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Editor's Note: Ethanolís Working Hard
by Kristin Brekke

We hope you found last month’s feature article to be an interesting read, and this month we conclude that two-part series with a look at the lessons learned through ethanol’s experience in 2008.

One expert interviewed made a nice baseball analogy – the industry needs to “hit more singles” by having a consistent grind margin, rather than strikeouts and homeruns. Today’s ethanol producers are indeed taking those proactive steps to lock in those numbers through tighter risk management practices. Having real-time data, along with benchmarking your position against the industry at large, is also being recognized as a foundation for solid business decisions.

With so much publicity on the bankruptcies that occurred, you might be surprised by one “the rest of the story” report included in our article. The 110 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Janesville, Minnesota, which went through bankruptcy as part of VeraSun Energy, was purchased by a group of six farmer-owned ethanol plants. Read more in this article beginning on page 8.

There’s a lot going on for the ethanol industry on the policy front this year, and the American Coalition for Ethanol has just announced the dates for its second annual DC fly-in. The “Biofuels Beltway March” will take place on Monday, March 22 and Tuesday, March 23 on Capitol Hill – and we need your help!

The most effective advocacy is done face-to-face, and this event will put you (the real ethanol experts) in touch with Members of Congress who need to hear first-hand about the benefits of ethanol. Last March about 30 ACE members traveled to DC and had small-group meetings with 70 Members of Congress, plus a meeting as a group with Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. EPA. If you’d like to read a recap of the event, go to www.ethanoltoday.com and find April 2009 by clicking on “Archives.”

Will you consider being a part of this important grassroots lobbying event? If you would like more information, please contact either Brian Jennings or Shannon Gustafson at the ACE office.

One other favor – I wonder if you’d be willing to pass along your copy of Ethanol Today once you’re finished reading it (cover to cover, of course). Do you know of anyone who is interested in ethanol and might consider becoming a member of ACE at the Individual level?

An Individual Level membership means a subscription to this magazine, yes, but also much more. We work hard for you in the areas of public policy, market development, and public relations – and none of this could happen without membership support. Thank you so much for your membership, and thanks for considering asking a friend or colleague to join. You could point them to the subscription card found on page 14.

 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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