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POET GM retires


Fri, Dec 27th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

Executives from POET headquarters in Sioux Falls, SD, attended Richard Eichstadt’s retirement party full of food and conversation on Thursday, December 12, 2013. Left to right: Colleen Stratton, James Moe, Richard Eichstadt, and Edgar Alhambra. Photo by Jason Sethre

For those who can remember the humble beginnings of POET Biorefining located in Preston, it all started with a meeting in 1996 up at the Branding Iron restaurant. According to long-time supporter Jim Simonson, “There was a foot of snow on the ground and we almost didn’t have a meeting that night.” But, with an initiative led by the Fillmore County Corn Growers, 76 people voted in favor of supporting an ethanol plant to be constructed in Preston.

There has been one member of the POET team that has been leading the way since the beginning, and he will be retiring effective January 10, 2014. Shortly after the construction of what is now called POET Biorefining started in 1997, Richard Eichstadt joined the operations on his birthday - April 21, 1998.

By mid-August 1998, POET Biorefining was up and running. The initial goal of the plant was to produce 12 million gallons of ethanol per year. By the end of 1999, the plant had produced 15 million gallons of ethanol. Since that time, with two expansions, additional fermentors, and changes made to enzymes and yeast, POET Biorefining produced over 46 million gallons of ethanol.

When Eichstadt joined the team at the Preston location, this was only the second ethanol plant in operation under the umbrella of Pro Corn, LLC. Today, there are over 1,600 employees working at 27 ethanol plants in the states of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, all under the umbrella of Pro Corn, LLC.

While other ethanol plants in the United States have struggled, POET Biorefining in Preston has thrived. “The model was very good here,” shared Eichstadt. With POET Biorefining sharing results with all 26 other Pro Corn, LLC locations, all operations have continually evolved to adopt best practices in the industry.

POET General Manager Richard Eichstadt has been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of that change and growth. Today, POET Biorefining employs 40 local residents at the Preston location.

For Eichstadt, coming to Preston was like coming home. He grew up in Southwestern Minnesota, and Preston immediately felt like home. As an active member and supporter of the Preston Area Chamber of Commerce, Eichstadt and his team at POET Biorefining have helped out with the annual Trout Days Golf Tournament along with supporting many other activities in the community with financial and human resources. And, Eichstad .....
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64

Midwest beef advantages

By Jerrold Tesmer

Thu, Dec 26th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

Conference to Focus on Midwestern Beef Advantages. Midwestern farmers are continually challenged by the need to feed a growing world while protecting and conserving our natural resources. However, the Midwest has an advantage compared to other regi ..... 
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Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP)

Thu, Dec 26th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) offers cost share and incentive payments for landowners and producers adopting new conservation practices in their operations. The first 2014 scoring period will occur in December 2013 and rankings ..... 
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Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

Fri, Dec 20th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations. CSP is a voluntary conservation program that provides financial and ..... 
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2014 agriculture outlook meeting

By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Dec 20th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

Iowa State University Extension will host an Agriculture Outlook Seminar in Cresco on Tuesday, January 14 starting at 11 a.m. The site is the Expo Center on the Howard County Fairgrounds at 220 7th St W, Cresco. The seminar is designed to provide a ..... 
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Winslow wins Minnesota Farm Bureau collegiate discussion meet

Fri, Dec 13th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation hosted the ninth annual Minnesota Collegiate Discussion Meet. The competition was held Thursday, November 15 on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. Six undergraduate students from the University of ..... 
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Winter crops day

By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Dec 13th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

Ag Producers in southern Minnesota just finished a very challenging cropping season in 2013. We don’t know what is in store for the 2014 season, but crop management decisions are being made now and that will be the focus of the University of Minne ..... 
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Driftless region beef conference features new UM faculty

By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Dec 6th, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

Two new beef specialists from the University of Minnesota will be featured at the upcoming Driftless Region Beef Conference, January 30-31, 2014, at the Grand River Convention Center in Dubuque, Iowa. Eric Mousel received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. f ..... 
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Agriculture commissioner leads international feed mission

Mon, Dec 2nd, 2013
Posted in All Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota’s farmers not only provide for their neighbors here at home, but also around the world. The importance of international relationships in agriculture is the highlight of a third trip to Southeast Asia in recent years. ..... 
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