2017 National Ethanol Conference

Building Partnerships, Growing Markets

The 2017 National Ethanol Conference: Building Partnerships, Growing Markets provided attendees with an exclusive opportunity to engage key decision makers and industry executives while networking and learning about the latest technologies and government policies.  Speakers addressed our successes as well as what more we can do together to develop both domestic and foreign markets, including expanding infrastructure, blends above E10, high octane fuels and exports. 

Networking Opportunities

Build key industry relationships.

International Buyers Program

Participate in this exclusive program for U.S. companies interested in exporting product overseas or expanding sales to new markets. Read More

Government Policies

Learn the latest information on issues affecting the industry to be prepared.

Business Development

Conduct business with high value domestic and international industry customers and clients under one roof.



Click dates and arrows below to view and expand the full agenda.

Registration >>>

4:00 P - 7:00 P


Registration >>>

7:00 A - 7:00 P


Annual Golf Tournament >>>

Sponsored by Eco-Energy. Enjoy beautiful southern California while networking with your fellow industry leaders at the National Ethanol Conference’s Annual Golf Tournament at Maderas Golf Club, a Johnny Miller masterpiece named to Golf Digest’s Top 100 Public Golf Courses in the U.S. for 2015-16.

7:00A - 3:30P

Maderas Golf Club

Networking Day Tour: USS Midway >>>

Prepare yourself for a lifetime memory aboard San Diego’s top attraction.  USS Midway Museum is the #1 Museum in San Diego and named America’s best museum ship in USA Today’s 2016 Readers Choice Awards! You’ll explore a floating city at sea and relive nearly 50 years of world history aboard the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier […]

9:00A - 3:00 P


RFA PAC Auction (RFA Members Only) >>>

04:30P – 6:00P


Welcome Reception >>>

Sponsored by Fagen, Inc.

6:00 P - 7:30 P



Registration >>>

6:30 A - 6:00 P


Continental Breakfast >>>

Sponsored by CoBank and Farm Credit Services of America.

7:00 A - 8:00 A


Welcome Remarks >>>

Mick Henderson, General Manager, Commonwealth Agri-Energy, LLC and Chairman, Renewable Fuels Association



State of the Industry Address

Bob Dinneen, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association State of the Industry Address




Discussion on the Future of Fuels Policy

Moving the conversation beyond today’s policy battles, we will foster a frank dialogue among sometimes competing stakeholders in the fuel production and marketing sectors.  Discussion will include potential for high octane/low carbon fuels, state low carbon fuel programs, electric vehicles, CAFE standards, global climate initiatives, and the regulatory landscape for petroleum and gas extraction.


About Panel

Moderator: Bob Dinneen, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association; Chet Thompson, President and CEO, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers; Marty Durbin, Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, American Petroleum Institute


Morning Refreshment Break>>>

Sponsored by Faegre Baker Daniels LLP



NEC Tech Connect Theater: “The Buzz on Big Data: Driving Plant Profitability through Better Data Management,” sponsored by Novozymes

Laurie Duval, Senior Manager, Technical Service, Novozymes



Ethanol plants are data driven operations. The industry is on the cusp of realizing the power of better data management to save time, optimize production and build on the bottom line. Join Novozymes to learn how we are helping the plants that we work with get it right. Hear about potential next steps that you can take in your big data journey, including best practices, overcoming obstacles and the true benefits of centralized, streamlined data collection and analysis.


Paving the Road to a High Octane, Low Carbon Future

Automakers, DOE scientists, and other experts agree that octane is the key to enabling greater efficiency and reduced emissions in the internal combustion engines of the future. This panel will discuss the benefits of high octane low carbon fuels, and examine the hurdles to broad commercialization in the future.


About Panel

Moderator: Geoff Cooper, Senior VP, Renewable Fuels Association; David McShane, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Strategy, Ricardo; Jim Szybist, Senior Research Staff, Oak Ridge National Lab; Jim Anderson, Technical Expert in Fuel Science, Research & Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company


Luncheon Address: Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary>>>

sponsored by State Corn Growers Organizations



NEC Tech Connect Theater: “How New Cellulosic Technology Can Help Grow Demand for Ethanol,” sponsored by Syngenta – Enogen

Dr. Miloud Araba, head of Enogen technical services, Syngenta



Cellerate™ process technology converts corn kernel fiber into cellulosic ethanol. Developed at Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) in Galva, Iowa, Cellerate is collaboration between Syngenta and Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of QCCP. Cellerate can help a dry grind ethanol plant produce more ethanol from an existing asset base, increase total yield of distillers corn oil and improve the protein content of feed co-products.


Understanding Gasoline Markets and Ethanol Considerations

Owners have many considerations when making significant changes to fuel offerings. From regulatory hurdles, equipment replacement timelines, financial incentives and long term strategies, the move to higher ethanol blends must fit strategically. This panel will discuss and explain why some retailers have embraced with open arms, while others remain on the sidelines.


About Panel

Moderator: Robert White, VP Industry Relations, Renewable Fuels Association; Ryan McNutt, CEO, SIGMA; Jimm Cross, PMAA Western Region Chairman and President, Cross Petroleum; John Eichberger, Executive Director, Fuels Institute; Rick Long, General Manager & Associate General Counsel, PEI


NEC Tech Connect Theater, “SPEZYME® HT – Next generation amylase in superior liquefaction performance,” sponsored by DuPont Industrial Biosciences

Stephanie Gleason, Regional Application Development Leader, DuPont Industrial Biosciences



SPEZYME® HT is the latest breakthrough in DuPont's ongoing amylase discovery and engineering effort specifically targeted at improved viscosity and solubility under stress conditions.

Afternoon Refreshment Break >>>

Sponsored by Genscape, Inc.




Perspectives on the RFS and the Point of Obligation

 Panelists will present their views regarding the ongoing debate about the Point of Obligation under the RFS.


About Panel

Moderator: Neil Koehler, Co-Founder, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Ethanol, Inc.; Richard Walsh, SVP & Deputy General Counsel, Valero Renewable Fuels Company LLC; Tim Columbus, Attorney, Steptoe & Johnson, LLP


Networking Reception >>>

Sponsored by OpenLink

5:30 P - 7:00 P


Registration Open >>>

6:30A – 12:00P


Continental Breakfast >>>

Sponsored by CHS, Inc.



RFA 2017 Industry Award Presentation>>>




Agriculture Working Together to Move Rural America Forward

A free-wheeling conversation about the current state of the farm economy, the policy impact of historic surpluses, and moving past food versus fuel. Can we rebuild relationships with animal agriculture?


About Panel

Moderator: Bob Dinneen, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association; Chris Novak, CEO, National Corn Growers Association; Randy Spronk, Managing Partner, Spronk Brothers III LLP and past president, National Pork Producers Council



Global Demand Drivers and Trends Fueling Ethanol Growth >>>

Ethanol exports continue to serve as a valuable and expanding revenue source for the U.S. ethanol industry.  Speaker will provide an in-depth look at  current market trends associated with global trade in ethanol, and key factors driving the demand for ethanol, including low-carbon initiatives, octane demand, efforts to replace MTBE and monetizing carbon.


About Panel

Moderator: Ed Hubbard, General Counsel, Renewable Fuels Association; Scott Richman, Senior Vice President, Informa Economics


Learning How The Export-Import Bank Can Help Your Export Business

This session will introduce attendees to the Export Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), which provides help to exporters in filling financing gaps and managing export risks through its loan, guarantee, and insurance programs when the private sector is unable or unwilling to do so.



Sandra Donzella, Deputy Managing Director, Export-Import Bank of the U.S. - Western Region

Refreshment Break >>>

Sponsored by Vertex Railcar Corporation




Opportunities for Ethanol Export in Target Markets>>>

In connection with the International Buyer Program, experts will discuss the top global ethanol markets and outline export opportunities that exist now and in the future.  The panel will provide information concerning each country’s fuel market, its domestic biofuel policies and the current trends and forecasts for ethanol trade with these markets. 


About Panel

Moderator: Ed Hubbard, General Counsel, Renewable Fuels Association; Ryan LeGrand, Mexico Director, U.S. Grains Council; Amit Sachdev, Country Representative/Consultant, U.S. Grains Council; Eric Olson, Commercial Officer & Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service; and Josh Pedrick, Ethanol Reporter, S&P Global Platts



Navigating the Media Maelstrom >>>

It seems as though ethanol gets far more than its fair share of media coverage—and most of it negative. How can the industry do a better job getting our message out? Reporters will discuss energy coverage and outline how to give a good interview, conduct local media outreach, use social media and avoid common pitfalls.


About Panel

Moderator: Rachel Gantz, Communications Director, Renewable Fuels Association; Amy Harder, Reporter, Wall Street Journal; Jerry Hagstrom, Founder and Executive Editor, The Hagstrom Report; Todd Neeley, Staff Reporter, DTN/The Progressive Farmer


Closing Remarks >>>

Bob Dinneen, President and CEO,  Renewable Fuels Association



International Matchmaking and Networking >>>

U.S. Exporters that have registered for matchmaking under the International Buyer Program will be provided space to hold one-on-one meetings with potential buyers and partners from Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Korea. Registration deadline is December 31, 2016.  Visit http://ibp.nationalethanolconference.com/ for more information on how to participate.

12:00-5:00 P



Even More Solutions for You and Your Executive Team from One Trip to NEC!

We’re excited to announce this new addition to our programming.  Novozymes, Syngenta-Enogen, and DuPont will highlight case studies on Tuesday, Feb. 21, that demonstrate new and improved solutions for our ethanol producers in today’s marketplace.  For more details, click on the Tuesday tab above in the agenda.

  • 10:15 am “The Buzz on Big Data: Driving Plant Profitability through Better Data Management,” sponsored by Novozymes
  • 2:00 pm “How New Cellulosic Technology Can Help Grow Demand for Ethanol,” sponsored by Syngenta – Enogen
  • 3:00 pm “SPEZYME® HT – Next generation amylase in superior liquefaction performance,” sponsored by DuPont Industrial Biosciences


Click here to view all the NEC photos from the 2017 NEC in San Diego, CA.