Following an especially difficult year, leaders of the state’s ethanol industry will gather in Wichita next week to talk about issues facing their industry.
The conference, hosted by Kennedy and Coe, will feature sessions on the political situation in Washington, D.C., risk management, leadership and communication, digester technology, the Urban Air Initiative, advanced biofuels, an economic outlook, and tax and accounting strategies.
The keynote speaker at the conference will be Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis for the Renewable Fuels Association.
The industry remains in a recession as the economic downturn has cut into automobile fuel sales, a federal subsidy for ethanol expired at the beginning of this year, and corn prices reached near record highs.
Donna Funk, manager of Kennedy and Coe’s manufacturing group, said that the downturn will likely mean fewer attendees. She expects about 40 people from Kansas and outside the state.
This year’s drought tightened the squeeze on the industry as high grain prices prompted the livestock and dairy industries to seek a temporary waiver of federal mandates for ethanol.
The Environmental Protection Agency this month rejected the waiver.