Winthrop, March 24 - Nineteen high school students from Norwood Young America visited Heartland Corn Products in Winthrop today to get a closer look at how clean, homegrown renewable fuels are produced.
The students, from Central High School, toured the various processes of ethanol production at the 108-million-gallon-a-year ethanol plant.
“We are always pleased to welcome high school students to our plant and provide them with a first-hand look at how clean Minnesota-grown renewable energy is produced,” said Scott Blumhoeffer, Vice-President at Heartland Corn Products.
During the tour, the students, from grades 10 to 12, learned about incoming grain grading, grain handling, fermentation, grain storage, dried distiller grain production and storage, liquefaction and ethanol storage and shipment.
The ethanol plant tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, a non-profit trade organization that represents the ethanol industry in Minnesota.
“These tours show students how a homegrown renewable ingredient is converted into a clean fuel that continues to reduce harmful greenhouse gases.
“These tours also provide them with a better understanding of the career opportunities in Minnesota’s ethanol industry,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.
Heartland Corn Products is one of the largest ethanol plants in Minnesota and was built in 1995.
Jim Mesik, agriculture teacher at Central High School, accompanied the students during today’s tour.
“We were interested in the tour so we can learn about this renewable energy source that is so important to Minnesota’s agriculture economy. This will also help make the students more informed fuel consumers,” he said.
Earlier this month, ABF Economics released a report that said Minnesota’s ethanol industry contributed $2.1 billion to the state’s economy in 2015.
Mesik added that ethanol is part of the curriculum for a small gas engines class on fuel and fuel systems at Central High School.