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Help us put ethanol, agriculture and our communities in a position for economic prosperity

Uncertainty is everywhere in today’s world. Inflation and international crises far away from our small Iowa towns increase prices and leave us unsure about the future. When looking at gas prices specifically, it has become clear that Iowans need to invest in homegrown fuel. Ethanol is not just a transitional fuel; it is here to stay and is a vital part of our local economy.

As Iowans, we should take every chance to invest in this industry. Every other row of corn in the state goes to ethanol production; it is a valuable commodity we cannot afford to lose. The world is prioritizing low-carbon fuel. This means that despite being widely popular in the Midwest and across the nation, the ethanol industry has to adapt to low-carbon standards to remain viable.

Though some may not see this need or agree with decarbonization, I choose to view it as a free-market opportunity for ethanol that will bolster our rural community. There are domestic and export markets that are paying a premium for ethanol that has a low carbon intensity score. This allows us to purchase and process more corn at a higher price, supporting land values and corn prices and solidifying our local economy.

As many of you know, CORN, LP is a corn processing plant producing ethanol, corn oil, and livestock feed. These diversified products are interdependent for a viable operation, meaning if we lose the ethanol market, our operation will not survive.

CORN, LP partnered with Summit Carbon Solutions last year to secure our place in the low-carbon fuels market. Summit’s goal is to capture and permanently sequester CO2 at 32 ethanol plants across the Midwest. This will open up new markets for our fuel sales for years to come. Summit Carbon Solutions’ parent company is rooted in Iowa agriculture, leaving us to believe there is no better group to pursue this task.

An Ernst and Young economic impact study indicated that Summit Carbon Solutions will pay more than $2.5 million in property taxes yearly in Wright County. These funds would help our local community support roads, bridges, schools, fire departments, and more. When it comes to constructing the pipeline, those building the project will utilize local restaurants, hotels, hardware stores, and other local businesses to help spur economic growth.

I understand that some skeptics question if this is the best strategy to pursue. I would ask you to think about the future of agriculture and ethanol in Iowa. Both private sector companies and governments around the world will continue to prioritize decarbonization. Other states and communities will embrace this opportunity and reap the benefits of these changing markets. If we are left behind, I fear that it will become harder and harder to remain competitive.

I would like CORN, LP to continue to thrive in the coming decades when some will not.

Please join me in giving Summit Carbon Solutions a chance and allowing our farmers and communities to prosper.

Chris Boshart is the general manager of CORN LP in Goldfield.

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