More than 80 people turned out for the American Coalition for Ethanol Biofuels Beltway March this year, the most ever, and the diverse group included ethanol producers, retailers, bankers, truckers, cattle ranchers, students – and a whole bunch of corn farmers. The team here consisted of (LtoR) Missouri farmer Gary Porter, Missouri Corn Growers public policy director Shane Kinne, and Minnesota farmers on the board of Chippewa Valley Ethanol Dale Tolifson and Dave Thompson.
Cindy caught up with them as they were heading out of the Capitol after making their rounds and asked them each to give a brief impression of their visits.
Shane said the highlight of the trip was getting folks into meet with their lawmakers, telling the personal stories of farmers and fuel retailers and how ethanol is making a difference.
“They have a great story to tell, and it makes a huge difference when [lawmakers] hear it firsthand.” Shane said.
Gary said he appreciated the different points of view that he heard, such as viewpoints from folks not from the Midwest who aren’t involved in ag or ethanol.
“It’s interesting for me to talk to them and listen to what they say, and also for me to share with them the way I see it,” adding that since he’s a corn grower, cattle feeder and fuel retailer, he has a pretty well-rounded view and is willing to talk to even those he doesn’t agree with.
“That’s the ones we need to talk to,” Dave pointed out. “Even though they didn’t agree with us, they were very receptive to listening, they had good questions, and I think we have a great story to tell.”
Dale echoed those sentiments and was glad to tell his personal story.
“We tell about our experiences on the farm, how we helped grow the ethanol industry, and how that industry is not only important for clean air, but it’s important for jobs and the ag community,” as well as advancements in agriculture that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for ethanol, including boosting yields to meet all demands.
Listen to what they said here: Interview with Biofuels March team