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RFA Announces Two Scholarship Winners to Attend National Ethanol Conference

January 22, 2019


The Renewable Fuels Association and the Renewable Fuels Foundation are proud to announce Krista Russell and Devin Brand have been awarded student scholarships that will send them to RFA's 24th annual National Ethanol Conference (NEC), the theme of which is "Powered with Renewed Energy," next month in Orlando.

The scholarships provide students enrolled in higher education with complimentary registration, airfare and lodging to the conference, giving scholarship recipients the chance to connect with roughly 1,000 leaders, policymakers, and experts associated with the renewable fuels industry. The scholarship is available to students who focus on renewable fuels in their studies and intend to pursue a career in the industry. This is the tenth consecutive year in which this scholarship has been made available to students.

Russell recently graduated with a degree in Agricultural Systems with a focus in Agriculture Education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. This past summer she interned at the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center (NCERC), and is now pursuing a Master's Degree in Environmental Science at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. With assistance from NCERC, she will be working with K-12 students within the St. Louis region to educate them about ethanol and agriculture.

Brand is a senior at South Dakota State University and will graduate this summer with a degree in Agriculture Business. He grew up in a family of third and fourth-generation dairy and corn/soybean farmers. This past summer, he interned with the Colorado Corn Growers Association, where he learned about ethanol's economic, environmental, and vehicle performance benefits. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in agricultural policy.

"The NEC is the most widely attended executive level conference for the ethanol industry and provides excellent networking and education opportunities for students like Krista and Devin, who represent the next generation of leaders in our industry," said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper.

"It is exciting and rejuvenating to see the passion and energy that these students have for biofuels and agriculture," said Redfield Energy's Dana Lewis, chair of the Renewable Fuels Foundation. "We are pleased to award these scholarships to Krista and Devin, and we look forward to seeing them at the conference." 

The NEC will take place Feb. 11-13 at the JW Marriott in Orlando. For more information, visit