On Tuesday Oct. 29th the Seneca County Exploring Ag Post visited Poet Biorefining in Fostoria!


Brad Pope, Poet’s Grain Buyer, led 8 of the high school students that are a part of Exploring Ag on a tour of the plant and explained the day to day operations and shared how his education background and previous work experience led him to his current position. One of the key skills that Brad stressed the importance of having is the ability to communicate, whether it is with your teammates or with customers.

The group also met with the control room operators who demonstrated how they monitor and manage the several different processes occurring simultaneously at the plant. They also listed some of the characteristics and skills that they think are essential in their job and gave advice for starting your career path. During the tour, an alert came through notifying the control room that one of the corn conveyors had too much corn coming through causing the rest of line to back up. With a few clicks on the computer they were able to adjust the amount of corn and everything was back to normal. With today’s technology, the plant could even be operated from Poet’s headquarters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the event of an emergency, like a tornado.



About POET

  • Began operations September 2008
  • Consume approximately 21 million bushels of corn
  • From the corn, POET produces: ethanol, Dried Distillers Grains (DDGs), Distillers Wet Grains (DWGs), asphalt rejuvenator, and carbon dioxide
  • Employs approximately 40 people
  • Produce 60 million gallons of ethanol
  • Produce 178,000 tons of Dakota Gold® DDGs
  • For Fostoria: majority of the corn coming into the plant is from within 40 miles of the plant
  • Enhances the local economy with improved corn prices, value-added markets for farmers, and increased local tax revenue
  • The name “POET” is not an acronym, just the name of the business
  • Poet has an employee mission trip “Seeds of Change” which is a multi-year project to grow a school for disadvantaged girls in Kenya, Africa


The next Exploring Ag meeting is at Terra State on November 13th!


If you or someone you know is interested in joining Exploring Ag to learn more about the many Ag careers in the area, contact OSU Extension at 419-447-9722 or e-mail ExploringAg@gmail.com.

About Morgan Metzger

“Land, then, is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants, and animals.” ~ Aldo Leopold. Livestock production has always been a passion of mine and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. I come from a family farm where we raise livestock and grain. I am glad to be managing the office to help the team pull off events, accomplish our goals and build stronger farms, homes and schools in Seneca County.

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