Minneapolis, April 10 – Twenty-seven students from Central High School in Norwood Young America visited Heartland Corn Products in Winthrop yesterday to get a closer look at how clean, homegrown renewable fuels are produced.
The students, from the school’s Small Gas Engines class, toured the various processes of ethanol production at Heartland Corn Products, which produces 120 million gallons of ethanol a year.
“Today’s tour allowed us to showcase how the ethanol industry enhances Minnesota’s economy, reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions and makes America more energy independent,” said Scott Blumhoefer, Vice-President at Heartland Corn Products.
During the tour, the students from grades 9-12, learned about incoming grain grading, grain handling, fermentation, grain storage, dried distiller grain production and storage, liquefaction and ethanol storage and shipment.
The tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Biofuels), a non-profit trade organization that represents Minnesota’s ethanol industry. Heartland Corn Products is a member of MN Biofuels.
Today’s visit was also the fourth consecutive year Central High School has toured Heartland Corn Products.
“Central High School’s latest visit to Heartland Corn Products highlights the value educators see in bringing their students to tour an ethanol plant,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the MN Biofuels.
Jim Mesik, agriculture teacher at Central High School, has accompanied his students for each of the school’s tours at Heartland Corn Products.
“Heartland Corn Products and MN Biofuels always put on a great tour. They really explain the ethanol process very thoroughly from just about all perspectives possible. We really get to see things in action at the plant. Students really enjoy it and learn a lot,” he said.
Mesik teaches his students about ethanol in both his Small Gas Engines and Natural Resource Science classes.
“Students talk about how they didn't realize that there is an animal feed byproduct in the end. They also see how ethanol benefits area farms by creating an additional market for the corn they are raising. We are using a lot of ethanol in vehicles these days and we grow a lot of corn, so being informed consumers and citizens are a good thing,” he said.