www.johnsonpublications.zenfolio.com Bonnie Becker | Johnson Publications
Governor Pete Ricketts speaks to the nearly 50 attendees at Aurora Cooperative’s A-Stop 24 pump station grand opening on Friday, July 20. Other speakers included (l-r): Roger Berry, Nebraska Corn Board director of marketing; Chris Vincent, Aurora Cooperative CEO; and Kevin Sagehorn, Aurora Cooperative vice president of marketing. Perkins County youth who took a seat in front to hear the governor speak included (l-r): Jacob Woodmancy, Peyton Woodmancy, Kenyon Gaar and Bryce Grothman.
Governor Ricketts promotes ethanol-blended fuel at Aurora Co-op’s A-Stop grand opening
Governor Pete Ricketts cut the ribbon to commemorate the grand opening of Aurora Cooperative’s A-Stop 24 pump station Friday, July 20.
Located just north of Grant on Highway 61, A-Stop provides E10, E15, E30, E85 and diesel fuel around the clock. The ethanol blends contain a higher-octane blend consisting of either 15, 30 or 85 percent ethanol.
Aurora Cooperative provided $10 of ethanol-blended gasoline to 92 vehicles during their five-hour open house.
Grant employees welcomed attendees with root beer floats, water and cookies, serving over nine gallons of ice cream.
Vice President of Marketing Kevin Sagehorn welcomed the nearly 50 attendees to the grand opening ceremony and introduced Gov. Ricketts.
Ricketts spoke on the importance of ethanol for the state of Nebraska.
With agriculture being Nebraska’s No. 1 industry, “if we want to grow our state, we must grow agriculture.”
He said state agencies, such as the Nebraska Corn Board, and Nebraska Corn Growers, and private partners and federal government grants have helped invest $3.5 million to create higher-blend ethanol pumps. There are now about 70 pumps in 19 locations across the state.
“This is so important for us to help develop that market for ethanol. Because ethanol is huge for our state,” Ricketts said.
He noted 40 percent of Nebraska’s corn crop goes to ethanol.
Ricketts encouraged attendees to promote ethanol-blended fuel to their family, friends and neighbors, offering several benefits:
• Save money at the pump.
• It’s great for the environment.
• It’s beneficial for farmers and ranchers.
“Every time you fill up with ethanol, you’re supporting your farmers and ranchers locally.”
Roger Berry, Nebraska Corn Board’s director of market development, thanked Aurora Cooperative on behalf of Nebraska’s 24,000 corn farmers for what they’re doing with ethanol.
He said Aurora is becoming a leader in installing the equipment to dispense higher blends of ethanol so flex-fuel vehicles can be fully-utilized around the state.
Berry offered the following example to demonstrate how ethanol-blended fuel can benefit Nebraska’s economy.
If 15 gallons of E-85 are put into a vehicle, that’s about 12.75 gallons of ethanol. One bushel of corn equals about 2.8 gallons, so 15 gallons of E-85 uses nearly five bushels of corn.
“You might say five bushels of corn isn’t a big deal,” Berry said. “It works just like social media. It multiplies. Pretty soon that five bushels of corn is 100 billion bushels of corn, which then helps us to get corn and grain prices back up to a profitable level for our farmers.”
Berry also insisted the rumor that ethanol-blended fuel will blow up a vehicle’s engine is not true. He did confirm that vehicles may get “a slight amount” less gas mileage, but said with the lower prices money will still be saved.
Aurora Cooperative CEO Chris Vincent said Nebraska is the second largest producer of ethanol in the country, and installing ethanol-blended pumps has been an exceptional opportunity for Aurora Cooperative.
Grant’s A-Stop is the sixth location with the seventh currently in the works.