Minneapolis, Nov 17 – Thirty-nine students from Sibley East High School in Arlington toured Winthrop’s Heartland Corn Products on Nov 14 to gain a better appreciation and understanding on local renewable fuel production.
The high school students, from grades 9 to 12, learned about incoming grain grading, grain handling, fermentation, grain storage, combined heat and power operations, dried distiller grain production and storage, liquefaction and ethanol storage and shipment.
“It was wonderful to conclude our fall tour program with a large inquisitive group from Sibley East.
“We are always pleased to welcome local high school students to our plant and provide them with an in-depth look at how clean renewable energy is produced,” said Scott Blumhoefer, Vice-President at Heartland Corn Products.
The ethanol plant tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, a non-profit trade organization that represents the ethanol industry in Minnesota.
“Yesterday’s visit was our 14th tour of 2017. These tours are part of our annual grant program that enables students to see how a homegrown ingredient is converted into a clean fuel that reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions, saves consumers at the pump and makes us more energy independent,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
This is the second time Sibley East has visited Heartland Corn Products. In 2015, 26 students from the school toured the plant. The students that participated in this week’s tour were from two different classes – Drafting and CNC and Wheels and Walls.
Sibley East high school agricultural science teachers Stephanie Brandt and Tim Uhlenkamp accompanied their students on the tour.
“These ethanol facilities produce more than just ethanol; the co-products of DDGS and corn oil have far reaching effects in livestock operations and at biodiesel facilities respectively,” said Uhlenkamp.
Brandt, meanwhile, said the school's agriculture curriculum includes educating students on renewable energy sources currently being used.
“The ethanol industry plays a big role in the economy in rural Minnesota and today’s tour gave the students a better idea of career opportunities in the industry,” said Brandt.