The Ethanol Committee of the National Corn Growers Association met in St. Louis recently to review current programs and initiatives related to domestically produced biofuels, get updates from ethanol industry experts and discuss strategy aimed at continued growth for corn-based fuel. “Ethanol has been a huge success story for agriculture and rural America because of the economic stimulus it has created through increased corn demand and new jobs. For the general public it provides reduced greenhouse gas emissions, better performance and fuel choice,” said Committee Chair Jeff Sandborn, a farmer from Michigan. “Despite all of our success educationally and legislatively, what we have created is a great start not final destination. We have 10% ethanol in virtually every gallon of fuel sold today but it will take a multidimensional approach to continue to grow the market for ethanol.”
The Ethanol Committee is investigating options to grow the ethanol market on many fronts including integrating higher ethanol blend compatibility into plans to update the nation’s aging fuel infrastructure; continuing to expand public acceptance and support for ethanol outside the corn belt; and evaluating the benefits of a national ethanol brand to aid in consumer identification at the pump.
The meeting, held in conjunction with similar sessions for all six NCGA action teams and committees, included in-depth discussion of the ethanol related portions of the organization’s strategic plan. Input from the committee will be relayed to the NCGA Corn Board for their consideration and for broader organizational discussion and policy development at Corn Congress in March.
“Fuel access is a high priority issue for the ethanol industry and corn farmers. If we are going to continue to grow ethanol markets and realize the economic benefits of our ability to produce corn we will need to redouble our efforts to bring higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85 to the marketplace,” Sandborn said.
In addition to Sandborn the Committee includes: Vice Chairman Dennis Gengenbach of Nebraska, Corn Board Liaison Keith Alverson of South Dakota, Graham Adsit of Wisconsin, Cal Dalton of Wisconsin, Jerry Demmer of Minnesota, David Gottbrath of Indiana, Paul Jeschke of Illinois, Dennis McNinch of Kansas, Jerry Mohr of Iowa, Mark Recker of Iowa, Jay Schutte of Missouri, Dennis Vennekotter of Ohio and Bradley Schad of Missouri