THE AUTHOR is the mayor of Wood River.
For two decades, I have overseen encouraging economic developments in Wood River. From repaving downtown streets to remodeling the empty Good Samaritan nursing home to provide a brand new Stick Creek Daycare Facility with a capacity of 80 kids, we should be proud of this community. As we continue to grow, we cannot forget our roots.
Wood River owes a great deal to family farms and the agricultural industry. Despite hardships brought on by poor weather or less than ideal markets, our local farmers continue to persevere.
As corn growers will attest, ethanol producers have stepped up in a big way to provide a reliable market for corn.
The ethanol industry has directly contributed to our entire community’s wellbeing. Green Plain’s property taxes and service fees of electrical usage have helped us relieve our debt burden, improve our community and develop new projects like the aquatic center.
I also would credit ethanol with stabilizing the local farm market and paving the way for new businesses, including SoilView, Hefty Seed, Dollar General, Subway and expanding existing agricultural services, which helps everyone in the community.
Some plants, including Green Plains here in Wood River, are looking toward carbon capture and sequestration. Green Plains has signed on with Midwest-based Summit Carbon Solutions to lower its carbon intensity score. This will allow the plant to access new markets to sell ethanol at a premium and ensure local farmers continue to have a secure, reliable market.
Based on my experience managing quality projects to bring about economic growth, I can say Summit Carbon Solutions’ work will be revolutionary. This effort will give ethanol a competitive advantage in markets across the country.
Wood River cannot afford to ignore the needs of family farms. Please join me in supporting this critical investment in the future of agriculture.
Greg Cramer, Wood River