COL Ethanol plant organizers continue drive

GRANITE FALLS, Minn. -- A Granite Falls company is looking for the investments needed to build an ethanol plant.

Paul Enstad -- chairman of the Granite Falls Community Ethanol Company -- said he is confident the goal will be met. The company is aiming to raise between $18 million and $30 million in the equity drive, which has been extended until the end of September.

It will also need financing to build the proposed plant, which would produce 40 million gallons of ethanol a year. Estimates indicate the plant would cost $55 million.

Enstad said the company's director is handling a steady stream of inquiries from prospective investors.

The federal government is supportive of biomass energy development, including ethanol, Enstad said.


The ethanol company had planned to conclude its equity drive at the end of June.

Ward new chairman of corn council

SHAKOPEE, Minn. -- David Ward, a farmer from Mapleton, is the new chairman of the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council.

Other officers elected during the council's recent meeting include vice chairman Gayle Bergstrom of Adams; secretary Andy Quinn of Litchfield; and treasurer Jerry Ploehn of Alpha.

The council also recognized two retiring members, Glenn Arfstrom of Willmar and Steve LeVan of Elgin, for their service to Minnesota corn producers.

Two new council members started their terms July 1. Lori Feltis is from Stewartville and Myron Peterson is from Sacred Heart.

Hutterite colonies sued over patent issue

PIERRE, S.D. -- A McPherson County man is suing several Hutterite colonies for allegedly taking advantage of an invention that makes it easier and safer to impregnate pigs.


Jerome Mack, owner of Swine Robotics at Leola, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls. Mack has a patent on technology that resulted in a product called the Boar Bot.

Boar Bot is a remote-controlled electric vehicle that forcibly leads boars through breeding barns to detect the sexual receptiveness of sows. It normally takes two or three men to manually handle that chore, and it can be dangerous trying to guide a stubborn 400- to 500-pound boar through the narrow aisles of pig barns.

Boar Bot, which weighs several hundred pounds and has four-wheel drive, pulls the animals along by a tether that is attached to a harness on the boars.

Mack's lawsuit claims Hutterites have infringed on his patent rights by making their own version of Boar Bot.

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