Tuesday, March 5, 2024
HomeIndustry NewsEight Students, Young Professionals Receive National Ethanol Conference Scholarships

Eight Students, Young Professionals Receive National Ethanol Conference Scholarships

The Renewable Fuels Foundation announces eight 2024 recipients of the Robert Sather Memorial Scholarship, which annually offers opportunities for students and young professionals to attend the National Ethanol Conference. The event takes place February 19-21 in San Diego and is the nation’s most widely attended executive-level conference for the ethanol industry.

  • Nicholas Defenbaugh is a senior at Orion Technical College and a maintenance technician at Big River Resources.
  • Troy Hurren is a first-year Ph.D. researcher at UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology.
  • Adam Loker is a junior obtaining a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications at Southern Illinois University.
  • Kabirat Nasiru is a data and statistics analyst at the National Science Foundation.
  • Trevor Pfeifer is a staff accountant at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs.
  • Diana Ramirez is a Ph.D. candidate in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University.
  • Jordan Devries is pursuing a master’s degree in horticulture at Michigan State University.
  • Sally Schmidt is working on a master’s degree in agriculture communications at the University of Missouri.

“The Foundation is thrilled to offer a record number of scholarships for our 2024 conference,” said Delayne Johnson, chairman of the Renewable Fuels Foundation and CEO of Quad County Corn Processors. “Our event’s theme this year is ‘Powered by Partnerships’; through our scholarship program, we are proud to partner with the next generation of thought leaders, innovators, and industry influencers. Reviewing these applications and learning about these young people’s goals and accomplishments was an eye-opener—and a true source of optimism for the future of the U.S. ethanol industry. We look forward to interacting with them at the National Ethanol Conference, and the great things they will do with the knowledge they gain and the networking they conduct.”

Now in its 15th year, the NEC scholarship program is named in honor of Robert “Bob” Sather, an educator who helped found RFA member company Ace Ethanol in Wisconsin. Sather was a longtime chairman of the Renewable Fuels Foundation, whose mission is to meet the research and education needs of the U.S. fuel ethanol industry. The Bob Sather Memorial Scholarship aims to reach young adults aspiring to a career related to renewable fuels, open new doors for them, and present new perspectives on ethanol’s place in our world today and in the future. Scholarships totaling nearly $120,000 have been awarded to more than 60 students and young professionals since the program began.

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