Member Spotlight: Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Corn Growers Association

ICMC, ICGA promote growth of clean, renewable ethanol industry

All Americans want cleaner air and an environment free from synthetic chemicals that harm the public health. Ethanol provides gasoline refiners with a renewable tool to meet the environmental expectations of U.S. consumers.

As the U.S. ethanol industry continues to grow, the Indiana Corn Checkoff, managed by a farmer board called the Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC), and Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA), Indiana’s corn farmer member organization, help boost ethanol production and usage through research, education and promotion.

Government studies confirm that gasoline blended with ethanol reduces environmental and health problems associated with air pollution from vehicles on the road. A 2017 USDA report said the addition of ethanol to gasoline reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 43 percent.

When refiners infuse toxic components such as benzene, toluene and xylene to increase the octane level of gasoline, the environment suffers. Instead of combusting completely in the engine, these additives end up exiting the tailpipe and flooding the air. Ethanol, on the other hand, burns thoroughly in modern engines, naturally raises gasoline’s octane level and costs less for consumers at the pump.

A 2013 study by the Center for Disease Control reports that as many as 45 percent of Americans live near major roads, increasing the exposure to traffic-related pollution and the risk of adverse health conditions. Ethanol’s higher oxygen level helps burn fuel completely and reduces harmful tailpipe emissions. Consumers select ethanol-blended fuels at the pump as the clean air choice. Safe and readily available, 97 percent of all pumps across America include unleaded gasoline at a 10 percent ethanol blend.

With 14 ethanol-production plants and approximately one-third the state’s corn crop converted into ethanol, Indiana owns a leadership role in the industry’s future.

Indiana-grown and Indiana-processed ethanol helps drive the state’s economy. The ICMC promotes new and expanding market opportunities by educating Hoosier motorists about choices at the pump, promoting E15 and E85 usage and investing in research to understand the benefits of ethanol. A membership organization not subsidized by ICMC’s checkoff funds, the ICGA campaigns for more opportunities for Indiana corn growers with increased ethanol production.

ICGA believes biofuels reduce dependence on foreign oil and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. ICGA touts ethanol as a key component of the nation’s long-term energy strategy.

Corn farmers who become ICGA members help determine public policy positions on critical issues, such as ethanol legislation. Farmers who pay the corn checkoff to fund the ICMC’s efforts are independent of ICGA.

In addition to ethanol, the Indiana Soybean Alliance supports the use of soybean-based biodiesel throughout the United States – another clean air choice for consumers.

Those with questions about soy biodiesel or ethanol programs in Indiana should contact Helena Jette, director of biofuels, at hjette@indianacorn.org or call 317-347-3620.