The Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Illinois Soybean Association are doing their part to keep the local agriculture industry safe. Using Illinois corn and soybeans, the group financed corn-based ethanol hand sanitizer made at Marquis Energy in Hennepin, Illinois in conjunction with glycerin from soybeans made at Renewable Energy Group.
Marty Marr of the local Illinois Soybean Association says it’s a way to keep everyone locally safe while the planting season begins in earnest. “The Illinois Corn Marketing Board and the Illinois Soybean Association has gone together in collaboration on a program to get hand sanitizer out to various organizations. We wanted to make sure that everybody in the ag industry – elevators, implement dealers, producers, fertilizer companies, anybody in the ag industry – to have hand sanitizer available for their employees to try and keep everyone safe and healthy.”
Marr says that the ethanol-based product is helping move gallons of the product that are setting idle due to the decrease in fuel usage nationwide from stay at home orders and quarantines. “We came up for about 30 gallons of sanitizer for this area. We have a few small bottles for different small businesses. We are just trying to get it out to as many people as possible because we know they need it right now. We’re just glad to be a part of this program to help everyone out.”
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Illinois Soybean Association have said that the threat COVID-19 has posed to the industry and its workers has been significant so far. They are hoping the hand sanitizer program will present potential for new input streams into the corn and soybean market so that consumers and producers can continue to produce crops and have a livelihood during this unprecedented moment in the world’s history.