IRFA announces new Monarch Fueling Station locations

By Erin Voegele | June 07, 2018

In late May, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association announced that two additional ethanol producers and one retailer have announced plans to establish Monarch Fueling Stations through a project launched by the IRFA and Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in December 2017. The program helps Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel plants establish patches of monarch habitat on plant grounds.

Big River Resources has announced intentions to establish Monarch Fueling Stations at its two Iowa plants near West Burlington and Dyersville. The West Burlington project will span roughly 1.8 acres while the Dyersville project will be approximately 1 acre. Seeding is expected to take place this fall.

“The Monarch Fueling Station Project is a no-brainer,” said Ryan Janson, environmental/technical compliance coordinator for Big River Resources. “It is very low cost, it will reduce the amount of mowing in the area, and it will provide such a positive impact on our environment. This project demonstrates Big River Resources’ commitment to our environment and community.”

Janson said Big River Resources may also consider establishing similar plots of monarch habitat at facilities outside of Iowa.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. has also begun work to launch a Monarch Fueling Station in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, near an existing 2-acre garden plot that helps grow food for local food banks and charities. ADM’s Monarch Fueling Station will span five acres. According to the IRFA, ADM will plant a prairie grass and flower mixture, including milkweed plants, which monarchs need to lay eggs.

"The Monarch Fueling Station is an exciting project for our location and a great use of the land we have available,” said Eric McVey, plant superintendent at ADM’s corn processing facility in Cedar Rapids. “This will help establish an area for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators going forward. Over time the habitat will reduce the need for mowing, provide a scenic area to view, and help the environment. The food we grow will go straight into our local community to help those in need. Through these efforts ADM can demonstrate our core values and support our community."

Finally, the IRFA announced that Star Energy FS has announced intentions to establish Monarch Fueling Stations at four of its locations. The company will be the first IRFA member to establish a Monarch Fueling Station that is not a biofuel plant.

The monarch habitats will span anywhere from over a quarter of an acre to two acres, depending on the location. Seeding is expected to take place within the next month. Star Energy FS is also looking at expanding the project to other locations in future years.

“We at Star Energy FS are excited to come alongside Iowa biofuels plants in this effort to help restore the population of the monarch butterfly,” said Jeff Manthei, general manager for Star Energy FS. “This seemed like a natural next step considering we already work closely with Iowa biofuels plants to offer blends of their excellent fuels.”