Business Briefs

By Erin Voegele | February 18, 2016

The South Dakota Corn Growers Association honored Poet as Most Valuable Player in Agriculture during its annual meeting in January. Poet played a lead role in changing the landscape of agriculture in South Dakota, which now uses 370 million bushels of corn to produce 1 billion gallons of ethanol annually. Poet has the capacity to produce 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol, 4.6 tons of distillers grains and 75 million pounds of corn oil annually at its facilities located in seven states. The Broin family began experimenting with making ethanol on its Minnesota farm in 1983. Within a few years, the company got its start at a small ethanol plant in Scotland, South Dakota. Today, the company is one of the largest ethanol producers in the world, with its headquarters located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Jeff Broin currently serves as CEO of Poet.
 
Solenis LLC, through its Brazilian subsidiary Solenis do Brasil Químicas Ltda, has completed the acquisition of 100 percent of the shares of Quimatec Produtos Químicos Ltda, a Brazilian manufacturer of specialty chemicals for the sugar and ethanol processing industry; and Locatec de Araraquara Ltda-Me, the associated logistics provider. The acquisition of Quimatec is part of Solenis’ strategy to broaden its process chemical and industrial water treatment offerings in the ethanol market worldwide. Quimatec is located in Araraquara, state of São Paulo, Brazil, and has approximately 110 employees.
 
Ross Glendinning has been appointed senior vice president of the services division of Alfa Laval Inc. He is charged with driving consistent profitable growth, and developing new sales opportunities for the service business of Alfa Laval in the U.S. His responsibilities include leading parts sales, reconditioning services, field services and technical support activities. Glendinning joined Alfa Laval in 1982 as marine engineer for the company’s military products group.  He worked in various areas of the organization, holding positions in regional and national service, global business development, as well as capital equipment marketing and sales management.  He was most recently responsible for Alfa Laval’s services for the industrial process markets. 
 
Three Sorghum Checkoff board members were sworn in during a December meeting. Returning to the board as an at-large member is David Fremark of St. Lawrence, South Dakota. New to the board are Craig Poore of Alton, Kansas and Jim Massey IV of Robstown, Texas. Boyd Funk of Garden City, Kansas, will be sworn in during the next Sorghum Checkoff board meeting. The newly sworn in board members were appointed by the U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in October and will serve three-year terms. Fremark will serve as chairman, Dan Krienke of Perryton, Texas, as vice chairman, Adam Baldwin of McPherson, Kansas, as secretary and Verity Ulibarri of McAlister, New Mexico, as treasurer. 
 
Corn LP has joined Growth Energy. The facility is located next to its partner Gold-Eagle Cooperative in Goldfield, Iowa, and has a production capacity of 60 MMgy. 
                   
The Andersons Inc. has announced Chief Operating Officer Harold M. (Hal) Reed will step down from his current position on Feb. 1 and oversee special company initiatives until his retirement in July. He held various positions within the agriculture group before serving as the president of the Grain & Ethanol Group between 2001 and 2012, and becoming COO in January 2012. He is also a past chairman of the National Grain and Feed Association.
  
Deinove has been granted six new patents in the U.S.  One, titled “Process for chromosomal engineering using a novel DNA repair system,” Deinove’s founding patent, is already registered in Europe and describes the mechanism behind the biodiversity and resistance of Deinococcus bacteria, a major discovery made by Miroslav Radman’s team and which led to the launch of Deinove. The second, titled “Methods for isolating bacteria,” protects a method for selecting and identifying bacteria that has enabled the company to build a strain library with over 6,000 bacterial strains, all resistant to UV radiation. The company was awarded four additional patents pertaining to Deinococcus bacteria that are associated with  producing biofuels as part of the Deinol program. Deinove now holds a portfolio of 170 patents internationally.
 
The United Sorghum Checkoff Program board of directors invested nearly $6.2 million, the largest investment made by the board since its establishment, to fund proposals targeted at furthering sorghum growers’ productivity and demand. The commitment, which was approved during the Dec. 9 board meeting, concludes the request for proposals that began July 2015. A total of 114 preproposals were received and 37 full proposals were requested. The board of directors awarded funding to 30 projects.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization has changed its name to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. The change aims to better reflect the progress and groundbreaking innovations its members achieve in healing, fueling and feeding the world. The organization, which is the largest biotechnology trade association in the world, will continue to use the shortened “BIO” name. BIO represents biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the U.S. and in more than 30 other countries. The organization was founded more than 22 years ago, uniting scientists, entrepreneurs, policymakers and the public to advance breakthrough cures and products in fields ranging from health, food and agricultural to industrial and environmental.
 
Growth Energy and New Holland Agriculture announced Bill Howell as the 2015 Growth Energy Individual Member Sweepstakes winner. In December, Howell was presented with the Boomer 47, a 47 hp tractor customized with Growth Energy racing decals at Haley Equipment in Carroll, Iowa.

Nancy Ho, founder and president of Green Tech America Inc. and a research professor emerita in Purdue University’s School of Chemical Engineering, has received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama. Ho has focused her research on using recombinant DNA techniques to improve industrial microorganisms, particularly for production of renewable biofuels and bioproducts by using renewable cellulosic resources as the feedstocks. Her most noted work has been the development of recombinant Saccharomyces yeast that can effectively produce cellulosic ethanol from all types of cellulosic plant materials such as corn stalks, wheat straws, wood and grasses. The original Saccharomyces yeast used for producing ethanol from corn and other edible feedstocks cannot ferment cellulosic sugars to produce transportation fuel such as ethanol. She founded Green Tech America Inc. in 2006 at the Purdue Research Park to produce and market the yeast and provide other services for cellulosic ethanol production.
 
Archer Daniels Midland Co. has announced an agreement with Kinder Morgan Inc. and Bailey Feed Mill to construct a new unit train rail facility and ethanol off-loading system in Selma, North Carolina. KMI will invest in and construct the new facilities, which will be located at the Bailey Feed Mill and will have the ability to off-load up to 96 railcar-long unit trains in a 24-hour period. KMI will also build a 2.6 mile pipeline to connect the unit train off-load system to its vast tank farm in Selma, allowing ethanol to be distributed to blending terminals in Selma and the surrounding markets.

The Sunoco Fulton Ethanol manufacturing facility in Volney, New York, has received a $700,000 Central New York Regional Economic Development Grant. The REDC grant will be used to help fund a new $9.1 million barley malting facility that will be integral to the growth of the state’s craft beer industry.