Feeding & Fueling the World Together

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Improves the air quality of motor emissions. A study from the University of Nebraska found that ethanol reduces emissions by almost 60 percent.
  5. 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

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Tales From the Road: Petfood Forum

Pet Food Forum
Greetings from Chicago! I’m excited to be at my first show with Didion, the 2014 Petfood Forum, introducing Didion’s new line of yeast products harvested from our ethanol fermentation process.

Kibble Kick is a yeast protein that enhances the taste profile of pet foods, while delivering vitamins, trace minerals, digestible proteins and amino acids. It is highly palatable and helps promote healthy skin and shiny coats.

ThriveStock is a high-quality livestock feed ingredient that provides digestible proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals along with distiller’s yeast and fermentative nutrients. It aids digestive tract function and promotes immune function.

Riley and I had a great day yesterday and are looking forward to day 2 of the show – stop by and visit us at booth #638!

By Chris Gudaitis, Business Development Manager at Didion Milling

Didion Named “Green Master”

Green-Masters-Logo-300x200Congratulations to Didion’s Green Team for being recognized as a Green Master at the 6th Annual Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Conference!

Green Masters is Wisconsin’s largest and most-notable sustainability recognition program. It is an objective, points-based program enabling Wisconsin institutions of all sizes and industries to join a group of like-minded companies on the road to sustainability. Similar to the program name, the top 20% of applicants are called Green Masters. Other levels include Green Professional and Green Apprentice.

At Didion, we focus on constant improvement in energy efficiency and sustainability in operations. Didion Ethanol, a zero liquid discharge facility, recycles process water, using approximately 20 percent less water than the industry average with no direct discharge water into local waterways. Natural gas consumption is 5.8% lower than the industry average per unit of ethanol produced. Didion Milling reengineered its processes to reduce energy and steam usage by eliminating the need for some equipment.

Tom Eggert (left), executive director of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council presents Green Masters Award to Tonya Umbarger (right), program manager at Didion Milling

Tom Eggert (left), executive director of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council presents Green Masters Award to Tonya Umbarger (right), program manager at Didion Milling

In 2010, we pledged to the U.S. Department of Energy to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent over 10 years. Our sustainability team carefully monitors energy usage, streamlining processes and reducing energy demands while maintaining high quality and production standards.

It’s an honor to be recognized among the impressive group of companies in the program. We’re working towards an even more sustainable 2014!

By: Tonya Umbarger, Program Manager at Didion Milling