See You in St. Louis

By Susanne Retka Schill | May 21, 2010
une marks the beginning of summer and for ethanol producers, the big event of the year—the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo, being held June 15-17 in St. Louis. We at BBI International have been working hard, along with help from our industry friends, to create a program worthy of your time, and an expo that truly represents the industry.

Along with networking, tours, a solid educational program and expansive expo, this year's 26th annual gathering will continue the tradition of honoring two industry leaders. The Award of Excellence acknowledges technical contributions to the industry and the High Octane Award recognizes an exceptional industry leader.

The scholarship program has a new focus this year. It will now be offered as the Kathy Bryan Memorial Scholarship, in honor of Bryan, co-founder of the FEW, Ethanol Producer Magazine and former president of BBI International. Starting in the 1980s, she was a champion for ethanol and held a positive vision for stronger rural communities, a prosperous agriculture and environmental stewardship. Two $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to employees of any U.S. ethanol plant or a member of the employee's immediate family headed to college, university or trade school this fall. The applicants are asked to explain how their career focus will help forward Bryan's vision for rural America. A special fundraising effort to help fund the annual scholarships will be held this year, with commemorative mugs distributed during the FEW & Expo receptions by participating exhibitors.

The atmosphere at FEW promises to be upbeat this year—the economy has stabilized and the industry has seen some good months with healthy returns. There appears to be political support for renewable fuels, in spite of all the controversies—after all, President Barack Obama wouldn't be touring a Midwestern ethanol plant if it were political suicide. As we put this issue of the magazine to bed, Associate Editor Holly Jessen returned to the office from covering the presidential visit to the ethanol plant at Macon, Mo. Look for her story in the July issue. And look for the EPM team at the FEW. We'd love to chat with you about what's happening in your corner of the ethanol industry.