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ACE 2008: Join the Revolution
by Sara Eiesland

Summer marks the time for blue skies, warm temperatures, and fervent growth. This summer also marks a time for “Fueling Revolution,” a grassroots movement to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and to combat unbalanced reporting in the media. This revolution will gain momentum as the overarching theme for the American Coalition for Ethanol’s 21st Annual Conference and Trade Show, which runs August 12-14 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Jeff Fox Memorial Golf Tournament

On Tuesday morning, the first day of the conference, golfers will head to Omaha’s Shadow Ridge Country Club, ranked the city’s top course by Golf Digest. The annual ACE golf classic has been renamed the “Jeff Fox Memorial Golf Tournament,” in honor of the ethanol industry’s close friend Jeff Fox who passed away unexpectedly last summer. Jeff’s years of keen leadership helped to shape the ethanol industry in South Dakota and across the nation.

The funds raised through the annual golf tournament help to support the ACE Scholarship Program, which will award up to five $1,000 college scholarships this year to spouses or children of organizations staffed by ACE associate and voting members. Since its start in 2004, the organization has awarded $21,000 in scholarships to deserving college students to assist with their undergraduate studies.

Welcome Reception and Trade Show

Following the golf tournament, conference attendees are invited to gather in the Qwest Center’s main exhibit halls for the Trade Show Welcome Reception. Nearly 300 booths representing 250 companies will display the latest innovations in products and services for the ethanol industry at this year’s ACE Trade Show. With 2,000 conference attendees expected, the trade show offers invaluable networking opportunities for ethanol enthusiasts, board members, and plant owners alike.

The exhibit hall will be open on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8 am to 12:45 pm. On Wednesday morning, a live broadcast of AgriTalk, the nationally syndicated radio program, will also take place at the trade show.

Breakout Sessions

On Wednesday morning, ACE is pleased to offer six informative panel discussions addressing timely and pertinent issues within today’s ethanol industry. Much like last year, the breakout sessions will be held concurrently in two hour-long blocks, with selected sessions repeated in the second block of discussion.

This year’s sessions are: “Ethanol Today & Tomorrow: Growing and Selling Considerations,” “Ethanol Transportation: The Importance of Safety,” “Blending Better Solutions: Mid-Level Blends & E85,” “Cellulosic Ethanol: Feedstock Production, Handling & Logistics,” “Current Issues in Distillers Grain,” and “Protecting Profitability in Volatile Markets.” Each panel discussion will feature knowledgeable industry experts.

In “Blending Better Solutions: Mid-Level Blends & E85,” panelists will discuss how to increase the availability of a variety of ethanol blends through the use of blender pumps. The conversation will cover such topics as blender pump installation, funding and reimbursements for infrastructure expenses, and marketing recommendations. This session stems from “Blending Better Solutions,” a guide that ACE developed for petroleum marketers as a one-stop resource for information on ethanol blender pumps, E85, and mid-range ethanol blends. ACE’s Ron Lamberty, Vice President / Market Development, will lead the panel.

Awards Banquet

ACE will honor this year’s award recipients at the annual awards banquet, to be held in the ballroom of the Hilton Omaha on Wednesday evening. Awards will honor those who have shown superb leadership in the ethanol industry in various avenues, such as policy, market development, and media. Following dinner, Mike Rayburn, known as the “World’s Funniest Guitar Virtuoso,” will entertain audiences with his musical creations, inspiring listeners to step beyond their perceived limitations.

Industry Leading Speakers

Each ACE conference has boasted influential speakers and panelists, and this year’s symposium is no different. For the Wednesday afternoon session, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman will offer words of welcome to conference attendees. ACE Board President Bob Scott, Executive Vice President Brian Jennings and Lamberty will also offer updates on topics such as the battle for balanced reporting on ethanol in the media and the advancements in ethanol production and distribution across the country.

Ralph Groschen from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Kevin Stork from the U.S. Department of Energy will discuss legal and practical issues facing the ethanol industry in the movement to approve higher blends of ethanol.

Rick Tolman of the National Corn Growers Association, together with Andy Zurn from the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company and a representative from VeraSun Energy, will outline recent innovations in corn ethanol production. The panel will span various pioneer efforts in the corn ethanol industry, including techniques to improve corn yields and reduce water usage. The panelists will also discuss the bottom-line benefits that result from diversifying an ethanol plant’s products, including the production of corn oil.

Thursday’s general session also boasts a variety of speakers and panelists. During the general session, industry leaders will discuss topics such as greenhouse gas emissions and progress in the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol. Paul Machiele from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will also address conference attendees, delineating the parameters of the new Renewable Fuels Standard passed in the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007. The last presentation of the day involves a panel discussion of ethanol pipelines, and how pipeline experts are making this difficult task possible with a little innovation. Dan Ownsby from Teppco and Jim Lelio from Kinder-Morgan will appear as panelists for the discussion.

Registration

Because a large audience is anticipated, early registration is encouraged. Visit ACE’s website, Ethanol.org, and click on “Conference & Trade Show” on the upper menu. A user-friendly online registration for is offered here, or you can print a paper registration form to e-mail or fax. Registering online is encouraged so the lowest rates are available to you.

Shannon Gustafson, Director of Strategic Projects and conference coordinator, is available to address any concerns. Contact her by e-mail at sgustafson@ethanol.org or by calling (605) 334-3381.

Registration is open to all interested in attending the conference, but lower rates are offered to ACE members. To become a member, please contact the ACE office or join online by clicking on “Join ACE” in the lower menu. Membership costs for an individual are only $50, and include a subscription to Ethanol Today, ACE’s monthly magazine.

ACE looks forward to seeing you in Omaha – join the revolution!

 
© American Coalition for Ethanol, all rights reserved.
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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