Showing posts from March, 2018

Meet These Business Owners on National Mom & Pop Business Owner's Day

Did you know March 29th is annually considered National Mom & Pop Business Owner's Day? This provides an opportunity to introduce one of the many station owners who are listed in the MNFuels directory, offering ethanol blended fuel.

Celebrate National Mom & Pop Business Owner’s Day today with Margaret and Michael Bauer, local business owners of Bauer’s Minnetonka Minnoco® which also is the home to Minnetonka U-Haul® and Bauer's Custom Hitches®. The proud first generation owners have been in the service station, fuel, and propane business for 30 years. 

In the spring of 2015, the Bauer’s rebranded as a Minnoco gas station. With support from the Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Corn Growers, American Lung Association in Minnesota, Prime the Pump, and Growth Energy, Bauer’s Minnoco has been able to offer more choices at the pump for their consumers by adding E15, E30 and E85 fuels. The result is…

Kwik Trip goes big with 88 octane gasoline

In November, we featured a story on the rapid growth of 88 octane gasoline in the state of Minnesota. This progress continues and the state now has 250+ stations selling 88 octane. Much of the growth in 2017 was due to Kwik Trip’s adoption of the fuel. Kwik Trip is a Wisconsin-based business that operates in three states, with more than 150 fuel stations in Minnesota. In the course of one year, Kwik Trip added 88 octane (also known as Unleaded 88 or E15) to more than half of their stores in their 3-state market.  Kwik Trip has 330 stores offering 88 octane, with nearly 140 of those in Minnesota. That means that almost every Kwik Trip station in Minnesota now has unleaded 88!

Like any industry, fuel stations and convenience stores must often change to keep up with technology and consumer demand. By creating more demand for the lower-priced, higher octane fuel in Minnesota, other retailers are beginning to follow Kwik Trip’s lead and are adding 88 octane to their pumps.

It’s important t…

Agricultural Axioms on National Ag Day

Today is National Ag Day. While this annual holiday was created to celebrate and appreciate the significance that agriculture has in our daily lives and on our economies, in today's post, we’re going to briefly dissect two “agricultural axioms.” So let’s dig in!

Make no mistake, American Agriculture has advanced tremendously over the last few decades and the farming of today is more complex than we consumers fully appreciate. To be a successful farmer now requires, at minimum, a working knowledge of business; marketing commodities; mechanical, electronic, and computer technologies; hydrology; soil chemistry; genetics; public policy; and of course, the traditional agriculture areas in plant and animal science.

Yet some things on the farm remain the same as they always have. Bits of wisdom‒axioms‒are handed down from generation to generation. Are they oversimplification? Absolutely. Are they based in fact? Yes.

An example heard often when corn prices spiked in 2012 was, "The fas…

Celebrating the Spirit of St. Patrick's Day by Greening Your Fuel

Soon, just for a day, everything around us will be colored green in celebration of St. Patrick's Day—clothes, rivers, milkshakes, and even beer—but let’s talk about something in Minnesota that's green all year round: our fuel.

You might not realize it, but there are several “green” options available to many Minnesota drivers. If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who drive a flex fuel vehicle, you can choose a cleaner-burning ethanol blend like E85 or E30. If you don’t drive a flex fuel vehicle, there’s still a green option for you. All 2001 or newer gasoline-powered vehicles can run on E15, also known as 88 octane.

What makes these fuel options green?
• They’re renewable. Ethanol is made from resources such as corn, which is replanted each spring.
• Using ethanol blends reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, especially when compared to Canadian tar sands crude, the source of a majority of Minnesota’s petroleum. Using ethanol also reduces carbon monox…

Twin Cities Auto Show Showcases Variety of Flex Fuel Vehicles

Like many auto shows, the Twin Cities Auto Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center on March 10-18, 2018, will feature the best vehicles automakers have to offer consumers.  What you may not know is that many of the vehicles on display are flex fuel vehicles, meaning they can run either on regular gasoline or on cleaner-burning ethanol blends. That’s particularly important to potential vehicle buyers in Minnesota, a state that leads the nation in the number of E85 stations, and also has many other stations offering E15, E30, and other ethanol blends.

One example of a flex fuel vehicle is the Ford F-150, the state’s most popular vehicle for a number of years. The Ford F-150 is available as a flex fuel vehicle in at least four different model options. The 2018 Chevrolet Impala is also available as a flex fuel vehicle, as is the sporty Dodge Charger. Prefer a luxury vehicle? Consider the 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA2050 4matic, one of many high performance vehicles that thrive on higher-ethan…

Their Shops Were All Open

Hundreds of people streamed into the meeting room of the hotel. Dividers slid back, transforming three rooms into one giant space. Rows of chairs, many already staked out by early birds, faced the stage, and I was beginning to regret my decision to come. Public speaking was not my forte and this was the largest group I had ever addressed.

More than 20 years have passed since that morning when I drove three hours west of the Twin Cities through the rolling plains of corn and soybeans comprising Minnesota’s farm belt, but I still remember what I thought when I arrived. I had not been prepared for that room. 

A few weeks prior, a call had come to me from the manager of the town’s ethanol plant. He asked me to address their annual meeting on my employer’s view of renewable motor fuels, like the ethanol produced by his “biorefinery” (his word, not mine). New to the Saint Paul-based environmental-health nonprofit, I had welcomed a chance to tour western Minnesota and speak on this topic.  I…