I hope this message finds each and every one of you doing well.
Here is a weekly glimpse of what March 2009 had in store: March 2-6: John Caupert (Director) spent the week in Washington, DC visiting with various representatives and staff of USDA and Department of Energy. Considerable time was spent discuss two solicitations for funding currently available through USDA and DOE, those being the "Biorefinery Initiative" and the "Biomass R & D Initiative". Behind the hard work of Brian Wrenn (Research Director) the NCERC has submitted two pre-proposals to the DOE on the "Biomass R & D Initiative". While in DC, John met with Jessica Bennet (NCGA) to discuss the importance and value of evaluating corn kernel fiber as a viable cellulosic feedstock. The week was capped with a meeting at U.S. Grains Council to discuss international concerns about risk factors associated with DDGS.
March 9-13: For the third consecutive year, the NCERC is receiving invaluable positive exposure by being named to the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop - Steering Committee. The Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) will be held in Denver, CO June 2009 and marks the 25th Anniversary of this important conference. The NCERC is well represented with John Caupert (Director) on the Steering Committee and Jack Ballinger (Workforce Training) named to the Scholarship Committee.
March 16-20: The feature of the week is the resurgence of the NCERC Workforce Training Programs. On Thursday March 19, John Caupert (Director) met with representatives of a leading International ethanol producer to discuss the option of the NCERC conducting operations training for their personnel. Friday March 20, Jack Ballinger (Workforce Training) and Stephanie Regagnon (Commercialization) met with a non-profit organization in St. Louis, MO to discuss a substantial grant opportunity that is being offered through the Wal-Mart foundation, an opportunity that focuses on training of displaced workers.
March 23-27: John Caupert (Director) and Frank Romano (Business Affairs) make their monthly trip to Springfield, IL to visit with representatives of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (ILDCEO). While in Springfield, John and Frank took the opportunity to visit with a staff representative of the Illinois Corn Growers Association.
Until next time, have a good, productive and safe month.
National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center
Phone: 618-659-6737 Ext 226