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Ethanol pump tour to add more dates, planners say
By TIM ALEXANDER
Illinois Correspondent

GALVA, Ill. — The annual Ethanol Pump Tour, sponsored by AgriTalk radio, rolled through tiny Galva on May 19 for a stop at the Cenex station and a live remote broadcast that was heard by upwards of 100,000 people in 21 states.

The show’s host, Mike Adams, said the tour’s popularity has grown exponentially with the nation’s increased interest in ethanol and biodiesel.

“I started the pump tour in 2002 to help increase consumer awareness in ethanol. The purpose is to educate consumers about the many benefits of renewable fuels such as decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, cleaner air, jobs and economic development for rural America and markets for farmers,” said Adams, whose syndicated show is based in St. Louis, Mo.

“The response has been tremendous. The first year we made about five stops and last year it was up to 15 stops in 10 states. We are still adding stops for this year, but it will probably be even larger as interest continues to grow.”

Along with promoting ethanol use, the stop in Galva allowed city officials and businesspeople to promote plans for an ethanol plant being planned for the area by Big River Resources of West Burlington, Iowa. Galva Mayor Don Hagaman and Ray Defenbaugh, head of Big River Resources, were among those interviewed on the program, which was sponsored by WKEI-1450 AM from nearby Kewanee.

Discounted gas prices were also a part of the event, dropping from $2.85 to $2.39 per gallon during the promotion. Nearly 4,000 gallons of gas were reportedly sold during the event.

“Participating gas stations, such as the Cenex in Galva, do a great job in offering price discounts on ethanol-blended fuel,” Adams said. “The event in Galva was excellent as we had a steady stream of customers throughout the event and great support from our local radio affiliate WKEI.

“Interest in ethanol and renewable fuels has never been higher. People want as much information as they can get and are very supportive of the idea of producing our own fuel here in America and supporting our farmers.”

Adams said the tour has evolved from a small, Saturdays-only promotion to a weekday, on-air event that allows organizers to reach more people via their affiliates’ regular broadcasts.

“Now the communities are involved with business representatives and sponsors doing the pumping and providing information on ethanol to motorists. At some stops, we even have corn growers help with the pumping so motorists can talk to the people growing their fuel,” said Adams.

National sponsors for the tour are the National Corn Growers Assoc., Monsanto Processor-Preferred and Vera Sun Energy, Adams said.

AgriTalk’s updated Ethanol Pump Tour dates may be found online at www.AgriTalk.com

This farm news was published in the June 7, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

6/7/2006