The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) honored a select group of advocates for their contributions to the ethanol industry with an awards video during the 33rd annual ACE conference held virtually in conjunction with the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) and Expo on Sept. 16.
Bob Scott, who served as the ACE Board President from 1999 to 2009 representing Poet Ethanol Products, was recognized with ACE’s most prestigious honor, the Merle Anderson Award, named after the organization’s founder. ACE CEO Brian Jennings and Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty presented Scott with the award.
“It was a matter of when, not if, Bob Scott was going to receive the Merle Anderson Award,” Jennings said. “Under his tenure, ACE was the driving force behind getting Congress to enact the RFS.”
“Bob Scott was one of the leaders to explain how the RFS could provide flexibility to marketers,” Lamberty added. “I appreciated having him as an adviser as I went out to help fuel marketing companies across the country learn how to get ethanol, sell it, and make more money.”
“For me, it was a labor of love,” Scott said. “When I look back at my time on the ACE board and the enactment of the RFS, it’s one of my favorite times in my life; we challenged ourselves and everyone else. Merle Anderson convinced me that ethanol was the right thing to do and the ACE Board was truly the best board I’ve ever been a part of.”
Jan tenbensel, Nebraska farmer and chair of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, received this year’s Grassroots Award for his unyielding and humble advocacy, notably his work with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to produce thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer for donation to help address the shortage during the health pandemic. ACE Board members Roger Berry, NEB Administrator, and Scott McPheeters of KAAPA Ethanol presented tenBensel with the award.
“Jan truly is the definition of grassroots activism when it comes to ethanol,” Berry said. “Within one week, he helped pull together a production and distribution facility to provide hand sanitizer to the state of Nebraska and beyond.”
“He loves to learn and he’s generous with his time,” McPheeters added. “He’s the type of guy you want on your team.”
ACE presented U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky with the Paul Dana Marketing Vision Award for his leadership on the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). Censky said USDA received 121 HBIIP applications from 27 different states and will be awarding grants this month. “ACE has been a leader in working with retailers to expand markets for ethanol so I’m pleased that this great market development work will be greatly expanded thanks to the HBIIP program,” Censky provided in pre-recorded remarks.