The Renewable Fuels Association today extended its congratulations to member companies Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co. and Al-Corn Clean Fuel for celebrating their 25th anniversaries this week. Both plants are based in Minnesota; CVEC in Benson and Al-Corn in Claremont.
“Since they began operations in 1996, Al-Corn and CVEC have both established themselves as leaders in the ethanol industry,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Day in and day out for two and a half decades, these companies have been doing their part to create good-paying jobs, boost local farm economies, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, fight climate change, and clean the air we breathe. We salute the dedicated management, staff, and farmer-investors who have put their blood, sweat, and tears into these important value-added businesses.”
Cooper also noted that both Al-Corn and CVEC were essential contributors to what became known industry-wide as the “Minnesota Model”—a grassroots effort focused on developing policies and public-private partnerships to facilitate growth and local ownership in the state’s ethanol industry. The state’s comprehensive approach to supporting ethanol became a model for other Midwestern states to adopt.
Originally constructed as a 10-million-gallon-a-year facility, Al-Corn has undergone a series of expansion and modernization projects and now produces 125 million gallons annually. Each year, the company grinds over 42 million bushels of corn and can produce 269,000 tons of high protein livestock feed, as well as 44 million pounds of corn oil. Since its founding, CVEC has grown to over 900 member owners, produces 50 million gallons of ethanol per year, reduces energy consumption annually, and is recognized at both state and federal levels for efficient production and leadership in shaping ethanol policy. CVEC is also known for its innovation in producing a diverse array of products, including industrial and beverage-grade alcohol.
CVEC General Manager Chad Friese and Al-Corn CEO Randall Doyal currently represent their companies on the RFA Board of Directors. In addition, Kelly Davis, RFA’s current VP of Regulatory Affairs, served as CVEC’s first lab supervisor when the facility opened—a position she held for more than a decade.