Eleven students from Red Rock Central Public School in Lamberton traveled across town recently to visit Highwater Ethanol to learn about renewable energy production.

“This is the third straight year students from Red Rock Central Public School have toured our plant. Ethanol production plays a vital role in boosting the economy in Lamberton and other parts of rural Minnesota,” said Brian Kletscher, CEO of Highwater Ethanol.

The students from the school’s exploring agriculture class were briefed on the various processes of ethanol production at Highwater Ethanol, which produces 59.5 million gallons of ethanol a year. 

During the visit, the students, all eighth-graders, toured the plant’s administrative office, water treatment process, incoming grain grading and handling, ethanol loadout, ethanol process facility, energy center, dried distiller grain production and storage.

The tour was organized by the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, a non-profit trade organization that represents the ethanol industry in Minnesota and sponsored by Novozymes, a global microbe and enzyme provider and supporter of Minnesota’s ethanol industry. Highwater Ethanol and Novozymes are members of the biofuels association.

“It is important for students to visit their local ethanol plant and understand the role ethanol plays in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and making America more energy independent,” said Tim Rudnicki, association executive director.

Highwater Ethanol began operations in Lamberton in August 2009. It currently has 41 full-time employees.

Megan Chicos, agriculture education teacher at Red Rock Central Public School, accompanied the students.

“This tour was beneficial to see how ethanol is produced after learning about it in class. It was also beneficial to learn about careers within ethanol production, especially since we have High-water Ethanol in our town,” Chicos said.

– Information and photo courtesy of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association