Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Visits Green Plains Obion

On Tues., July 14, Julius Johnson, Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner, visited our Green Plains Obion ethanol plant, located in Rives, Tenn., with Asst. Commissioners Carol Coley McDonald and Ed Harlan, State Rep. Bill Sanderson and Matt Fennel of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. Our visit with the group started with a Company overview by our very own Steve Bleyl, Executive Vice President of Ethanol Marketing, then expanded to an industry-wide discussion on ethanol and how it has positively impacted the agricultural landscape in the state of Tennessee.

Commissioner Johnson was very receptive to our message and shared his appreciation for the opportunities Green Plains brings to the Tennessee economy by presenting members of our Green Plains team with an award stating, “Thank you for putting your capital to work in Tennessee.”

While the heat index was well over 100 degrees, the group braved the humidity to go on a tour with Plant Manager, Scott McClellan. During the tour, the Commissioner had the unique experience of being able to walk into the nearly complete grain storage facility.

Commissioner Johnson proved to be a strong advocate for our industry. He looks forward to the future of Green Plains Inc. and recognizes the work our employees do for local Tennessee agriculture. We appreciate the Commissioner and his guests sharing so much of their day with us and look forward to their partnership in the future.

Public Hearing on Proposed Rule for Renewable Fuel Standard

Hundreds of people with a stake in the ethanol industry — from producers and users to corn farmers, rival oil company executives, elected officials, environmentalists and consumers — went to Kansas City, Kan., on Thursday, June 26 to give their thoughts on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to reduce the country’s ethanol mandate. Three members of our Green Plains team shared their concerns with the EPA’s proposed RFS-RVO rules.

Jeff Briggs, Chief Operating Officer, spoke about the successful impact the RFS has had on our industry. Jeff reminded the EPA, “The RFS should be used as the vehicle for higher ethanol blends in the U.S..  It has been the most successful energy legislation this country has had. It has reduced our dependence on foreign oil, cleaned the air we breathe, created jobs across rural America and created a strong secondary market for farmers to sell their corn. More ethanol into our fuel supply is a positive for not just the Midwest but also the U.S..”

Sasha Forsen, Public Relations Manager, centered her testimony around her personal connection to agriculture. Sasha stated, “The RFS should be a consistent in a world full of uncertainties” and her family knows this to be true — they have three generations currently farming land in Iowa and Nebraska. Their livelihood is effected by every delay and change the EPA makes to the RFS.

Brian Engel, General Manager of Vegetable Oil Trading, prides the renewable fuels industry on being creative, resourceful and flexible. “It is easy to see that corn oil from the ethanol industry is bringing value to consumers across fuel, feed, food and industrial applications.” He challenged the EPA on their proposed RFS-RVO ruling and questioned why the EPA is unable to successfully utilize the fuels our industry produce.

The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard - Renewable Volume Obligations two month public comment period comment period officially comes to a close on Monday, July 27 at 4:00 p.m. CT. If you haven’t done so already, please take the time to voice your displeasure with EPA’s proposal and submit a comment via Growth Energy’s RFS-RVO action center.

American Ethanol Producer's Club Event

Green Plains Atkinson, Central City, Ord and Wood River came together with their customers for an American Ethanol Producer’s Club Event in Grand Island, Nebraska on Wednesday, June 10. It was an exciting event with engaging presenters and important information regarding our industry.

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, provided an industry background and update for the future including the EPA’s recent RFS proposal and the USDA’s grant program. Kelly Manning, Vice President of Development for Growth Energy, spoke to the expansion and importance of having E15 as a fuel option for customers at the pump. Steve Bleyl, Executive Vice President of Ethanol Marketing for Green Plains, and Pat Sexton from New Holland, both gave overviews of their respective companies.

Congressman Adrian Smith made an appearance via video to address our Nebraska farmers. He stated, “While our country faces many challenges, agriculture certainly continues to be a bright spot in our economy. I’m honored to support Green Plains, all the growers, policy makers, retailers and other stakeholders that contribute to this agriculture success.”

The event was a success for Green Plains and its partners Growth Energy and New Holland. Thank you to everyone who attended as well as the Central Valley FFA Chapter who offered support at the event. We look forward to having more events like this in the future!

Farm Safety Day

June has been a busy month for our Nebraska locations. On June 2, Green Plains Ord participated in the Progressive Agriculture Farm Safety Day, which took place at the Valley County Ag Complex in Ord, Nebraska. Green Plains sponsored the event and provided lunch to the nearly 250 children and volunteers who participated.

Kindergarten through 2nd grade attended sessions in the morning and grades 3-6 attended sessions in the afternoon. Each child received a t-shirt, Green Plains goodie bag and bicycle helmet for safe fun this summer!

Susan Krohn, lab manager at Green Plains Ord said, “I really appreciate everyone’s teamwork on making this event successful – feeding over 200 people!  It is a great event, and look forward to a continued relationship with the Farm Safety Day for Kids!”


Green Plains employees grilling for the kids' lunch.  


Goodie bags for over 200 participants.


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