EPIC, Poet give FFV, E85 to Minnesota family on TV

By Anna Austin | October 06, 2008
Web exclusive posted Oct. 13, 2008 at 11:24 a.m. CST

On yet another mission to shine a positive light on ethanol, the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council took a significant role behind the scenes of a special episode of the popular ABC television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

Teamed up with Poet LLC, the world's largest producer of ethanol, the companies awarded the Dirk Devries family of Albert Lea, Minn., with a 2009 Ford Motor Co. F-150 crew cab pickup truck. The F-150 is one of seven flexible-fuel 2009 models released by Ford. In addition, the family received a one year supply of E85, which is valued at approximately $6,000.

Minnesota is home to four Poet ethanol facilities located in Glenville, Preston, Lake Crystal, and Bingham Lake. These plants, along with Poet's Hanlontown, Iowa, plant, all contributed to the cause.

The idea to donate the vehicle and fuel began when Poet's Gary Pestorius, chairman of the company's Glenville, Minn., plant, heard that the television show would be in Minnesota to help a family. He contacted the show producers. After getting area plants involved, Pestorius offered EPIC an opportunity to take part.

Toni Nuernberg, executive director of EPIC, said the organization was excited to get involved. "It went very quickly from there," she said. "It was a wonderful opportunity to support our members and the industry at large."

Nuernberg said after Pestorius and EPIC contacted the local dealership, Dave Syverson Ford, the ethanol facilities and EPIC reimbursed the company for the vehicle and made arrangements with Freeborn County Co-op Oil Co. to set up the E85 account. "It really was a joint effort," she said. "The partnership between the ethanol industry and towns such as Albert Lea has paid off in quality jobs, economic vitality and community pride. We are proud to play a role in this effort."

According to Nuernberg, an airdate for the Minnesota episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" has not been set yet. It is expected to air in December.