$2,000 college scholarships awarded to two at FEW

By Susanne Retka Schill | June 11, 2013

Bryan Bush and Rachel Hayes are recipients of $2,000 college scholarships awarded as part of the 2013 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo. The Kathy Bryan Memorial Scholarships are given to people planning a course of study that might lead to a career in the ethanol industry, benefit rural communities or bring about a cleaner, greener world.

Hayes graduated this spring from Maize South High School in Wichita, Kan. Her dad, Greg Heuer, is general manager at Green Plains-Obion in Tennessee. Hayes will be headed to Kansas State University in the fall where she plans to major in mechanical engineering. “Petroleum is a limited and toxic fuel source that will deplete eventually,” she said. “I believe ethanol is an efficient clean fuel alternative that will fulfill the earth’s needs for fuel demand.” She added that she would like to use her degree to work, “hands on, within the ethanol plants to make sure that all the equipment is working properly.”  Other ideas for a future career would be in helping design or maintain ethanol plants or working on to design efficient industrial vehicles.

Bush has worked at Little Sioux Corn Processors LP in Marcus, Iowa, for more than seven years and is completing online college coursework while working fulltime. He will apply his scholarship towards completing a double major in business administration and accounting at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Even as he fulfills his long-held goal of getting a degree, two of his three children will be attending college this fall.

Bush started as an operator at Little Sioux Corn Processors and currently works as safety coordinator/utility operator. “I enjoy working in the ethanol industry,” he said. “I have worked to bring our plant into full compliance with OSHA standards over the past year and a half, and I am particularly interested in improving plant efficiency.” He added that he is currently involved in efforts to redesign the cleaning and operating sequences for one of the plant’s corn oil centrifuges, and has been pleased to see some of his ideas for improving plant efficiency implemented in the past.

The scholarship program is named in honor of Kathy Bryan who cofounded BBI International along with her husband Mike Bryan and served as its president. She was long-time editor-in-chief of Ethanol Producer Magazine and cofounder of the Energy Independent Newsletter that preceded it. To many, she will be remembered as the visionary and matriarch of the largest and longest-running ethanol conference, the FEW.  She founded the scholarship program associated with the conference that was renamed in her honor following her death in 2009.

A majority of the funds for the 2013 scholarships were donated by ICM Inc., with the remainder raised through contributions received from attendees at the FEW.