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Seven Receive Scholarships to National Ethanol Conference

January 27, 2022

Events, Membership, NEC


The Renewable Fuels Foundation announces seven recipients of the Robert Sather Memorial Scholarship, offering opportunities for young adults interested in attending the annual National Ethanol Conference (NEC).


Those receiving scholarships include Jean Claude Mbarushimana, a Virginia Tech graduate student studying agricultural and applied economics. In addition, six members of the Renewable Fuels Association Young Professionals Network will be attending on scholarship: Daehwan Kim, an Assistant Professor of Biology at Hood College; Justin Diehm, Commodity Manager at East Kansas Agri-Energy; Kyle Sonderman, Lab Manager at Show Me Ethanol; Traci Menke, Executive Assistant at Renewable Fuels Nebraska; Jessica Sodeke, Ethanol Program Manager at Nebraska Ethanol Board; and Joe Shanle, Plant Manager, Trenton Agri Products.


“We were happy to see such a positive response to our call for applications and we are impressed by the caliber of these seven young men and women,” said Bill Pracht, chairman of RFF and CEO of East Kansas Agri-Energy. “Their participation in the upcoming National Ethanol Conference will serve them well as they seek to learn more about renewable fuels and build connections. We are looking forward to the role they each will play in our industry’s dynamic and innovative future.”


Now in its 13th year, the NEC scholarship program is named in honor of Robert “Bob” Sather, an educator who helped found RFA member company Ace Ethanol in Wisconsin. Sather was a longtime Chair of the Renewable Fuels Foundation, whose mission is to meet the research and education needs of the U.S. fuel ethanol industry. The aim of the Bob Sather Memorial Scholarship is to reach young adults aspiring to a career related to renewable fuels, open new doors for them, and present new perspectives on ethanol’s place in our world today and in the future.


The 27th annual National Ethanol Conference takes place February 21-23 in New Orleans and is the nation’s most widely attended executive-level conference for the ethanol industry. From emerging technologies and new uses to opportunities in global carbon reduction policies—and featuring fresh market insights and international and domestic marketplace developments—there is much to learn and experience at the NEC, where comprehensive learning sessions are interspersed with numerous networking opportunities to help the industry stay connected and collaborative.