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Meet the Kansans Fueling Kansas

From Kansas corn farmers, truck drivers, fuel station attendants and others, there are many people involved in the production of Kansas-made ethanol. When you buy Kansas-made E15 or other biofuels at the pump, you're saving money and supporting Kansas families and communities. Meet some of the Kansans Fueling Kansas.

Episode 1: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Kansas corn farmer Anita DeWeese. She and her family farm in Pratt County Kansas. DeWeese recognizes that there's "lots of potential with one little seed." DeWeese finds it very rewarding to know that when she fuels up her vehicles with Kansas-made E15 she had a part in the final product.

Episode 2: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Preston Pelkey of Sun Valley Trucks located in Hutchinson, KS. Pelkey recognizes that although Kansas corn is harvested only in the fall, Sun Valley's drivers haul corn year-round. "With ethanol...our employees are going to get a paycheck every week, so their families are in a lot better shape," says Pelkey.

Episode 3: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Thane Combs from Kansas Ethanol located in Lyons, KS. Combs talks about how corn becomes ethanol as well as additional co-products at Kansas Ethanol. While many people think of corn as just a grain, a lot of value can be extracted from every corn kernel. According to Combs, "We take that one kernel and create multiple beneficial products for the agricultural as well as the motor industries."

Episode 4: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Phil Near, owner and president of Jump Start. Near explains why he offers multiple Kansas-made ethanol fuel options to drivers at all 14 of his Jump Start locations. According to Near, he wanted to build a fuel program that would help the consumer. Near believes they've been able to do just that by using ethanol products and offering multiple fuel choices for his customers. "They can choose a gasoline that runs better in their cars, or a gasoline that saves them money, or a higher octane gasoline," says Near.

Episode 5: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Stacy Mayo-Martinez of Kansas Corn. While you might be stumped at the pump with all of your fuel options, according to Mayo-Martinez, you’re already supporting Kansas-made ethanol and may not even know it! “The good news is even if you fill up with Unleaded in Kansas, you have ten-percent ethanol in your fuel, so you’re already getting that ethanol,” says Mayo-Martinez.

Episode 6: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Gabe Goering of Midway Motors. Goering talks about vehicle manufacturer labels and fuel options available for Kansas drivers. Goering points out that while there are many choices at the pump, ethanol offers a number of benefits. "Ethanol actually burns cleaner. It burns at a higher octane rate so it won't hurt your fuel mileage like some of the stronger blends of fuel," says Goering.

Episode 7: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Kansas corn farmer Dennis McNinch of Arnold, KS. He is also the current chairman of the Kansas Corn Commission that leads the corn checkoff. McNinch says that because of his passion for agriculture, he has taken an active role in helping invest in Kansas corn and Kansas-made ethanol. "I wanted to be part of that segment that would help promote our product and create more value," McNinch states.

Episode 8: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Joni Wilson of Western Plains Energy, LLC. Western Plains Energy was established after a group of farmers joined together to find investors to create the ethanol plant near Oakley. According to Wilson, Western Plains Energy has created an opportunity to utilize local corn for ethanol and ethanol co-products for the livestock industry which benefit communities near the plant.

Episode 9: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Nataniel Doddridge, Vice President of Fuels at Casey's to discuss the growing fuel options available at their stores. Doddridge believes E15 is a product that their customers want. "Fuel as a commodity is one of those things that people are always looking for something cheaper--something more affordable--and this is something more affordable that gives you a higher octane," says Doddridge.

Episode 10: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Lee Reeve of Reeve Cattle Company to discuss how they utilize by-products from their ethanol plant to feed their cattle. "The by-product out of the plant is really just the corn with the starch taken out--we use the starch to produce ethanol. Everything else that was in the grain to begin with is still there, so that becomes an integral part of the ration," says Reeve.

Episode 11: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Jordan Jarnigan of KJK Country Corner located in Deerfield, KS. According to Jarnigan, KJK Country Corner prides itself in knowing that their customers are fueled by the farm. "It's really neat to see a local farmer's corn be turned into ethanol and then we are able to sell that product. Ultimately it benefits our entire community," says Jarnigan.

Episode 12: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Hayes and Shelby Kelman of Dodge City's Boot Hill Distillery. The Kelmans share how their farmer-owned distillery focusses on ethanol production for spirits rather than fuel. According to Hayes Kelman, "It's very similar to making fuel ethanol. It's actually the exact same ingredients, the exact same process. We do it on a much smaller scale and we do it for taste rather than octane levels."

Episode 13: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Kyler Millershaski who owns a farm near Lakin, Kansas. Millershaski shares how selling his corn to a local ethanol plant helps him with his overall marketing strategy. "Being able to have those different opportunities to market the grain better, that really helps me out as a young farmer," says Millershaski. 

Episode 14: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Garden City High School STEAM Lead Science Teacher Chris Remmich. According to Remmich, the resources made available to Kansas teachers by Kansas Corn help students make connections between corn and Kansas-made ethanol."We're committed to helping teachers incorporate agriculture with topics such as ethanol into the classroom and really providing free resources such as curriculum and lab supplies to teachers that are kindergarten through 12th grade," says Remmich.

Episode 15: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Carolyn Dunn, with Stafford County Economic Development. Carolyn shares how Kansas Corn helped their community finance a fuel station as they looked for new opportunities to open a new grocery store in St. John Kansas. 

Episode 16: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Brian Nelson, a 7th-grade teacher at Andover Central Middle School He talks about the Kansas Corn STEM programs available to teachers. Nelson said that the Kansas Corn STEM Project provides really amazing and engaging lessons for the student to do.

Episode 17: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Jenny Goering, a McPherson County Farmer. From running a combine to cooking meals for their farm crew, Jenny Goering takes pride in helping her family run their farm in McPherson County. 

Episode 18: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Joe Kruetzer, General Manager and CEO of Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy, a biofuel manufacturing plant in Phillipsburg, Kansas. Kruetzer takes pride in helping his community use their own products in their vehicles while helping their local economy. 

Episode 19: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Episode 19: Kansans Fueling Kansas
Meet Carmelita Goossen of Southwestern Heights High School, a teacher using the ethanol-focused educational support provided the Kansas Corn STEM program. Goossen focuses on helping high school students find out about careers in the agricultural industry through classes with topics that include agricultural exploration, agriscience, agri-business, agricultural mechanics, and animal, plant, and environmental sciences. She uses a variety of hands-on opportunities provided by Kansas Corn STEM and says, “it's easy to see why my students absolutely love doing labs and lessons provided by Kansas Corn!" Goossen's FFA chapter also sponsors a trip for third graders to visit the local ethanol plant each year with a grant from Kansas Corn.

Episode 20: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Tom Willis, President, and CEO of Conestoga Energy Partners, LLC, in Liberal, Kansas. Founded in 2007, Conestoga plants in both Liberal and Garden City, Kansas produce 180 million gallons of ethanol per year from Kansas grown corn. Because of the farming techniques in western Kansas, the ethanol produced at Conestoga is considered a low carbon fuel, according to Willis.

Episode 21: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Topeka teacher Shelly Robinson. Robinson is one of several Kansas Corn STEM lead teachers providing workshops and curriculum to science and agriculture teachers throughout the state to integrate Kansas-specific information into the classroom. Ethanol production is a big part of our economy in Kansas and these resources teach our students about the impact ethanol production has on farmers, income, and jobs in our state, says Robinson.

Episode 22: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Mathew Elliott of Elliott Family Farms in Hiawatha, Kansas. As a sixth generation farmer growing corn and soybeans Elliott says, "It is really important to grow corn and soybeans because it diversifies our market for what we are selling, there is a good portion that goes into producing ethanol".

Episode 23: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Angela Tin of the American Lung Association to discuss how to improve air quality for lung health. "Ethanol is a cleaner fuel, it's renweable and it's biodigradable" and "when you replace the petroleum portions of the fuel with an alternative renewable fuel, its good for the enviroment and your health," says Tin.

Episode 24: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Pat Ross, Farmer, Cattle Producer and Corn Commissioner in Lawrence, Kansas. “Ethanol is becoming a real win-win for the farmers,” says Ross. As a corn, soybean and cattle farmer for the last 40 years, Ross experiences all of the benefits of ethanol production. The ethanol plant offers a market for his crop and the process comes full circle when the Ross family uses Kansas-made ethanol in their cars and equipment. They also use distillers grain, a byproduct of ethanol, to feed a healthy diet to their cattle.

Episode 25: Kansans Fueling Kansas
Meet Nancy Dailey from Dailey Ag in Jefferson County. Through a grant from Kansas Corn, Dailey Ag was able to install blending pumps to offer Kansas-made ethanol fuel options to local farmers, residents, and travelers.

Episode 26: Kansans Fueling Kansas

Meet Robert White, Vice President of Industry Relations at Renewable Fuels Association. White focuses on promoting safe ethanol choices for automobiles, boats, chainsaws and much more. “We grow a lot of corn in the state of Kansas utilized for ethanol. The more ethanol we use the lower greenhouse gas emission of our fuel and obviously the carbon intensity of that fuel has dropped as well. It’s important, even with small engines, it matters a lot to use those blends to help with emission” says White.

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