Minneapolis, April 23 - The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Bio-Fuels) and Highwater Ethanol hosted a virtual plant visit for 10 students from Sleepy Eye High School on April 20.
During the virtual plant visit, the students, from the school’s Natural Resources class, were given a virtual presentation on the plant’s operations, facts on the ethanol industry, and shown videos on the ethanol production process and the ethanol industry’s economic impact in Minnesota.
“It was a pleasure explaining to the students how ethanol is produced and the role it has in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening the rural economy in Minnesota,” said Brian Kletscher, CEO of Highwater Ethanol.
He told the students Highwater Ethanol uses 20 - 22 million bushels of corn annually to produce 65 - 67 million gallons of ethanol a year as well as 110,000 - 120,000 tons of dried distillers grains, 55,000 tons of modified distillers grains and 17-19 million pounds of corn oil.
Kletscher also spoke about the various careers at Highwater Ethanol and the qualifications required, adding the plant currently has 43 employees.
Other participants from Highwater Ethanol for the virtual tour were Luke Schneider, CFO, and Dillon Imker, co-plant/operations manager.
“These virtual plant visits provide students with a safe way to learn more about the ethanol industry, which contributed $1.5 billion to Minnesota’s economy last year,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director for MN Bio-Fuels.
Mary Hoffman, agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Sleepy Eye High School, participated in the virtual tour with her students, who were from grades 9 to 12.
"I hope that my students understand the scope of the ethanol industry in our area as well as Minnesota. I also want them to understand the environmental benefits of ethanol and the environmental regulations that a plant would follow,” she said.