Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced last week that Darin Schlapia from Farmers Cooperative Company in Afton and Kevin DeGoey from New Century FS in Grinnell are the 2016 winners of the Iowa Ag Secretary's Biodiesel and Ethanol Marketing Awards. The awards were created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship to recognize fuel marketers who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote and sell renewable fuels.
"New Century FS and Farmers Cooperative Company have made expanding access to renewable fuels a priority and invested in the infrastructure necessary to make variety of biodiesel and ethanol available to their customers. On top of that, they have worked hard to promote these home-grown fuels and educate their customers about the benefits," said Northey.
The Secretary's Ethanol and Biodiesel Marketing Awards were designed to recognize businesses that market the renewable fuels they have available through creative efforts including, but not limited to: hosting special events highlighting their renewable fuels, development of creative signage, initiation of new advertisements or marketing efforts, and dramatically increase renewable fuel availability.
Home-grown, clean-burning renewable fuels
The winners were announced and recognized during the Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores of Iowa Annual Meeting in Des Moines on January 12. The Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa (PMCI) is a non-profit state trade association serving the needs of independent petroleum marketers and convenience store owners throughout the state of Iowa.
"Fuel marketers are the place where customers access the home-grown, clean-burning renewable fuels we produce here in Iowa. Our state is fortunate to have many retailers that have made a significant investment to give customers greater access to renewable fuels and more choice at the pump," Northey said.
Ethanol marketing award winner offers higher blends
Kevin DeGoey, the energy department manager for New Century FS in Grinnell is winner of the 2016 Secretary's Ethanol Marketing Award.
New Century FS offers higher ethanol blends at their sites in Grinnell and Vinton and the company is working to add additional ethanol blender pumps as part of the Iowa USDA Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership program. They were an early adopter of registered E15 and are now one of 40 locations statewide offering this higher blend to customers. In the second year that E15 was offered at their facility in Vinton sales jumped 93% and now account for 27% of the fuel sales at that site.
Under Kevin's leadership, New Century FS actively promotes higher ethanol blends through signage, advertisements, sponsored direct mail pieces containing fuel discount coupons and customer education events with fuel discounts. DeGoey and New Century FS were nominated for the award by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
Biodiesel marketing award winner promote higher blends
Darin Schlapia with Farmers Cooperative Company in Afton is the winner of the 2016 Secretary's Biodiesel Marketing Award.
Farmers' Cooperative Company participated in the "Fueling our Future" pilot program to install one of the first biodiesel blender pumps in the state at their site in Mt. Ayr. That site offer offers #2 diesel, B11, B20, B30 and B99. As part of the "Fueling our Future" program, Schlapia and Farmers Cooperative Company worked with Iowa State University to evaluate consumer perceptions and the impact of increased assess to mid-level biofuels blending options, including impacts on improved air quality.
Schlapia has also worked to promote higher blends of biodiesel to co-op members and area motorists in advertising, articles and promotional events. Schlapia and Farmers Cooperative were nominated for the award by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
Renewable fuels industry is important to state of Iowa
Iowa leads the nation in the production of ethanol and biodiesel. According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 3.0 billion gallons annually, including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program offers cost-share grants for installation of E85 dispensers, blender pumps, biodiesel dispensers and biodiesel storage facilities. The grant program is managed by Iowa Department of Agriculture. More information can be found at www.IowaAgriculture.gov.