Minneapolis, Oct 3 – Twenty-eight students from Sleepy Eye High School’s Natural Resources class toured Highwater Ethanol in Lamberton yesterday to get a better understanding of clean Minnesota-produced renewable energy.
During the tour, the students were briefed on the various processes of ethanol production at the plant as well as potential career opportunities within the ethanol industry.
“We were pleased to welcome Sleepy Eye High School today. The ethanol industry plays an important role in boosting the economy in Minnesota, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making America more energy independent,” said Brian Kletscher, CEO of Highwater Ethanol.
The students, from grades 9 to 12, toured the plant’s administrative office, water treatment process, incoming grain grading and handling, ethanol loadout, ethanol process facility, energy center, dried distiller grain production and storage.
The tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, a non-profit trade organization that represents the ethanol industry in Minnesota. Highwater Ethanol is a member of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
“Tours like these highlight the necessary skills to pursue a career in the ethanol industry. Ethanol produced at Highwater Ethanol creates jobs, decreases harmful carbon emissions and lowers prices at the pump, “said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
Highwater Ethanol began operations in Lamberton in August 2009. It produced 59.5 million gallons of ethanol in 2017 and currently has 42 fulltime employees.
Mary Hoffmann, agriculture instructor at Sleep Eye High School, said that ethanol is covered in her class’ Alternative Energy and Renewable vs Non-renewable lesson plans.
“Hearing about the process of making ethanol and seeing it are two completely different things. Experiencing something first-hand is the best way to learn,” said Hoffmann.
Today’s tour was the second time she has brought her students to Highwater. She previously brought her students to tour the plant in November 2016.
“There are also many career opportunities to explore in the ethanol industry which are great to hear about from the employees themselves,” Hoffmann added.