10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit Recap

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10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit Recap

The 10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit featured an exciting speaker line-up of high-level biofuels industry experts, policymakers and political leaders.  The one-day renewable fuels event on January 19, 2016 at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center not only attracted about 50 sponsors and vendors and nearly 1,000 attendees, but also a wealth of inspiring discussions on the challenges and opportunities facing today’s renewable fuels industry.

To learn more about the event, check out the full Summit recap below.


 Welcome to the 10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit

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Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) President Tom Brooks kicked-off the 2016 Summit by welcoming the crowd, discussing the program and recognizing the event’s sponsors. Mr. Brooks also serves as General Manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel, a 30 million gallon per year capacity biodiesel production facility located in Farley, Iowa.


U.S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and former Iowa Governor, Tom Vilsack told the crowd that presidential candidates shouldn’t just support the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS, they should support many initiatives that spur innovation and open up markets for biofuels.

“There are people around the country who don’t see the same benefits we see, who are attacking the Renewable Fuel Standard in the courts, and have been attacking it in the halls of Congress,” said Vilsack. “We need to point out the benefits to those who oppose this industry.”

To read more about Sec. Vilsack’s speech at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, check out this Des Moines Register article.


The State of Iowa’s Renewable Fuels Industry

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Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw discussed the state of Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel industries,  making special note of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and where the presidential candidates stand on this important biofuels program.

To view Shaw’s presentation, please click here.

To view a copy of Shaw’s selected prepare remarks, please click here.


Ask the Industry Forum

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IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw was joined on stage by IRFA President and Western Dubuque Biodiesel General Manager Tom Brooks and Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy General Manager Brian Cahill to answer questions from the audience on various ethanol and biodiesel industry questions from the audience.


Renewable Fuels Industry Keynote:

National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Joe Jobe

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National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Joe Jobe took the stage as the 2016 Summit’s ‘Renewable Fuels Industry Keynote,’ and discussed biodiesel’s role as greenhouse gas reducing advanced biofuel, and the current opportunities and challenges facing the industry around the nation, from the Low Carbon Fuel Standards of the West Coast, to advancements in Bioheat on the East Coast.


Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds

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The nation’s longest-serving governor, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds discussed Iowa’s leadership in renewable fuels, and how they plan to continue to lead the way in producing and using ethanol and biodiesel.


Roundtable: What’s Ahead in the Next Decade for Renewable Fuels

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Three former IRFA Presidents sat down with American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Executive Vice President Brian Jennings to reflect on the past 10 years of renewable fuels policy, production and use, and look forward to what’s in store for renewable fuels in the next 10 years. Participating in the roundtable discussion were former IRFA Presidents Steve Bleyl, Executive Vice President of Ethanol Marketing, Green Plains, Brad Albin, Vice President of Manufacturing, Renewable Energy Group, and Mike Jerke, CEO, Guardian Energy.


6th Annual “Fuel the Future” Iowa High School Video Contest

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IRFA Communications Director T.J. Page and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey teamed up on stage to talk about the importance of educating young people on the benefits of renewable fuels, and present awards for the 6th Annual “Fuel the Future” Renewable Fuels Video Contest for Iowa High School students. Taking home the $1,000 grand prize was Des Moines Roosevelt High School Senior Helena Gruensteidl for her video, “Kirby’s Future.” (pictured above). The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association partnered with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship on the contest. The contest was sponsored by the BrownWinick Law Firm.

To watch the First Place winning video, please click here.

To watch the Second Place winning video, please click here.

To watch the Third Place winning video, please click here.


Presidential Candidate Donald Trump

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Businessman and Candidate for the Republican Presidential Nomination Donald Trump addressed a large crowd at the Summit, and discussed his support for biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).


Roundtable: The Business Impacts of the Final RFS Rule

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BBI International Vice President of Content Tim Portz lead an insightful discussion with Green Plains, Inc. CEO Todd Becker and Renewable Energy Group (REG) CEO Dan Oh on the potential business and industry impacts of the EPA’s final RFS rule.


Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee
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Former Arkansas Governor and Candidate for the Republican Presidential Nomination Mike Huckabee spoke with Summit attendees about his bid for presidency, and his support for renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel, as well as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).


Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina

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Former Hewlett-Packard Executive and Candidate for the Republican Presidential Nomination Carly Fiorina mingled with the Summit crowd, discussed her candidacy and voiced her support for the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).