Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy Seeds Monarch Fueling Station Project

Contact: Cassidy Walter

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) is one step closer to providing monarch butterflies with a new place to fill up on their cross-country journey.

The ethanol plant seeded their Monarch Fueling Station this week. Seeding was done by local farmer Rick Frost. Habitat Establishment Coordinator Kevin Reynolds said the plant can expect to see growth relatively soon.

“The first year there are a few species of plants that will sprout rapidly,” he said. “However, the majority will spend this first growing season developing strong roots. Managers of the project will need to be vigilant about weed control during this time to ensure the long-term success of the habitat.”

SIRE established the Monarch Fueling Station in February of 2018 with the help of Reynolds.

“This is an exciting next step for our Monarch Fueling Station,” said SIRE CEO Mike Jerke. “We can’t wait to see green sprouts in this field and watch it flourish over time to provide much-needed habitat for Iowa’s monarch butterflies.”

The Monarch Fueling Station Project was established by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) in partnership with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in December 2017. It is a program to help Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel plants establish patches of monarch habitat on plant grounds. To learn more about the IRFA Monarch Fueling Station Project, contact IRFA at or 515-252-6249.

Rick Frost tills the ground of the Monarch Fueling Station to prepare it for seeding.

Aerial view of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy’s Monarch Fueling Station.

Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy’s Monarch Fueling Station sign was recently installed.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing nearly 4.4 billion gallons annually – including approximately 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce 400 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: