Agri News, MN 09-11-07

Agri News, MN
Four ag leaders talk about ethanol's impact on economy
By Jean Caspers-Simmet
Agri News staff writer
SPENCER, Iowa -- The top ag officials from Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and
North Dakota agree that renewable fuels are having a dramatic impact on their
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on Saturday hosted Minnesota ag
commissioner Gene Hugoson, North Dakota ag commissioner Roger Johnson
and South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Bill Even at the Clay County Fair
They joined USDA Undersecretary for Rural Development Tom Dorr and U.S.
Rep. Steve King, both northwest Iowans, and Iowa State University officials for
an ag leaders' breakfast and a fair tour.
Even, Johnson, Hugoson and King then joined Northey for a town hall meeting.
The events were part of Ag Adventure Day at the fair which continues through
Sept. 16.
Northey, who showed calves at the Clay County Fair when he was growing up at
nearby Spirit Lake, said the four states are strong agriculturally.
"While we're all different, we all have a lot in common," Northey said.
Hugoson, who is from just across the border in East Chain, Minn., said that while
Iowa leads in renewable fuel production, Minnesota is the largest per-capita
consumer of renewable fuels in the country.
Minnesota has 320 E85 pumps, which is a quarter of all such pumps in the
country. It has a goal to increase that to 600 in the next couple of years.
"I have concerns that if we don't do some things to dramatically increase
consumption of renewable fuels we're going to have some challenges in the
ethanol industry," Hugoson said.