ACE staff, member plant help educate youth on biofuel

By American Coalition for Ethanol | August 25, 2017

The American Coalition for Ethanol staff and member plant, Siouxland Ethanol LLC, are partnering with the Northeast Nebraska Corn Growers in their effort to create and increase opportunities for Nebraska corn growers through advocacy, education, partnerships, and leadership development by participating in an ag youth literacy festival and showcase plot Aug. 24 in Jackson, Nebraska.

NNCGA in partnership with the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is working to put together its first Growing Potential Ag Festival for about 300middle school aged students in its member counties. The festival is a day-long event where students rotate through nine stations, including corn products and processing, corn planting, corn harvest, renewable fuels and ethanol production, corn feed and livestock, GMO education, parts of the corn plant and pollination, crop protection, and agricultural UAV technology.

ACE director of member and industry relations, Liz Bunkers, and director of special projects and outreach, Chuck Beck, will join Pam Miller, Siouxland Ethanol’s board chair and director of investor and industry relations, at one of the stations to show students products of the ethanol production process and discuss how it works, as well as educate them on future career opportunities and the variety of ways to get involved in the renewable fuels industry.

“We’re involving organizations like the Farm Bureau, corn growers and others in the industry, who are experts in their respective fields, to show ways that a variety of groups can contribute to this effort,” said Taylor Nelson, with NNCGA and owner of Jackson Express. “We hope to provide the kids with an all-day, hands-on, fun, and engaging learning opportunity, and have the chance to really tell the story of production agriculture the way it should be told.”

 “From the farm to the gas station, there are a lot of people who have their hands in ethanol, and there are a variety of opportunities to get involved,” Bunkers said. “Even if a student isn’t necessarily interested in working directly on the farm or even in ethanol production, there is fuel research and testing, industry partners who work in advertising and marketing, and plenty of other careers in ethanol. We hope we can help create an initial awareness of these career paths, so students can keep it in mind as they explore careers in the future.”

 “We want to create a positive initial awareness for these students of what’s going on in their communities and agricultural economy that could lead to career exploration in the future,” Nelson added. “We see educating the public and educating those who are not involved in agriculture as critically important to start at an early age, so they can continue building on that in high school and on into college.”

In addition to those mentioned, other organizations involved include: Pender Implement Company, CHS, Dekalb Producers Hybrids, Croplan, Stine, DynaGrow, Pioneer, Sietec, Mycogen, and Allegiant Channel.