Poet confirms planned Obama visit to Macon

By Holly Jessen | April 15, 2010
Posted April 26, 2010

The rumors are true. President Barack Obama will visit Poet Biorefining in Macon, Mo. The April 28 tour of the ethanol plant is part of his "White House to Main Street Tour" through Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. That tour kicked off in December 2009 as a way for Obama to get out of Washington and spend time with American families. Since that time he's made stops in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia.

"We appreciate President Obama's long-time support for ethanol, and we're anxious to show him how efficient production today is providing valuable fuel for our nation," said Jeff Broin, CEO of Poet. "I am proud that Poet plants provide 1.6 billion gallons of renewable fuel annually for the United States. That fuel is produced by our 1,500 team members, who are working hard to reduce oil imports each day at facilities across rural America."

While in Macon the President will speak to Poet employees "about what they are experiencing during these tough economic times and share ideas for rebuilding our economy in the long term," according to a White House press release. He will also stop at a local farm and speak to the family.

At the 2000 Census, Macon had a population of more than 5,500. The Poet ethanol plant there has a capacity of 46 MMgy. It started production in 2000 and was the first ethanol plant operating in Missouri, according to the company. Out of 45 total plant employees, 14 are original employees.

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer issued a statement with some strong words for the President after hearing he would visit Macon. "It is important that the President has chosen to visit the hard-working people of Northeast Missouri so he can hear what I have been hearing for the past 15 months," he said, "folks are angry about the government takeover of health care, job-killing cap-and-tax legislation, endless bailouts and the failed stimulus package."

The President's tour starts out April 27 at Siemens Energy Inc Facility in Fort Madison, Iowa. He will then go on to Mt. Pleasant and then a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa, at Indian Hills Community College. The events on April 28 include stops in Macon and Quincy, Ill.

Attendance at the President's visit to the ethanol plant is by invitation only, the company said. However, Poet will post video, audio and photos of the event on its Web site.