American Ethanol Fall 2017 - Page 18

B I O F U E L S Keeping Rural America Strong C H A M P I O N Editor’s note: In each issue of American Ethanol magazine, we will feature a Biofuels Champion. These are individuals or organizations who understand the importance of biofuels to our economy and environment, and are committed to supporting our industry. Our first Biofuels Champion is Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. We wanted to know more about how her agricultural background informs her legislative service and her thoughts on the American biofuels industry. Here is what she had to say about the key role biofuels play in the rural economy and the security of our country. AE: How does your background in agriculture inform not only your decisions related to that industry but also your perspective as a legislator? Ernst: Growing up walking beans and feeding hogs on our family farm in southwest Iowa, I saw firsthand the critical role agriculture plays in Iowa and across the globe. Our farmers ensure that folks in the U.S. and around the world have access to a safe and affordable food supply. In fact, Iowans are leading producers of many things, including corn, soybeans, and renewable fuels. Coming from an agricultural background has given me insight into our rural communities, which are the backbone of our nation. It helps to give me perspective on where the true strength of our nation lies—in our ability to feed and fuel ourselves. In the United States Senate, I am proud to be a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. As a member of this committee, I have an opportunity to work with my colleagues to make sure those in the fields and on ranches can continue to do what they do best—produce world-class goods that 18 AMERICAN ETHANOL THE MAGAZINE