KSU students get free ethanol fuel, talk about renewables
A two hour fuel promotion at the Manhattan Co-op drew more than 200 carloads of K-State students looking for free fuel, free lunch and a chance to talk about renewable fuels. The event was spearheaded by the Renewable Fuels Association and sponsored by the Kansas Corn Commission to kick off a national campaign to engage college students in a conversation about renewable fuels.
For two hours, on March 2, representatives of the Kansas Corn Commission and the Renewable Fuels Association gave free ethanol-blended fuel fill-ups to KSU students. The Manhattan Co-op has both E10 for all gas-powered vehicles and E85 fuel for flexible fuel vehicles that can operate on fuel up to 85 percent ethanol. Students also got a free lunch and were offered T-shirts or fuel cards for recording video clips about renewable resources.
The Co-op, located just east of Manhattan off of Highway 24, was a good location for the large turnout, according to Kansas Corn Commission Chairman Mike Brzon of Courtland.
"We had a steady line of traffic that was up to a half mile long at times," Brzon said. "This gave us the opportunity to talk to hundreds of college students and to get them to think about renewable fuels like ethanol. I believe we accomplished a lot at this event, and it is just the beginning of a much larger effort."
The event's organizers used on-campus advertising as well as Internet sites to spread the word. Organizers talked to students on campus, advertised in the student newspaper and used Facebook and the e85challenge.com website to let students know about the event.
"That's what this Flex Fuel Challenge is all about," according to Robert White of RFA. "It's about utilizing viral marketing, going through websites like Facebook. We actually created e85challenge.com to mirror those so you can add friends, you can have discussions and post pictures and do videos so that others can work within that medium to promote renewable energy."
About 40 video clips were shot at the event as students took turns answering the question "What Does Renewable Mean to You?" The videos will be posted on the e85challenge.com website. The Manhattan event kicked off a larger on-line effort to spread the word about renewables and to encourage others to submit videos on renewables. The Flex Fuel Challenge is looking for creative ideas on renewables and encourages participants to spread the word to get votes for their video submission. The entry with the most votes will win a MacBook Air laptop computer.
In addition to the Kansas Corn Commission, sponsors of the Flex Fuel Challenge include the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and the Kentucky Corn Growers Association. For more information, visit the e85challenge.com website or the Kansas Corn Commission website at www.ksgrains.com.
The Kansas Corn Commission is a grower board that invests the half-cent per bushel corn checkoff in the areas of market development, research, promotion and education to increase the profitability of Kansas corn.