Recruiting nominees, scholarship apps for 28th FEW

Deadlines are looming for the Fuel Ethanol Workshop. The first is for award nominations, due today, and we’re also looking for scholarship applications by May 7. Both can be done online by following the links at
By Susanne Retka Schill | April 30, 2012

Word at the Monday morning staff meeting today is that FEW registrations are on pace with last year’s. That’s good news. It means industry professionals are making plans to go to Minneapolis in a month, June 4-7, for one of the best networking opportunities available in the ethanol industry. For the golfers, there’s golfing on Monday, plus another seminar opportunity. The main event is Tuesday and Wednesday plus there are tours, including a great rail safety demo on Thursday.

There’s a couple of deadlines looming for the Fuel Ethanol Workshop. The first is for award nominations, which can be done online at by following the links to “Awards.”  

We’re looking for nominations for the High Octane Award, recognizing a person whose passion and pursuits have significantly benefited the ethanol industry and the Award of Excellence that recognizes individuals who’ve made significant contributions through research, technical advisory and/or development activities. Today is the deadline.

We’re also looking for scholarship applications, also available online by following the link to “Scholarships.” The deadline in next week, May 7. We give two $2,000 scholarships to either employees or close family members of employees to aid in their pursuit of education that will benefit rural communities and the ethanol industry. Last year, one scholarship went to a high school graduate and the other to an ethanol plant employee working on getting a degree to further her career.

Both are nice side benefits to the main show, the 28th annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo. And international it will be. One of my side jobs is to verify that international registrations seeking ethanol producer rates are, indeed, ethanol producers.  We have a nice-sized delegation coming from China and another from Argentina, among others who contacted us earlier. I routinely encourage those who are new to the industry to make a point in coming. One can learn so much from both the workshops and from visiting the vendors on the exhibition floor.

This year, we also have a one-day, pre-conference seminar called Ethanol 101 – targeted at folks new to the ethanol industry who would benefit from getting an overview of the history, ethanol process, economics and policy of the industry. The line-up of panel presenters is impressive and includes some of the movers and shakers in the industry.

Indeed, the entire event being held in Minneapolis is a great time to meet old friends and make new friends, learn about the newest innovations and refresh your knowledge about core technologies. If you haven’t signed up, take another look at the program and exhibitor list, and make your plans to come.