time. Is this still exciting for you? Miller: Oh, yes. Agriculture — and especially the bioethanol industry — are both extraordinarily
Vital: What are some of the things that let you sleep at night?
exciting. There are going to be even more opportunities in agriculture. Bioethanol has changed the game in the last decade when it comes to new markets for corn around the world, and
Miller: Well, I’m optimistic that our trade relationship
that has certainly kept things exciting in the industry.
with China, particularly in the areas of agriculture and energy, can get resolved in a way that’s favorable to the United States. That is a huge — albeit, almost always uncertain — market, but it portends opportunities for a significant part of U.S. agriculture. … And we’ve got one country that could really be a game changer, and that is India. It’s the world’s largest democracy, second most populous country, has a rising middle class, huge environmental air quality problems. But they’ve also had a very protectionist policy. Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the U.S. Grains Council continue to work very hard in India to get a policy that would encourage increased ethanol production. Selling biofuels into these new markets could make a big difference in helping the farm industry by moving that excess corn.
Vital: Can biofuels be a game changer when it comes to turning the current ag economy around? Miller: Definitely. Biofuels is certainly the leader in the kinds of new products, like distillers grains and corn oil, we can and need to export. We have so many uses for biofuels now. The growth in demand as well as the increased global interest in ethanol bodes well for us. Biofuels continue to lead in terms of helping create the demand for corn that our farmers need so badly. We know biofuels can help turn this thing around. We just need some help to make that happen.
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Part 4 of a series that focuses on POETâ€™s collaboration with area universities.
ANOTHER USE FOR LIGNIN Research Collaboration Demonstrates an Additional Way to Replace Petrochemicals With a Renewable Alternative by Steve Lange | photos by Brian Koch
In a lab at Michigan State University
lignin, Nejad’s research was the first
walls, is the second-most abundant
(MSU), researchers are trying to
to prove the viability of 100 percent
natural polymer in the world, behind
revolutionize the wood adhesives
replacement of phenol with lignin.
only cellulose. As part of their “use
industry using an agricultural co-
Using a bio-based alternative instead
every byproduct” philosophy, the
product supplied by the team at
of a toxic, chemical-based one offers
team at POET burns the dry lignin to
POET’s Project LIBERTY, POET-DSM
the potential to bring not only health
create steam that provides heat and
benefits for construction workers
power to Project LIBERTY.
scale cellulosic biofuels facility in
and consumers at large but also cost
When Nejad analyzed POET lignin
Emmetsburg, Iowa. The joint POET-
savings for the adhesive industry. The
isolated from corn stover, she found
DSM venture uses biowaste like corn
collaboration has been successful,
that POET lignin is a suitable lignin to
cobs, leaves and husk to produce
group members from POET and MSU
replace petroleum-based phenol.
say, in part because of their shared
“Our goal is to convince adhesive
What MSU researcher and assistant
vision to replace petrochemicals with
producers that they can formulate
professor Dr. Mojgan Nejad’s team
green, renewable alternatives. The
a bio-based adhesive with similar
has found is that lignin — organic
POET/MSU collaboration recently won
performance as a petroleum-based
material that is left over from biofuel
the 2018 Small Business Innovation
adhesive using lignin,” Nejad says. “I
production — can completely replace
Award from the Adhesive and Sealant
had wanted to be a chemistry professor
Council for the group’s efforts.
since I was 9 years old, and now that I
ingredient in wood adhesives. In
Lignin has long been considered to
have my dream job, I am passionate to
the last 30 or so years of published
have little marketable value. Lignin,
see that our work can make a positive
which acts as natural glue in plant cell
change in the world. This work has
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Steve Bly and Tyler Jordison look at a lignin sample from Project LIBERTY in POETâ€™s research lab. The sample will be sent to Michigan State University for further analysis.
POET-DSM uses biowaste like corn cobs, leaves and husks to produce cellulosic ethanol.
Lignin is an organic material that is left over from biofuel production.
PLYWOOD The plywood produced with lignin-based adhesive was shown to have similar wet and dry adhesion strengths as a commercially formulated adhesive.
This lignin sample from Project LIBERTY will be sent to Mojgan Nejad at Michigan State University.
This work has a great potential to improve the health of industry and construction workers and also the general public by reducing their exposure to phenol and formaldehyde.
contains 50 percent less formaldehyde
for POET and Nejad to again work
than the petroleum-based phenolic
together. They had started working
adhesive that is currently available on
together six years earlier, when Nejad
was doing her postdoctoral research
at the University of Toronto.
the most common adhesive in the
When Nejad asked for samples from
production of exterior-grade wood
POET, the company shipped lignin in
products (plywood, oriented strand
various forms. The lignin from Project
boards and laminated veneer lumber),
LIBERTY, turned out to be different
and had a market value of $11 billion
than other lignins. It also turned out
in 2016, a number expected to grow
to be the best candidate for phenol
to $16 billion by 2022, according
to Stratistics MRC, a global market
“The collaboration with Mojgan
and Michigan State has been great
The switch could be a direct savings
for everyone involved,” says Tyler
for the adhesive industry, since the
Jordison, a POET research scientist
phenol is petroleum-based and its
a great potential to improve the
cost fluctuates with the price of oil,
“She mentors us on lignin and its
health of industry and construction
unlike lignin that is produced from
composition and capabilities, and
workers and also the general public
agricultural waste produced in the
we have shown her how it may be
by reducing their exposure to phenol
possible to produce these results
and formaldehyde. We found that
This type of project focused on
on a large scale. Her lab results of
the developed lignin-based adhesive
sustainability seemed like a great fit
replacing phenols with lignin have
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Mojgan Nejad (center) with her group from Michigan State University in 2017.
Tyler Jordison, POET research scientist, has worked with Michigan State University on looking at ligninâ€™s composition and capabilities.
been surprisingly positive.”
also replace 100 percent
“We were hoping to get maybe
of formaldehyde with
60 percent of phenol with lignin,”
says Nejad. She was at a conference
raw material, but we
when her PhD student (Isal Kalami)
now have a formulation
called and was excited to report, after
that has very similar
continuing to increase the mixture,
“the adhesive developed by replacing
100 percent of phenol with lignin, had
excellent water resistance and did not
dissolve in water after 24 hours of a
are now happy to see
We believe in this collaboration with Michigan State. And finding a use for a biochemical as an alternative compound to a petrochemical completely aligns with the mission and vision of POET.
producers are seriously looking
phenol with lignin.” For POET Bioproducts Research Director Steve Bly, the lignin research shows
more important is the long-term,
these collaborations is that they benefit both POET and the university
is in nature,” she says. “We believe
researchers,” says Bly, now in his
in this collaboration with Mojgan.
tenth year at POET. “We’re involved in
We believe in this collaboration with
a number of these collaborations, and
Michigan State. And finding a use
the university professors extend our
for a biochemical as an alternative
reach from a research perspective.
water immersion test.”
Mojgan is a well-respected expert in
completely aligns with the mission
Nejad and her team then began
lignin utilization and her knowledge
and vision of POET.”
to work on optimizing the resin and
in this area helps to accelerate our
And for Mojgan Nejad, that big-
adhesive formulations, and received
even more promising results. With
feedback, and show them real-world
ingredients with safe alternatives is a
the new mixture, the amount of
standpoint. Even hundreds of miles
“We can really do this,” she says.
toxic, and its emission is always a
apart, we’re working together for the
“We can change an entire industry
concern with woods products — was
same goal: replacing toxic petroleum-
for the better. We can make the whole
decreased by 50 percent.
based compounds with something
world safer. Everything that is made
Various tests proved the wet and dry
that’s safe and grows naturally.”
of petrochemicals we could someday
adhesion performance of developed
Margaret Slupska, Lignocellulosic
replace with plant-based materials.
lignin-based glue were similar to
Research Director at POET, agrees.
Think what a difference that would
compound when you think about how
Nejad. “We need more research to
it is structured and how abundant it
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
PRIME THE PUMP
Kum & Go Continues to See Success With Offering E15 by Janna Farley Kum & Go is no stranger to the
“They were interested, but they
“That’s really driven the adoption of
didn’t know if they could use E15 with
E15,” Herro says.
The chain has been an industry
their engine,” he says.
Since it launched E15, Kum & Go has
Kum & Go’s initial success with E15
been working with Prime the Pump
fuels. In the 1970s, Kum & Go was
can be attributed to the Prime the
on how to consistently brand E15
among the first to offer 10 percent
across the industry, testing different
ethanol blends. In 1997, the chain
expanded its fuel options to include
retailers have started using the name
E85. In 2015, E15 — a fuel blend with
“Unleaded 88” at the pump instead
15 percent biofuel — was added to the
early retail adopters of higher-level
of the trade name E15, but many
biofuel blends by awarding grants
retailers are still evaluating options
Along with its core values of
to help with their initial investments
for what makes the most sense for
caring, excellence, integrity, passion
consumers at the pump.
“Our goal throughout the branding process has been to make it easier
says Sam Herro, Director of Retail
$85 million in this initiative. Those
to be an E15 customer, whether that
Fuels for Kum & Go.
retailers involved in the initiative have
Today, E15 is available at 120 Kum &
seen a competitive advantage with
88,” Herro says. “Through several
Go locations and is quickly expanding
higher income, lower pump prices
to more. The chain is moving into
and higher-octane E15, as well as
the Denver market this year and E15
increased traffic to their convenience
will be in every new store that the
company builds there.
It didn’t take long for Kum & Go
“The Denver metro area is a
customers to learn that E15 is a
dynamic market, and we see demand
cleaner-burning, higher-octane and
for E15,” Herro says. “We believe that
more affordable choice. “People are
it will be a differentiator for us in the
starting to get the message that it’s
the most tested fuel ever,” Herro says. &
“They know it’s safe to use.”
introduced E15, Herro admits that
Add a better price point into the
customers were a little uncertain.
equation and the decision is easy.
Any time you are able to offer more of what the consumer is asking for, you are setting yourself up for success. Not all of our competitors have embraced it yet. It has been a profitable fuel for us. It’s beneficial to both customers and Kum & Go. Sam Herro, Director of Retail Fuels for Kum & Go
names in different markets. Several
biofuels industry has invested nearly
sustainability is a corporate priority,
PRIME THE PUMP
KUM & GO FAST FACTS highly targeted campaigns we have been asking ourselves, ‘How can we highlight the benefits or E15 without causing confusion?” What E15 is called can change the perception of the fuel and influence sales, Herro says. “Prime the Pump has been very helpful in guiding where we’re at today and where we’re going to be in the next few years. It’s been a very good partnership.” More than that, however, it’s been good for Kum & Go’s business. “Any time you are able to offer more of what the consumer is asking for, you are setting yourself up for success. Not all of our competitors have embraced it yet,” Herro says. “It has been a profitable fuel for us. It’s beneficial to both customers and Kum
Founded in Hampton, Iowa, in 1959 by William A. Krause and Tony S. Gentle. Today, Kum & Go is still a family-owned operation run by Kyle J. Krause, son and grandson of the original founders. Kum & Go employs more than 5,000 people in 400 stores across 11 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming).
Every year, Kum & Go donates 10 percent of its profits to good causes in the communities it serves. Since 2011, all new Kum & Go stores have been designed, constructed and submitted for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
How Can Farmers Beat Mother Nature? by Brian Hefty At first glance, raising great crops looks almost impossible;
over a few weeks and plant both early and late-maturing crops.
Mother Nature is a powerful force.
Along those same lines, we advise farmers to plant multiple
Here are some of the challenges that farmers must face: The
seed varieties, because each variety responds differently based
weather is often too cold, too wet, too hot, too dry, too windy,
on all the environmental challenges the year will bring. As we
too sunny or too cloudy. You know that the average is just the
drive through the field with our planter today, we can seed two
number in between all the extremes we get each year, right?
different varieties, and each variety can be planted at different
Even if the weather is perfect, farmers fight weeds, diseases,
populations, higher or lower based on agronomic factors. By
insects, nematodes and other pests that can damage or even
better matching up the crop density and variety to the area of
destroy the crop. Despite all the control methods farmers use to
the field we are seeding, we set ourselves up for better success.
stop these yield-robbers, they still have to face a number of soil
Seed treatments. The corn we will plant on our farm this
issues, including poor drainage, compaction, excess sodium or
year will have 33 different products on it. Our soybeans will
magnesium, soil composition that is too light (sandy and usually
have even more than that. Twenty-five years ago, our corn and
too little organic matter) or too heavy (excess clay or organic
our soybean seed each had just one treatment. Many of the
matter), and of course, soil erosion, which is usually worse the
issues I listed previously mean that each seed a farmer places
greater the slope of the land.
in the soil must run the gauntlet in terms of challenges. Today’s
I could continue these lists, but I think you get the point.
seed treatments help seed fight off pests and solubilize more
Farming is challenging, and we haven’t even talked about
nutrients to emerge quicker and healthier, which ultimately
commodity prices, land and equipment costs, labor, insurance,
leads to higher yields.
interest, and so many other factors that impact success and
Improving soil health. From reducing tillage to using cover
crops, farmers are typically trying to increase soil organic
The title for this article is “How Can Farmers Beat Mother
matter if it is low, and they are working to increase beneficial
Nature?” The simple answer is, they can’t! However, by working
microbial life in the soil. Other steps to a healthier soil include
in conjunction with Mother Nature, rolling with whatever
improving drainage, getting pH in the six range, having massive
challenges come up, and being prepared for what comes next,
plant root systems which in part means ample and balanced soil
farmers continue to increase yields. Here are some of the ways
fertility, and the use of manure or compost when possible.
they are doing this.
Farming has never been more challenging. There are a lot
Spreading risk. Rather than planting the entire crop in one
of dollars at stake, and so much of what happens during the
day, we always encourage farmers to spread planting dates
growing season is beyond the farmers’ control. Nevertheless, by focusing on what can be controlled, farmers continue to do a fantastic job increasing yields and providing more healthy food. I say this often, but I don’t think it can be said enough: We need to thank the American farmer every day, because here in the U.S. we have the safest, most abundant and least expensive food supply in the world!
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. ®
RENEWABLE FUEL POWERED BY SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
POET BIOREFINING – CHANCELLOR POET Biorefining – Chancellor is the model for solving the problems facing our world due to climate change. By using a diverse system of renewable energy sources – landfill gas, waste wood and a steam turbine – this facility is producing some of the cleanest biofuel on the planet.
LANDFILL GAS PROVIDES 10% OF TOTAL ENERGY NEEDS
Through a partnership with the City of Sioux Falls landfill, landfill gas is collected, compressed and sent to POET for direct use to replace natural gas useage.
SOLID FUEL BOILER PROVIDES 30% OF TOTAL ENERGY NEEDS
The boiler produces steam to run the bioprocessing plant, which is fueled by waste wood. Fuel includes fallen trees, manufacturing waste, old pallets, barn wood and trees infected with Emerald ash borer beetle.
STEAM TURBINE PROVIDES 35% OF ELECTRICAL NEEDS
High-pressure steam produced by the solid fuel boiler creates electricity. The exhaust of the turbine (lowpressure steam) is used as process heat in the plant.
DOMINO EFFECT 28
Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken watch as POET CEO Jeff Broin signs a 10-year contract to renew POET’s partnership with the City of Sioux Falls to power POET Biorefining – Chancellor with waste methane generated at the Sioux Falls Regional Landfill.
From Tyson Foods’ New Pact to POET’s Partnership with the City of Sioux Falls, Corporate Sustainability Partnerships Have Impact Beyond Company Doors by Rob Swenson The first in a Vital-exclusive series on corporate sustainability.
photo by Brian Koch THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
sustainability and has evolved into “one of the greatest renewable energy
renewed partnership between POET
stories on the planet,” said POET CEO
and for good reason.
Biorefining – Chancellor and the Sioux
Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill, both
Over the last 10 years, the plant’s use
of which are in southeastern South
of landfill gas during its production
process has offset nearly 200,000
offset fossil fuel — is a model for
important. consumers work
climate change and sustainable food
metric tons of CO2 from natural gas.
the City of Sioux Falls, methane gas
That’s equal to one year of greenhouse
formed by decomposing waste at a
gas emissions from 23,000 homes.
companies are asking for more of it.
landfill is piped underground for
Many U.S. businesses and other
11 miles and burned at the biofuel-
organizations increasingly are seeking
producing plant near the small town
mutually beneficial agreements to
of Chancellor to help create renewable
enhance the sustainability of their
fuel. The practice began in 2009, and
operations. The benefits of such
a second, 10-year agreement recently
partnerships often extend beyond the
companies’ doors to tackle important
environmental and social issues like
other energy sources that further
At POET – Chancellor, roughly half of the plant’s energy needs are supplied by renewable energy. The plant produces biofuel with the lowest carbon intensity of POET’s bioprocessing facilities, utilizing gas and biomass for energy.
POET Agreement Is ‘Win-win’ The
both for sustainability and citizens, political leaders noted at a press conference for the new agreement at
“Thanks to our partnership with
generates approximately $1.5 million
At the bioprocessing plant, the gas
POET, the city is able to provide a
in revenue per year for landfill
is used to power a boiler and dryers to
renewable fuel to POET’s biofuel
operations, said Dustin Hansen, the
dry distillers grain.
production operations to make a
city’s former Landfill Supervisor. He
Bart Plocher, General Manager at
renewable fuel,” said Sioux Falls
recently became Sioux Falls’ Street
POET Biorefining – Chancellor, expects
the plant to continue to burn all the
gas sales to POET also keeps landfill
The revenue from selling landfill gas
gas the that the landfill can produce
fees low. All around, a win-win
allows Sioux Falls to hold down fees
in coming years as the plant strives to
for sustainable energy and landfill
charged to the public for disposing
customers in the five-county service
trash, Hansen and Cotter said. The
city has avoided increasing tipping
“It’s been a huge success for both
fees at the landfill for several years.
parties. We’re so excited to have it and
“We’ve got some of the lowest landfill
to extend out that contract for another
rates in the region,” Cotter said.
10 years,” said Rachel Kloos, Plant
Manager. “It has been just an amazing
Chancellor plant got started when
project from the very get-go.”
Sioux Falls officials started looking for
Mark Cotter, Sioux Falls’ Director of
an industrial customer for the landfill
Public Works, agrees. “It’s really been
gas, and the POET plant stepped
a great public-private partnership, a
win-win for both sides,” Cotter said.
Before the partnership was worked
“It’s a very responsible way to manage
out in about 2008, the potentially
dangerous gas produced at the landfill
The Chancellor facility’s agreement
was wasted. It was collected and
with the landfill, which serves a five-
burned off into the atmosphere.
county area, has had documented
Now, a network of about 150
vertical and horizontal wells in new
The steady supply of methane, or
and old disposal pits collect the gas,
landfill gas, provides about 10 percent
which is created by the decomposition
of the fuel needed to run a boiler and
of cellulosic waste, such as food and
create a better environment with its
corn dryers at the ethanol plant, and
lawn clippings. The gas is transported
practices as well as its products.
the cost is typically below the market
to the Chancellor area in a 12-inch,
“In terms of embodying what we
rate for natural gas.
plastic pipe that is buried along public
try to do, there are few practical
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
rights of way.
We know that longterm success requires industry leadership coupled with strategic partnership and innovation. Collaboration enables us to learn and share best practices with like-minded organizations.
applications that are quite as clear as
to hold down water consumption,
the landfill agreement with the City of
even though water availability is not a
Sioux Falls,” Plocher said.
widespread problem in the Northern
Having access to landfill gas gives
Plains, Kloos said.
the plant more diversity in market
“Sustainability sometimes isn’t the
options to meet its energy needs, Kloos
easy choice, but it’s the right choice,”
said. Making use of a non-fossil energy
source also is civically responsible for
Tyson Partnership Could Have Widereaching Impact
a company that produces green fuel, she said. “Part of our mission is to be environmentally friendly. This fits into that perfectly,” she said. “We’ve got to practice what we preach.”
Another sustainability agreement
The Chancellor plant preserves
on a national scale stands to offer far-
resources in other ways, too. It also
reaching benefits as well by helping to
burns chips from scrap wood as a
meet growing consumer demand for
supplemental energy source to help
sustainably grown food.
reduce consumption of natural gas
The agreement that was announced
and electricity. The plant also strives
Working with EDF enables us to bring together the best of our joint expertise in supply chain and sustainable agriculture while delivering value to growers, businesses and the environment.
photo by Emily Spartz Weerheim
Methane is collected in perforated pipes through wells at the landfill and then compressed in a gas compressor before it’s sent to POET Biorefining – Chancellor.
POET CEO Jeff Broin discusses the benefits of POET’s partnership with the City of Sioux Falls, calling POET Biorefining – Chancellor “one of the greatest renewable energy stories in the world.” photo by Brian Koch
based Tyson Foods Inc. and the
produced in the United States comes
and impact of sustainable farming
Environmental Defense Fund, or EDF,
from the company.
in New York. The two organizations
The Environmental Defense Fund,
The Farmers Business Network and
are working together on a pilot
or EDF, is a nonprofit, environmental-
MyFarms have been enlisted to enroll
program to identify and advance
farmers who will provide information
sustainable farming practices.
“We know that long-term success
information will help Tyson and EDF
two entities is intended to develop
make supply-chain assessments.
coupled with strategic partnership
initiatives that will support Tyson’s
The information also could result
and innovation,” said Caroline Ahn,
sustainability goals and help meet
in data that will help farmers, said
Manager of Executive Communications
Charles Baron, Cofounder and Vice
for Tyson. “Collaboration enables us
sustainably grown food.
President of Product for the Farmers
to learn and share best practices with
“Working with EDF enables us
Business Network, or FBN. The FBN is
to bring together the best of our
based in San Carlos, Calif. and has an
operations center in Sioux Falls.
and the EDF could have far-reaching
and sustainable agriculture while
“There’s a whole host of things that
influence on agricultural production
farmers could be getting compensated
because positive practices that emerge
businesses and the environment,”
for if we could create markets for them
from the project are expected to be
and provide tracking or traceability
shared with the public.
Jenny Ahlen, Director of the Supply
all the way back to the field,” Baron
Chain EDF+Business Program at EDF,
said. “We want our growers to get
alone, would be significant because
said the prospect of Tyson proving
more revenue for what’s unique
Tyson is the largest food-production
that farming practices can be good for
about their farm or something unique
company in the United States and one
the planet as well as profits has game-
about the crops that they’re growing.”
of the biggest in the world. About 20
changing potential. Scientific analysis
percent of the chicken, beef and pork
will be used to measure the benefits
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
Big Things, Small Beginnings Richard Childress Racing, the Team With Humble Roots, Celebrates 50th Anniversary by Ryan Welsh Richard Childress Racing (RCR) was started with humble roots
opportunity to race and brought home $4,000, which was used
by Richard Childress in 1969 and has grown over the years to
to start his race shop and keep the dream alive. It is said that he
become a renowned, performance-driven racing, marketing
celebrated post-race with champagne and a bologna sandwich.
and manufacturing organization. Childress, the man behind
Champagne and bologna may provide the perfect analogy for
RCR, is a staunch supporter of the ethanol industry and sits on
Childress’ life and career. He has reached the pinnacle of the
Growth Energy’s board of directors. The championship-winning
sport but still enjoys repairing fence posts at his Montana home
NASCAR™ team celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019.
during family vacations.
From the moment you meet Childress, you feel at home.
Long-time NASCAR publicist and author Ed Hinton once
Whether you encounter him at a race track, a farm show or a
compared Childress to a Charles Dickens character like Oliver
partner event, his cheerful, “Hi, how are y’all doing?” greeting is
Twist or Pip from “Great Expectations.” To me, that is a spot-
sincere and friendly. Humility is prevalent.
on. I would want to blend in the roles of Atticus Finch and
Rocky Balboa. Childress
may seem to some like
NASCAR Champion car
an undrafted MVP of
owner today, Childress
the Super Bowl or an
peanuts at his local short
America. However, when
we think of Childress,
we see a champion of
Salem, N.C., where he
NASCAR, a champion of
American Ethanol, and a
as Tim Flock and Junior
humble guy who is living
Johnson battle on the
track. It was at Bowman Grey
developed his passion for motorsports. Childress, who has worked his entire life and has had jobs as varied as cleaning the lunch room at school to bootlegging liquor at an all-night gas station, saved his money and gathered enough to buy his first race car for $20. His first big break came during the notorious drivers’ strike at Talladega Speedway in 1969. Since the top-level drivers refused to drive due to the danger of a new racing surface, Childress had the Richard’s first race car he purchased for $20
RCR’s First Race Shop
ENERGY FOR LIFE the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks
THE BENEFITS OF A SPIRITUAL SPRING CLEANING
what the heart is full of.”
4. DUST It amazes me how quickly dust and dirt can build up. If left unattended, layers will start to form. The same is true of our past. Mistakes are meant to be learned from and let go of. If you find yourself dwelling on a past mistake, get out the dust cloth, show yourself some
by Melissa Fletcher, Spiritual Care Advisor, POET
grace and wipe the layer clean before it begins to settle.
It’s time for some spring cleaning! This is the time of year to freshen up the house and put things back in
5. BUFF AND SHINE
order after a long winter. But did you know that our
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces
spiritual life also deserves a good spring cleaning? How
this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience,
do we even begin to spring clean our spiritual life? You
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and
can start with this easy checklist:
self-control.” Once our spiritual lives have a time of
1. DECLUTTER AND TAKE OUT THE TRASH Isn’t it amazing how much extra stuff we end up
refreshment, we can once again enjoy the Fruit of the Spirit and become an encourager to someone else, demonstrating love and compassion to those around us.
collecting over the years? The more stuff we have, the more burdensome it becomes. The same is true
in our spiritual life. Too much distraction can put a
Everyone has a junk drawer. When we organize
damper on your own spiritual growth. Learning to set
spiritually, we allow the Holy Spirit to fill in the spaces
boundaries and knowing when to say “no” can bring
and build our lives. When we allow God to help us
you numerous benefits. Then, once you have started
prioritize the things that matter most, our lives become
to box up those “extras,” be sure to take out the trash,
healthier and more productive for building the
rather than shifting them around inside your spiritual
Kingdom of God.
space. This spring, as you clean your house, be willing to do
2. SCRUB AND SANITIZE
a spiritual cleaning of your life as well! You will soon
Over time, our attitudes and behaviors can become
find yourself feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Let
sour from the environment that surrounds us. It’s
the cleaning begin!
important to be intentional about cleaning up our thoughts, words and actions. I like to do the P48 Test. Philippians 4:8 says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Always pause and consider your thoughts and motives before you act on them.
3. VACUUM Have you ever tried to do a quick clean-up job before company comes over and find yourself stuffing things in the closet or sweeping loose items under the rug? This may work for a temporary fix, but the pile will continue to grow over time. This can also happen when we allow resentment, anger and bitterness to pile up in our heart. So get out the vacuum and suck up these things so your heart can be clean. Luke 6:45 says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of
CLEAN UP YOUR CLEANING SUPPLIES
Good Trade has a comprehensive list of household cleaning brands that you can find at your local retailer. Read the list here: https://www.thegoodtrade.com/ features/natural-eco-friendly-cleaning-products-forthe-conscious-home.
by Sarah Knutson, Holistic Therapist, POET
Did you know many common household cleaners have
Non-toxic, all natural vinegar water can be used just
toxic chemicals that have negative effects on your
about anywhere in your house.
health? Even when properly used, these chemicals can cause severe symptoms such as respiratory issues,
asthma, reproductive problems, endocrine disruption
Some oils like Melaleuca (Tea Tree) or Cinnamon
and even cancer. These toxins can be especially
have antibacterial properties. Add a few drops to your
dangerous for small children and pets.
vacuum bag or mop water, or put a couple drops on a fresh furnace filter!
Trying to find household cleaners that are natural and eco-friendly can be a tall order. It can be challenging
to sort through the plethora of cleaning products. The
Several product lines are less toxic to you and the environment. My personal favorite is Norwex (not sold
TIDY UP YOUR WELL-BEING
in stores), a line of microfiber antibacterial cleaning products.
by Cole Fricke, Wellness Coordinator, POET What are you doing to clean up your health and wellness this spring? I’ve got good news for you: It’s not as hard as you think. The secret is the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep It Simple, Silly. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Start with small changes instead. Consider these three areas:
etc.) and build up from there! If exercise is something you normally like to do but you’ve slacked off a little in the past few months, be kind to yourself. Start where you’re at instead of looking back at where you’ve been.
TIDY UP YOUR MIND Finally, what are your daily habits that prevent you
TIDY UP YOUR NUTRITION This is the probably the area with the biggest potential for drastic positive change, but also the area where it’s often easier said than done. Theoretically, it’s easier to not eat 500 calories than it is to go burn 500 calories with exercise, but that is easier said than done when staring down those free donuts in the breakroom. So start small. Evaluate your eating habits (be honest!) and whether or not over time they meet your goals. If not, let’s clean it up! Make little changes, like adding in better substitutions (more fruits and veggies, less sugar and processed foods) and reducing your portion sizes. At the end of the day, eat real food!
from living your best life? Self-care is not selfish, and it’s never as hard as it seems. Remember: K.I.S.S. Start small and pick up some easy wins to get the ball rolling. Dine out a lot? Aim for a reasonable number of home-cooked meals for work and at home with family. Poor sleep quality? Put that phone down at night and set a firm bedtime instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media. (Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself and your friends, and you’ll sleep a lot better too!)
TIDY UP YOUR ACTIVITY
Whatever you’re working on, simply remember these
Notice I said activity — not just dedicated exercise.
overarching themes: Start small and keep building,
Exercise is activity, but not all activity needs to be
prioritize, have a purpose and goal in mind, and don’t
exercise. It would be awesome for you to immediately
be afraid to do this for yourself. If you focus on these
decide to exercise more, but if that’s not anywhere near
things, you’ll be just fine!
where you’re coming from, start small with something you like to do (gardening/yardwork, walking outside,
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
ADVANCES IN INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY UNLOCK ACCESS TO CORN FIBER POET Discovers Additional Pathway to Produce Low-carbon Cellulosic Ethanol by Steve Lange | photos by Greg Latza
Gwen Biersbach, Senior Research Scientist at POET, at POETâ€™s headquarters in Sioux Falls.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
or 30-plus years, POET has
Solubles (DDGS), an animal feed. It
continued to discover an ever-
was basically a filler. “The corn kernel
increasing array of creative and
fiber is what we call the Saran Wrap
envelope,” Coleman says. “Cellulosic
cost-effective ways to use every
around the kernel — the coating that
ethanol is a game-changer that could
bit of starch, oil, protein and fiber
protects the starch, fat and protein
completely replace our dependence
from every bushel of corn.
and all the other components,” says
on foreign oil with a nearly carbon-
It’s more than just converting the
Shon Van Hulzen, the Director of
starch from the corn kernel into
Quality Control at POET.
ethanol. It’s more than sustainably
turning crop residue in the form of
cellulosic ethanol,” says Van Hulzen,
POET’s pursuit of converting corn
cobs, leaves and husks into biofuels,
who’s been with POET for over 20
kernel fiber into cellulosic ethanol
like POET does at Project LIBERTY, its
years, and says it’s just been too
has centered on their patented BPX
joint venture with Dutch bioscience
technology company DSM.
That process, which converts corn
POET refines corn oil into feed
This technology is another example
starch into sugar using enzymes
additives and biodiesel and industrial
of how POET is breaking new ground
instead of heat, has proven to be
lubricants. They are making even the
in sustainable energy production, says
very roads we drive on greener and
Brooke Coleman, Executive Director
everything from the quality of animal
more sustainable through its JIVE™
of the Advanced Biofuels Business
feed to corn oil.
asphalt rejuvenation product.
They convert the solids left over
enzymes that mother nature put in
products ranging from syrups to
is a game-changer
our patented fermentation process, it
distillers grains that serve as feed for
allows us to efficiently convert fiber to
everything from chickens to pigs to
Senior Vice President of Research.
the door to finding new and better
production, for use in everything from fire extinguishers to carbonated beverages. Now, POET has discovered a process
the corn kernel. When combined with
ethanol.” says Dave Bushong, POET’s “We know this process can open up
on foreign oil
uses for corn.”
with a nearly
recognize ethanol made from corn
The state of California did recently
kernel fiber as a low-carbon-intensity
essentially the skin on the outside of
which also qualifies as a low-carbon
the kernel, into cellulosic ethanol.
With this latest innovation, POET is moving the needle even further in
with today’s vehicle
plus years, we’re still discovering new
of corn that benefits farmers, the
to convert corn kernel fiber, which is
finding new pathways to produce lowcarbon biofuels. Cellulosic ethanol is
fuel (even lower carbon than starch,
“Even though we’ve been at this 30ways to create value from a bushel
considered by many to be the Holy
American consumer, the environment,
Grail of biofuel production. It is highly
the health of the American people,”
sought after because of its low carbon
says Bushong, who has been at POET
intensity rating and its reduction of
for 13 years. “We know its potential is
untapped even now.”
For years, corn kernel fiber has been
In early 2018, 20 cellulosic ethanol
added to Dried Distillers Grains with
trade groups sent a letter to the
Gwen Biersbach, Senior Research Scientist at POET, prepares samples with corn flour and varying levels of yeast and recycled water for an experiment at POETâ€™s headquarters in Sioux Falls.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
The amount of ethanol, sugar and organic acids in the samples will be tested after fermentation to determine efficiency of conversion of starch and fiber to ethanol.
HULL + FIBER
STARCH + GLUTEN
We can now provide
carbohydrates (starch and fiber) in
(EPA) asking them to review policies
the corn to produce ethanol, we leave
on corn kernel fiber. “Unleashing
the most valuable and energy-rich
even more low-
corn kernel fiber ethanol production
components (protein and fat) to be
will bring significant and immediate
used as animal food.”
carbon fuel to the
economic, environmental and energy
security benefits,” read the letter,
cellulosic ethanol due to the fact
which also noted that current plants
that it is composed of cellulosic
could immediately begin producing
material made up of sugars, just like
corn stover and corn starch. The
basically an agricultural residue.
corn kernel fiber itself is made up of
And that increase in cellulosic
cellulose, the most abundant organic
production comes without having
compound on Earth. Cellulose’s long
to add any more corn to the mix. It’s
polymers of glucose molecules form
the same amount of corn going in,
the cell walls in most plants and trees.
but a higher percentage of cellulosic
In the case of corn kernels, the glucose
ethanol coming out.
serves to encase and protect the starch
“We don’t need to grow any more
inside the kernel. Corn kernel fiber’s
corn to make all of this happen,” says
sugar molecules, though, are bonded
Van Hulzen. “We’re maximizing the
together differently than corn starch.
value of the corn kernel. By using the
It’s an important difference. The EPA
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
marketplace from something that was basically just a filler. There really isn’t a downside. It’s a win all the way around.
Gwen Biersbach, Senior Research Scientist at POET, prepares samples with corn flour and varying levels of yeast and recycled water for an experiment at POET’s headquarters in Sioux Falls.
officially recognized this difference in
“We always say we change the
environment but for the U.S. economy
2014, when they classified corn kernel
world here at POET, and this is yet
at large, Coleman from the Advanced
fiber as a “crop residue” in the same
another technology that does just
Biofuels Business Council notes.
category as cobs, leaves and husks.
that,” says Van Hulzen. “We can now
“There is a false perception out
“Some renewable fuels are lower
provide even more low-carbon fuel to
there that we have to turn the U.S.
carbon-intensity than others,” says
the marketplace from something that
economy on its head to achieve
Van Hulzen. “Cellulosic ethanol is
was basically just a filler. There really
more sustainable energy production.
amongst the lowest.”
isn’t a downside. It’s a win all the way
For the POET team, that corn
around. And it keeps us excited about
development is a critical ingredient
kernel coating may be small in size
the ways we can maximize the value
for U.S. economic growth. The work
— it makes up just about one-tenth
of the corn kernel, and what other
POET is doing is instrumental to
of each kernel — but it’s another big
innovations are on the horizon.”
showing the world that we can grow
breakthrough in that three-decade
The work stands to offer wide-
the economy with more sustainable
quest to create more value from corn.
reaching benefits not only for the
fact, clean fuel
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.
RENEW POET CEO Jeff Broin Speaks at Growth Energy Executive Leadership Conference More than 400 individuals across the biofuels industry attended the 10th Annual Growth Energy Executive Leadership Conference in February in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. The conference included panel discussions with industry experts and Growth Energy staff, along with presentations from POET. POET Chairman and CEO Jeff Broin reflected on the challenges and successes of the past 10 years of the biofuels industry and Growth Energy. He specifically highlighted the work that’s been done so far on working to achieve year-round E15. “Victory is on the horizon,” he said. Broin also commented on how Growth Energy has done great things for ethanol producers and farmers. “Growth Energy has delivered time and time again in establishing ethanol’s value, growing biofuels’ markets abroad and at home, fostering a favorable policy environment, and building a vibrant, growing world-class association for this industry — one that we desperately needed 10 years ago.” Miranda Broin, co-founder of Seeds of Change, gave a presentation about the non-profit’s continued work to transform education, agriculture and environmental conditions to support global development. GE Cares, Growth Energy’s charitable division, has supported Seeds of Change since 2017. Growth Energy board members including Kyle Gilley, POET’s Senior Vice President of External Affairs & Communications, also spoke at the event. Attendees also heard from fuel retailers, corn growers, climate advocates, experts on international markets and regulatory affairs, and engine performance experts from Growth Energy’s American Ethanol program about the future of biofuels.
POET Biorefining – Hanlontown Wins ‘Healthiest State’ Award POET Biorefining – Hanlontown was honored with a Small Workplace Award from Iowa’s 2019 Healthiest State Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to engage work places, communities, schools, organizations and individuals to collectively inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness. At POET Biorefining – Hanlontown, team members are encouraged to log 10,000 steps a day. Walking meetings help employees reach their goal. Congratulations, Hanlontown!
POET Biorefining — Corning Named 2018 Agriculturalist of the Year Congratulations to POET Biorefining — Corning! The Adams Community Chamber of Commerce awarded the plant the 2018 Agriculturalist of the Year Award for their Watch Me Grow program. Watch Me Grow is an educational community outreach program developed by POET Biorefining — Corning to teach local elementary students about what it means to be a farmer in Iowa.
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
RENEW High School Students Learn About Biofuels at POET Biorefining – Marion In February students from Harding High School in Marion, Ohio, visited POET Biorefining – Marion. The students are studying biofuels and the positive impact of Ohio fuel for agriculture and the state economy.
POET Team Members Teach the Next Generation about STEM POET team members from Sioux Falls shared the fun and wonder of science and technology with the next generation during a Family STEM Festival in January at Harrisburg Horizon Elementary in Harrisburg, S.D.
Leadership North Iowa Group Visits POET Biorefining — Hanlontown The Leadership North Iowa group visited POET Biorefining – Hanlontown in February for an introduction to POET and a tour of the facility. Participants in the 12-week program that is sponsored by the Mason City Chamber of Commerce included leaders from a cross-section of regional businesses and agencies.
Looking Ahead to Winter 2020: POET Biorefining - Shelbyville POET team members Scott Snyder and Steve Munger showcase a sign for POET’s new facility in Shelbyville, Ind. POET Biorefining – Shelbyville is expected to grind about 28 million bushels of corn and produce 80 million gallons of ethanol annually. The plant also is expected to produce about 250,000 tons of high-protein animal feed a year. Shelbyville will be the 28th starch biofuel plant in POET’s network and the fifth in Indiana. The facility is expected to open in winter 2020.
PEOPLE OF POET
An Advocate for Chemistry, Science in the Community Melissa Tille Leads from the Heart by BryAnn Becker Knecht | photos by Greg Latza
If Melissa Tille has her way, when
(ACS), a national scientific society
for the community and world at large.
elementary and high school students
whose vision is to improve people’s
In her experience as a chemist,
in the Sioux Falls area are asked that
Tille supports research efforts for
age-old question of what they want to
power of chemistry.”
be when they grow up, one common
Duffy-Matzner says the work that
Project LIBERTY and also works on
response — among the parroted
Tille and others are doing through
tasks to support POET’s 27 other
responses of doctors, lawyers and
ACS is critical to showing the general
teachers — will be “scientist.”
public the positive side of chemistry.
LIBERTY, a joint venture between POET
Tille is the Analytical Laboratory
“I think the problem with chemistry
and the Dutch biosciences company
Manager at POET and works primarily
in particular is that the public thinks
DSM, is located in Emmetsburg, Iowa,
in POET’s Research and Development
that it’s a bad thing. When they see
and produces biofuels out of biowaste
arm. Both in and outside of her work
‘chemistry,’ they think it’s confusing
such as corn cobs and husks.
at POET, she’s dedicated to sharing with
members how chemistry and science impacts their world. You can often find her doing handson chemistry demonstrations with students at local elementary schools like
Augustana University Chemistry Club on a presentation for students at Fred Assem Elementary School in Sioux Falls. It’s
elementary and high school students to have role models who are scientists as they are forming ideas about their future careers, Tille says. “It’s a lot easier to think about being a doctor for people interested in science because they see doctors all the time, but it’s harder to see scientists, so I think it’s important for scientists to be visible in the community in some
Her research on cellulosic biofuels
It’s a lot easier to think about being a doctor for people interested in science because they see doctors all the time, but it’s harder to see scientists, so I think it’s important for scientists to be visible in the community in some way.
way,” she says. “Kids form opinions
has been a thread throughout her career
involved with research around Project LIBERTY since 2007 and has worked on methods to help monitor the biofuels process. She cites the launch of the commercial scale facility and being on site in Emmetsburg, Iowa, for the groundbreaking ceremony in 2012 as a highlight of her tenure at POET. “It was a stretch goal to try and make ethanol out of a waste product. It was an innovation. We had to put in a lot of the hard work and blaze the trail,” she says. “It has been exciting to see Project LIBERTY move from research to commercial scale.”
A PASSION FOR HELPING PEOPLE WITHIN, OUTSIDE OF POET At POET, colleagues say that Tille
about science when they’re really
young. That first impression can pack a punch. I had great experiences with
or hard. They don’t see how it
chemistry mentors who encouraged
impacts your everyday life. … It’s just
my interest in science. I always look
important to let them know it’s not
for opportunities to encourage others
scary — it’s something you need to be
to enjoy science.”
educated about — and to let people
Jetty Duffy-Matzner, PhD, Professor
know that it does impact their world
of Organic Chemistry at Augustana
and has a lot of benefits.”
University, has worked with Tille
Tille’s work during her 13-year
through the Sioux Valley local section
tenure at POET certainly fits that
of the American Chemical Society
criteria of enacting positive change
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
attention to detail and has helped improve
and analytical capabilities for POET’s research team. “Melissa leads from the heart,” says Dave Bushong, Senior Vice President of Research, POET. “She has a passion for helping people both within POET and outside POET. Melissa has taken leadership positions for activities such
Melissa leads from the heart. She has a passion for helping people both within POET and outside POET. Melissa has taken leadership positions for activities such as the Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society, taught Sunday school, and has been a foster parent. Her devotion to making people successful has a powerful impact as a POET Research leader.
as the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, taught Sunday school and has been a foster parent. Her devotion to making people successful has a powerful impact as a POET Research leader.” Shon Van Hulzen, Director of Quality Control, POET, reiterates that Tille is resilient and has a calm demeanor — two great qualities to have in the fastpaced realm of POET Research. “Melissa has a gentle, kind and pleasant spirit,” Van Hulzen says. “She is thoroughly enjoyable to work with and is always willing to jump in and help. She maintains a positive attitude even in difficult circumstances.” Tille started out as a chemist at POET in 2005 after a stint in Minneapolis working on method development and product testing for a pharmaceutical company. As
a manager she has the opportunity to
chemistry and applies it to the natural
be involved in many projects.
She has also been learning more
with instruments and methods to
about leading people and is enjoying
measure components in a sample.
this new aspect of her career. “POET
An analytical chemist, for example,
has trusted me with an important job,
would find a way to test a polymer
and I have enjoyed the new challenge.
(a large molecule) instead of creating
I am happy to do all I can to help my
team be successful.”
Tille has done research on both
cellulosic and starch-based biofuels,
along with developing and rolling
meetings that often takes her out of
out new test methods to POET’s
the laboratory, she’s never too far
away from her lab coat. “I like to learn
worked on test methods to evaluate
when I get in the lab,” she says.
how new ingredients or mechanical
As a scientist, POET is the prime
changes can impact the process to
environment to fulfill her joy of
produce biofuels and on testing for
innovation and pursues new projects
toxins that can be formed by mold on
at every corner.
“It’s been very dynamic; I’m always
In 2016, she began leading a team
learning and exploring new things.”
of six researchers within POET’s
at every corner.
Research and Development (R&D)
“It’s been very dynamic; I’m always
wing. Her work continues to fulfill
learning new things to explore.”
MELISSA TILLE HOMETOWN Winner, S.D. EDUCATION Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry; Master’s degree in Material Engineering and Sciences, both from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology FAMILY Husband Darrin; twin sons, Matthew and Joseph (13); daughter Grace (5) HOBBIES Curling league team with the Sioux Falls Curling Club, reading, crafts, gardening
her love of learning, she says, since as
THE ESSENTIAL PERSPECTIVE
DOWN 1. One of the Baldwins 2. 1972 Derek and the Dominos hit 3. Like some jackets 4. Discounted 5. Unyielding 6. Andean land 7. Egypt’s capital 8. Orgs. 9. Give away, in a way 10. Bud holder 11. Apple’s mobile/tablet
devices run on it
12. Suffix with differ 13. Cadillac model 21. Parker part 22. Martinique, par exemple 25. Santa ___ (California track) 26. Coins across the border 27. Perfect places 29. Like some drinks 31. “All over the world” singers,
32. ___ on you!
45. Beast of burden
33. Elizabeth I was the last one
1. Female voice
46. Sacred songs
5. Humane org.
48. New Haven college
36. Compass direction
9. Pig homes
51. Hosp. units
37. Invasion time in WW II
14. Croquet site
52. Swedish auto
40. “Told ya!”
15. Steeped drinks
55. Parish priest
41. One not included as a member
16. Words of refusal
58. A typical POET biorefining
42. High seriousness
17. Looks over
plant will produce this
47. Part of a jazz combo
18. “Exodus” author
number of gallons of ethanol
49. “___ Abner” (Capp comic strip)
in a year
50. French pastry
20. Advantage of ethanol as fuel
61. Kind of review
53. Make up for mistakes
23. Go off script
64. “Don’t bet ___!”
24. Site of annual Nobel
65. Minor go-with
66. “___ Jacques”
57. Makes muddy
28. Dark, in verse
67. “___ chance”
59. A touch
60. Big name in magazine
32. Jeanne d’Arc, e.g.: abbr.
69. Object location system
70. Rams’ mates
61. Producer, abbr.
38. “Fur ___”
71. Part of R&R
62. Plan for the future, maybe
Peace prize ceremony
63. Checked, as a box
39. Two of POET’s biorefining plant locations
FOR ANSWERS, VISIT vitalmagazineonline.com/answers
43. See ya!
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Seeds of Change
OUT OF LEFT FIELD
Falling Light Bulbs and the Relentless Pursuit of Perfection by Scott Johnson, Data Systems Administrator, POET I planned the perfect birthday lunch. I picked the perfect
The number of corners are infinite. Failure to reach perfection
restaurant. I ordered the perfect lunch salad. I sat in the perfect
is natural and expected. That failure can leave a nagging feeling
seat, enabling a prime view of my meal being delivered. My meal
of dissatisfaction in your soul. Glorious dissatisfaction. Being
was delivered perfectly on time. Sadly, I quickly realized the
unsatisfied drives us to improve. We use that drive to become
kitchen failed to put ranch dressing on the side as I specifically
faster, stronger, smarter and more efficient.
requested. I bit into a crispy chicken tender to discover it was
The history of the folding lawn chair illustrates this elusive
neither crispy, nor tender. The lettuce was brown and wilted.
drive toward perfection. The early tri-fold sunbathing chairs
There were only three croutons. As I picked through the sorry
were a marvel of innovation. Customizable angles allowed
excuse for a salad, a light bulb spontaneously dislodged from its
for 387 million lounging possibilities — none of which were
fixture and crashed to the floor, narrowly missing my head by a
comfortable enough to stay in for more than 30 seconds at a
few inches. (I didn’t know this was a possibility either.)
time. While the chair was unattended in the sun, the vinyl strips
Now I had one more thing to worry about in life: falling light bulbs. I was already conscious about anvils and grand pianos being dropped onto my head, based on my extensive cartoon viewing background. The bizarre experience helped preserve my streak of 40-something consecutive non-perfect birthdays in a row. We build up in our minds the “perfect” thing. When perfect doesn’t happen, we feel let down. We’re disappointed our senior prom wasn’t as perfect as we dreamed it up to be. Our expectations fall short because we didn’t have the perfect tux. Or the DJ didn’t play the perfect song. Or we didn’t have a date. (Not me — a guy I knew…) Waiting for perfect can get in our way of being satisfied with what we actually have right in front of us. If you are waiting for the perfect experience, I’ve got news for you: perfect exists. I bet you thought I was going to tell you
would bake to a thousand degrees, ensuring
Perfect is out there. But in almost all cases, perfect is not attainable. Fear not, the pursuit of perfection is an inherent pursuit of better. Perfect may be a million miles away, but better is right around the corner.
there is no such thing as perfect! Well, think
like a restaurant-quality pork chop. Folding the chair for storage was a first-class safety risk, mangling hands as if you retrieved a porcupine from a running garbage disposal. Thankfully, the lawn chair industry was not satisfied with status quo. Their pursuit of perfection has led to countless improvements over the years. Because of this chase, we have been bestowed the remarkable folding bag chair, revolutionizing the world of kid’s soccer spectatorship. Today’s “zero gravity” loungers defy the laws of physics, applying an ergonomic comfort the world has never experienced. Plus, it has a cup holder, and comes in camouflage. Some would say we have reached the pinnacle of outdoor sitting. But is the lawn chair now perfect? Does it mow my lawn? Does it file my taxes? Does it get 18 year-old me a date to the prom? (I mean NOT me; that guy I knew.)
again! There’s certainly a time and place for encouraging you to
No. So perfect is still out there, and unsatisfied we shall be. That
be happy with what you have and content with where you are in
seemingly futile quest for perfection is exactly the mission we
life. This article is neither that time nor place.
need to make our world a better place.
Perfect is out there. But in almost all cases, perfect is not
How does this apply to a pursuit of the perfect birthday meal?
attainable. Fear not, the pursuit of perfection is an inherent
It doesn’t really, but this seemed to be the best opportunity to tell
pursuit of better. Perfect may be a million miles away, but better is
the story of the time I almost got hit in the head with a light bulb.
right around the corner. After you achieve better, another better is around another corner. The number of betters never runs out.
it seared perfect grill marks into bare skin
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.