Letter to the Editor

POET looks forward to joining community

Friday, July 23, 2010

To the Editor:

You have probably heard by now that a company called POET has purchased the ethanol plant in Cloverdale.

As the founder and CEO of POET, I want to take the opportunity to introduce myself and our company to the people who live in and around Cloverdale and tell you what we're all about.

POET is a 22-year-old company that has, in recent years, grown to be the largest ethanol producer in the world.

We never set out to be the largest; that is really just a side effect of how we do business.

What we set out to do is to become the most efficient.

That goal has not changed since the day my family put our savings into buying a small bankrupt ethanol plant in South Dakota two decades ago.

That goal will not change as we go forward working with the farmers and residents in this area to make clean, renewable ethanol from locally-grown corn.

I got my first taste for ethanol production from a small distillery on my family's farm near Wanamingo, Minn.

My father saw our valuable farmland going unused while we continued to buy oil from foreign countries.

That didn't make sense to him, so he did something about it. He built a small-scale ethanol plant and started producing fuel and high-protein animal feed (an ethanol co-product) for the people in our area.

Thanks to that, I developed a strong background in taking common ingredients -- soil, sunshine, seeds and hard work -- and making something both powerful and beautiful -- renewable energy.

That is the inspiration for the name POET.

I am not alone in my passion for producing alternative fuel right here at home. This is a common inspiration for all of POET's employees, and I am excited to be able to work with everyone in the Cloverdale area toward these lofty goals.

Each POET plant works hard to be a positive member of its community, and I know POET Biorefining Cloverdale will be the same.

I look forward to getting to know your community in person over the coming months, and I'm very excited about the opportunity to make homegrown fuel in Cloverdale.

Jeff Broin, CEO, POET

Sioux Falls, S.D.