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Ethanol Industry Contributed $2.34 Billion To Minnesota's Economy In 2014

Minnesota’s ethanol industry accounted for $2.34 billion of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, according to a new study by ABF Economics.

The study, which examines the ethanol industry’s economic impact in Minnesota in 2014, concludes that the industry generated $7.6 billion in gross sales for Minnesota businesses and supported 18,630 full time jobs in the state last year.

This in turn generated $1.74 billion in household income in Minnesota in 2014 as well as $132 million to state and local government tax rolls.

“This study by ABF Economics clearly shows how significant the ethanol industry is to Minnesota’s economy, especially in rural areas where it supports other industries,” said Tim Rudnicki, executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.

The study was prepared by ABF Economics for the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.

For the study, ABF Economics estimated the impact of the ethanol industry on Minnesota’s economy by applying expenditures by the relevant supplying industry to the final demand multipliers for value added output, earnings and employment.

“In this study, ABF used the IMPLAN (Impact Analysis for Planning) economic model to construct a model of the Minnesota economy including the sectors that support the ethanol industry, the links between them, and the level of economic activity,” noted John Urbanchuk, managing partner for ABF Economics, in the study.

The IMPLAN model evaluated the gross output, value added (GDP), household earnings and employment generated by the ethanol industry in 2014.

In 2014, the study notes, Minnesota’s 21 ethanol plants spent $2.7 billion to produce 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol, 3.3 million tons of dried distiller’s grains (DDGs) and 184 million pounds of corn oil.

The ethanol industry’s expenditure included corn, industrial chemicals, electricity, natural gas, water, labor and services such as maintenance, insurance and general overheads. Spending for these goods and services represented the purchase of output of other industries that operate in Minnesota, ABF Economics said.

Jobs supported by the ethanol industry in 2014 included employment in ethanol production, agriculture, retail trade, healthcare, natural gas distribution, banking and finance, real estate, accounting, legal services, construction, wholesale trade and transportation.


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The FCDC and AgSmart Bring Plant Breeding to a Wider Audience

Video: The FCDC and AgSmart Bring Plant Breeding to a Wider Audience

In the vast prairies of Alberta, Olds College’s Field Crop Development Centre (FCDC) stands as a beacon of innovation and research in the agricultural world. The institution has become a key player in advancing agricultural technologies and practices. The FCDC’s commitment to applied research has driven them to seek effective means of disseminating their findings and creating a positive impact on the farming community.

One such avenue that aligns with their mission is AgSmart, an event dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge agricultural technologies. The coming together of the FCDC’s annual Field Day and Ag Smart has proved to be a natural fit, fostering a synergy that benefits both parties and propels the agriculture industry forward. The FCDC Field Day took part in conjunction with AgSmart for the first time this week on Aug. 1-2 in Olds, Alta. FCDC Program Director Kofi Agblor and Olds College VP of Development Todd Ormann sat down for an interview with Marc Zienkiewicz to discuss the significance of the two events taking part together and what the future holds.

The Intersection of Research and Technology The essence of the FCDC lies in its dedication to plant breeding and new seed varieties, particularly barley and triticale. While conducting research is essential, it becomes meaningful when its benefits are shared with the wider community. This is where AgSmart steps in, providing a key venue for the FCDC to showcase their research. This union between research and technology creates a holistic and enriching experience for farmers, ranchers, and industry professionals, the pair said.

Seeds as Technology For the FCDC, the partnership with AgSmart goes beyond mere event collaboration. It is about creating an environment that bridges the gap between seeds and smart technology, Ormann said. The college believes that for technology to truly revolutionize agriculture, it must begin with a strong foundation — high-quality seeds. As the saying goes, “it all starts with a seed.” To demonstrate this critical aspect, the collaboration aims to showcase the seed value chain as an integral part of the smartphone.

The Birth of a Powerful Alliance The idea of joining forces emerged when staff realized the potential synergy between AgSmart and the FCDC Field Day. With just a few days separating the two events, a proposal was put forward to merge them. The marketing and communications teams from both sides worked seamlessly to ensure the essence of both events remained intact, creating a powerful alliance that leverages the strengths of each, Agblor said.

Driving Advancements in Breeding For Agblor, the partnership with AgSmart has tremendous potential to drive advancements in breeding and other technology. With technologies like drones and imaging becoming integral to phenotyping, breeding is no longer confined to vast fields to assess thousands of plants manually. Instead, it benefits from the data-rich insights brought about by smart technologies. These advancements make breeding more efficient, precise, and instrumental in shaping the future of agriculture.

Overcoming Challenges Together While the partnership between Olds College and Ag Smart has been a resounding success, there are challenges on the horizon. Securing stable funding for long-term breeding initiatives is crucial to sustain progress. The college is committed to navigating these challenges and investing in agriculture’s future sustainably, Agblor said.