Nebraska Ethanol Board
The effort to support and develop a modern ethanol industry has been one of the most effective rural economic development strategies ever pursued in Nebraska, according to Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Moreover, it has become an industry that carries an impact well beyond the agricultural sector.
Created in 1971 by the Nebraska Legislature, the Nebraska Ethanol Board is the first state agency in the U.S. devoted solely to the development of the ethanol industry. The board is made up of seven members appointed by the governor.
Its main mission is to foster the growth of, and educate Nebraskans about, the state’s ethanol industry, which now includes 24 ethanol production plants scattered across Nebraska, making the state the second largest producer of ethanol.
The industry’s impact on corn may be obvious, but the ethanol industry also benefits livestock producers, who have ready access to high protein feed products as a result. The transportation industry also benefits as it moves food, feed, fiber and fuel to domestic and international markets from ethanol plants located across Nebraska. Rural communities also gain improved job opportunities and local investment.
Sneller says the industry’s impact is even greater.
“Many international bio-product and biotechnology companies have made investments in Nebraska due to the ready access to new markets, customers and business partners,” said Sneller. “As bio industries grow and mature in Nebraska, research and business development partnerships also are expanding into areas allied with biofuel production and related feedstocks.”
While Bio Nebraska benefits the ethanol industry in several ways, Sneller said he considers the association’s work to increase awareness of the diversity of the bio industry to be the most gratifying. “We are fortunate to have an energetic, insightful and committed membership that continues to support and encourage the development of bio industries in the state.”