Picture caption: Minneswaska Area High School students (left) and West Central Area Secondary School students (right)
Benson, Oct 14 - Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) hosted plant tours for two schools earlier this week.
On Oct 11, CVEC welcomed 25 students from Minnewaska Area High School’s agriculture processing class followed by 13 students from West Central Area Secondary School’s plant science class on Oct 13.
“One of our goals in hosting tours for students at our facility is to have them learn about our state’s agriculture and ethanol industries. We also want students to walk away with a better understanding of the important role the ethanol industry plays in bolstering rural economies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting energy independence and providing savings at the gas pump,” said Chad Friese, CEO of CVEC.
During both tours, students were briefed on the different stages of ethanol production such as incoming grain grading, grain handling, fermentation, grain storage, dried distillers grain production and storage, ethanol storage and shipment.
“The ag processing class explores many different processes of agricultural products and how they can be used. This tour helped the students learn and understand yet another process that turns one product into many different usable products and how that plays into their everyday lives. This tour also helped reinforce the lesson that, in the agricultural industry, we utilize every part of the original product, with many different byproducts, and that we do not waste anything,” said Nick Milbrandt, agriculture teacher at Minnewaska Area High School.
Both tours were organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Bio-Fuels). CVEC is a member of MN Bio-Fuels.
“The CVEC tour was a great way to inform students about the process of producing ethanol and the relationship that ethanol production has with the agriculture industry and local community growth. What is more important with students now is that this tour introduces them to the ethanol industry at a time when there is serious debate about our future fuel options.”
“Fuel sources such as petroleum and large-scale electrical production, such as coal fired power plants, do not have production sites nearby and this gave our students an opportunity to see large scale renewable fuel production right in our backyard. We have taken this tour before and always enjoy the ethanol industry reaching out to schools to get students some real-life experiences,” said Eric Sawatzke, agriculture teacher at West Central Area Secondary School.