Biofuels tour educates through immersion

The National Biodiesel Foundation hosted an immersive, four-day tour through Iowa for federal and state agency officials and U.S. congressional staffers. This year's tour brought representatives from eight states to witness renewable achievements.
By NBB Staff | September 11, 2014

The National Biodiesel Foundation hosted an immersive, four-day tour through Iowa for federal and state agency officials and U.S. congressional staffers. This year’s “Biofuels: Science & Sustainability Tour” brought representatives from eight states to Iowa to see first-hand biodiesel, ethanol and modern production agriculture.

“Coming from Iowa, the benefits of biodiesel have always been clear to me,” said Evan Jurkovich, senior legislative assistant to Congressman Dave Loebsack. “The biofuels tour only added emphasis to that and showed just how valuable the biodiesel industry is to our growing bioeconomy. What I thought was the most important part was seeing firsthand the high-skilled jobs this brings to our rural economies. It was great to see that the biodiesel and bioeconomy industries are here and very real right now and are only going to continue to grow, especially if a strong RFS is maintained.”

The group included staff members from Senate and House of Representative offices from both sides of the aisle representing Iowa, Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota, South Dakota and New Hampshire, along with a number of agencies.

“Spending four days with hard hats walking through production facilities, or waist deep in a soybean field talking about the sustainability of agriculture on a multigenerational farm is an extremely effective way to tell our industry’s story,” said Tom Verry, NBF executive director. “The biodiesel foundation continues to sponsor and help host this tour for a reason. We see it as one of the best ways to educate and build champions in Washington, D.C.”

Attendees visited biodiesel producer Western Dubuque Biodiesel in Farley, Iowa, and heard presentations on production, policy, sustainability, economics and feedstock production from NBB staff. They also spent an afternoon at the farm of Ed Ulch, NBB board member and a past national winner of the American Soybean Association’s Conservation Legacy Award.

Other sponsors included the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the Iowa Biodiesel Board, the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa State University and other biofuels groups.

 
 
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