Zoey Brooks, Wisconsin’s 67th Alice in Dairyland, visited Didion Milling and Ethanol on Tuesday morning to learn about how locally-grown corn is processed into food, feed and fuel products that are used in our local communities, across the country and around the world.
As Wisconsin’s agriculture ambassador, Alice in Dairyland strives to educate audiences across Wisconsin about the $59 billion economic impact and importance of our state’s diverse agriculture industry in our daily lives. Corn, as Wisconsin’s second largest agricultural commodity by cash receipts, is an important part of Alice in Dairyland’s story.
Zoey took a stroll down fermentation alley in the ethanol plant, inspected samples in Didion’s labs and explored various granulations of milled corn. While touring our facilities, she learned how corn is fractionated in our dry corn mill, then sorted for its best use in food and fuel production. For more information about how we maximize the kernel of corn in our two facilities, check out the Corn Milling 101 series on our blog.
During her year as Alice in Dairyland, Zoey drives a flex-fuel vehicle wrapped in graphics promoting ethanol production. Here are some of facts she shares about ethanol as she fuels up with E85 during her travels around the state:
- Provides a lot of jobs. A study done by ABF Economics found that the 13.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced in 2013 created 86,503 jobs and supported an additional 300,277 indirect and induced jobs.
- Lower cost of fuel for everyone. A report from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Iowa State University found that ethanol supplying about 10 percent of our fuel has reduced the price at the pump by more than $1.00 per gallon.
- More than fuel. One bushel of corn (56 lbs.) can produce 2.8 gallons of ethanol and 17-18 pounds of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). These are an important co-product of ethanol production and a common livestock feed.
- Improves the air quality of motor emissions. A study from the University of Nebraska found that ethanol reduces emissions by almost 60 percent.
- Decreases U.S. dependence on imported petroleum. Since 2008 net petroleum imports have fallen by one third and are continuing to decrease to the lowest level in 20 years.
Click here to learn more about Alice in Dairyland.
By: Adam Lemmenes, Plant Manager at Didion Ethanol
As Didion’s customer service manager, my personal goal is to make every one of our customers feel like number one. Whether they purchase one pallet of HarvestGold® corn products every three months or three loads of product in one day, each customer is important to me and Brenda Link, our customer service specialist.
The customer service team: Karyn (left) and Brenda (right)
I’ve been at Didion for seven years and every day is different – a phone call or email can change the flow of the entire day.
Generally, we start off every morning on a call with the sales and marketing team, followed by a production meeting with employees from maintenance, mill, quality assurance, pack, engineering and company president Dow Didion.
We’re also constantly monitoring and acknowledging orders for products, using our updated system Orders@DidionMilling.com. As the number and volume of orders increased, we updated our email system so that all orders were compiled into one place. However it still has that personal touch – our commitment to our customers is that Brenda or I will personally acknowledge every order.
Our main focus every day is our customers’ needs. We want our customers to come to us for anything they need – even if we don’t know the answer right away, we’ll do everything in our power to find out for them.
We’re proud that customer service is one of the things that set us apart. Great people, excellent products and exceptional service – that’s the Didion Difference.
By: Karyn Hickman, Customer Service Manger at Didion Milling
Jeff, Riley & I at the Didion booth
Another IFT is in the books! Though this wasn’t my first time at the show, it was my first time attending IFT as part of the Didion team. I enjoyed talking with attendees about our new yeast protein products and their potential in the food and flavor industry.
We also had some great conversations focused on the newest addition to our HarvestGold Family of Corn Products, whole grain corn flour. It was the featured product in our Big Easy Breakfast Beignet, a special corn ingredient application we created for the IFT show in New Orleans. As Jeff mentioned last week, the beignets were made fresh at the booth by renowned New Orleans chef Frank Sclafani. The beignets were so popular that we actually ran out before the show was over!
If you weren’t able to make the show or try our Big Easy Breakfast Beignet, take a look at this video of Chef Frank and Jeff as they make and sample this delicious twist on a New Orleans classic.
By: Chris Gudaitis, Business Development Manager at Didion Milling