MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Following the Ethanol Summit of the Asia-Pacific held this week in Minneapolis, visitors from more than 17 countries in Asia and Oceania are touring the U.S. Midwest to learn how the U.S. ethanol industry developed and helps meet the country’s — and the world’s — biofuels goals.

Four teams of producers, traders, government officials and business people are in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin, hosted by state corn organizations and local ethanol facilities, sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), which works to develop overseas demand for U.S. feed grains and their products, like ethanol.

Their visits follow the Summit activities, hosted with Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association, that offered participants access to high-level U.S. ethanol industry members and extensive information on how ethanol is used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), improve air quality, and provide economic benefits to ethanol stakeholders.

Deb Keller USGC Chairman
Deb Keller, chairman of the U.S. Grains Council 

“We appreciate our state partners hosting these important groups of high-level officials from Asia, so they have a better understanding of our ethanol story in the U.S.,” said Deb Keller, chairman of the U.S. Grains Council and Iowa farmer. “Allowing these representatives to see the entire ethanol value chain — from farmers to industry — will give them a clearer idea of how ethanol contributes meaningfully to the environmental, human health and economics benefits of those who use them.”

The USGC said the post-Summit tours provide an on-the-ground experience, including stops at gas stations, feedlots, farms and ethanol plants.

A team including participants from China, Korea and Taiwan is visiting Iowa; a team including participants from India, Bangladesh and the Philippines is visiting Kansas; a team with participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam is visiting Nebraska; and a team with participants from Australia, Myanmar, Pakistan and New Zealand is visiting Wisconsin.

“The U.S. Grains Council has been working with many of our Asian partners for years, and while there are occasional trade hurdles to surpass, each understands how important open and ongoing trade efforts are, especially regarding ethanol,” Keller said. “We appreciate just how helpful our Asian partners are in developing the ethanol markets in this region of the world.”