(Female) My name is Jessica Robinson and I’m the Director of Communications for the National Biodiesel Board. The Kansas Soybean Commission has really been a long time partner of the biodiesel industry, even long before biodiesel was the strong, commercially viable fuel that it is today. Starting with research and development some twenty years ago looking at opportunities for the soybean oil as part of the soybean value chain and the group has really been very successful to support that effort. Biodiesel is coming on its third year of record breaking volumes. We saw one-point-
one billion gallons two years running and this year, we’re looking to top one-point-seven billion gallons. That’s really a lot to be proud of. Some of the drivers behind that are the state policies and the efforts to secure biodiesel mandates and incentives across the country and that’s something that this group really saw the opportunities for, looking at biodiesel use state-by-state, something that they’ve stood behind and believed in and we’ve seen, as a result of that, about three hundred and twenty-seven million gallons of biodiesel being influenced by state incentives and policies and that really means a lot for this growing industry. Another thing that this group has often participated in is communication efforts and education, just working and reaching out to the public about what is biodiesel? What are biodiesel’s benefits, and we’re really proud to see the growth and awareness of biodiesel the last even just ten years. Ten year ago, about twenty-four percent of Americans had heard of or were aware of biodiesel. Today, that number is upwards of eighty-one percent, so real growth and real opportunities and accomplishments that the Kansas Soybean Commissioners and the Kansas Soybean Board can really be excited about. Biodiesel has a huge impact here in Kansas, not only is there a direct benefit environmentally and the access to biodiesel and the jobs that it supports, but it really does make a difference in that soy value chain. Biodiesel helps lower the cost of meal because there’s a premium for the oils. As the oil demand goes up, that can reduce the price pressure on meal, so that means that our livestock operators, animal agriculture, they’re actually paying less for meal than they otherwise would without biodiesel in the mix and in addition to that, soybean farmers are getting additional value for their oil which increases the total price of the bushel and that’s always a great thing. That means more money being spent in our local economics and more flexibility in how we reach out to support those jobs across the state. Biodiesel’s really an exciting in its lifespan. Biodiesel is the first advanced biofuel to reach a billion gallons of production across the country. We see that this has grown from an idea and a concept twenty years ago to now a true alternative fuel, one that is being produced in most all fifty states across the country at a hundred and forty-seven plus plants and that really shows the opportunities and the opportunities for growth continue. We’re hoping to see next year even additional volumes that’s supported by bio-heat markets, by federal policies, state policy and just general interest in the fuel and interest in alternative energy.