Energy is used every day around the world, in industries of every nature. How is energy generated, stored, and used? How does federal policy drive our national and state energy resources? What is the environmental impact on the relationship between agriculture and energy? How are companies leading innovation in energy generation and usage? The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program (IALP) Class of 2018 recently convened to discuss these major issues affecting energy production, transportation, and usage. The Martin L. Andreas Energy and Ecosystems Seminar was recently held in Downers Grove and included presentations by nine speakers. The IALP is sponsored by the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation (IALF).
Dr. Kim Kidwell, Dean of the University of Illinois College of ACES, began the seminar with a workshop on “The Energy of TIDAL Leadership”. She discussed and worked with the participants on a new approach to effective leadership, from “title” to “tidal” leadership, based on values and personal motivation. Following the workshop, Jackie McKinnis, Senior Energy Analyst for GROWMARK, Inc., presented “Why Does Agriculture Care About Energy?”, highlighting the importance of energy issues in the agricultural community.
The second day of the seminar began with an in-depth presentation on “Energy Production, Transport, and Usage in the U.S.”, led by Tom Wolf, Director Communications and External Affairs for BP America. He shared evidence of the U.S. domestic oil production and alternative energy sources. The class then heard from Susan Donovan, Director of Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy, and Patrick Cummins, Senior Policy Advisor of the Center for the New Energy Economy. Donovan explained the existing partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Center for the New Energy Economy, and Cummins discussed the impact of climate issues on energy production and usage.
The class then embarked on a trip to Hennepin, Illinois, to tour Marquis Energy, LLC’s premier ethanol plant. At the plant, participants heard from Mark Marquis, Chief Executive Officer for Marquis Energy, LLC. Marquis outlined the history of his company and his vision to develop a world-class ethanol production facility. Bart Pieper, Director of Business Development with Marquis Energy, LLC, then followed that discussion with a presentation on “Ethanol, Big Data, Analytics, and Efficiency”, which highlighted the facility’s approach to high-level, efficient ethanol production.
The final morning of the seminar, participants were welcomed to CNH Industrial’s NAFTA Region Headquarters in Burr Ridge, Illinois by Monte Weller, Case IH Global Product Line Developer for Crop Production and Hay & Forage. Weller graduated from the IALP with the Class of 2006. The Class of 2018 was led on a tour of the facility, exploring how CNH Industrial is manufacturing engines using the latest technology available. Following the tour, Ivan Tate, with Customer Management in the NAFTA Division of the Fiat Power Train Industrial division, gave an in-depth and detailed presentation on the regulatory requirements and emissions standards that are driving engine development. Gerry Salzman, a 1992 alumnus of the IALP who is retired from CNH Industrial, concluded the seminar with a presentation on “Launching New Emission Products: Easier Said Than Done!”, which highlighted the challenges in providing consumers with new products impacted by environmental regulations.
The Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation provides a 19-month seminar series that develops knowledgeable and effective leaders to become policy and decision makers for the agricultural industry, in addition to Advanced Leadership Training for program alumni, commodity organizations and other agricultural organizations. It is a non-profit educational corporation under Illinois law. A board of directors, comprised of recognized leaders in agriculture and business, oversees the program.
For more information on the program or foundation, please contact the IALF at (309) 837-7711.