Archived Story

Is it a yellow kernel or a golden general?

Published 9:29am Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Column: My Point of View, by Jerrold Dettle

We Minnesotans know and appreciate that our corn is not yellow but golden. A gold color wisely created by God to signify that corn is a Minnesotan lifeline and the ultimate source of true prosperity that grows in our state.

Jerrold Dettle
Jerrold Dettle

We can comment with tongue-in-cheek that even our gophers are golden because of the blessing of a Minnesota cornfield. Thirty-six thousand Minnesota farmers pick over a billion bushels of shelled corn annually. The nation’s best trained farmers and richest black soil are the heart of the states’ economy.

If a kernel of corn is haphazardly described as being “yellow” in Minnesota, that might be deemed an irreprehensible remark. If a citizen of our great state would make that error, they might be shamed, disgraced, ostracized and sent to a socialist dictator’s gulag without appeal.

If that individual is a Minnesota politician, the infliction could be doubled and he or she might be condemned to an eternal life in Washington, D.C., or to a tent on the lawn of our state Capitol.

Hyperbole aside, truthfully Minnesotans need to remember that the greatest source of abundant tax revenue in our state is from agriculture and its byproducts. One offshoot of this golden product is the ethanol production that exists at the Poet plant in our very own Freeborn County. Ethanol is the most efficiently produced energy of all competitors.

The contribution to America’s security and the infrastructure of the nation is tremendous. Here are just a few facts that every citizen in southern Minnesota needs to know:

• Ethanol gives consumers a choice of fuel products.

• Compared to outside energy imports, only Canadian oil and gas exceeds American ethanol in volume (not Saudi Arabia, not Venezuela, not anybody).

• In the United States, the cellulosic ethanol production by Minnesota by the use of biomass resources exceeds every other state.

• Ethanol production is proven to be environmentally friendly and an American renewable fuel despite erroneous information distributed by extreme interest groups and overzealous energy competitors.

• Ethanol is cleaner, cost effective and an all-American energy product.

• Ethanol’s impact on food production is miniscule. A widely unknown fact by the grocery store shopper is that 84.2 percent of the cost of an edible corn product is a result of marketing, and paid to those other than the farmer.

• Animal feed efficiency is greatly enhanced by the production of an all important byproduct, corn gluten.

• Minnesota shoppers purchase many more competitive byproducts of the ethanol process at the store, such as plastic containers, corn oil and natural edible coatings are just a few.

• The American taxpayer can now rest at night more comfortably, too. The volumetric ethanol excise tax credit (VEETC) given to fuel blenders of ethanol and gasoline was removed two years ago.

• Similar to the historic corporate breakup of AT&T and the resulting growth of competitive firms, the expansion of cellphone providers, ethanol benefited all of America when we the people were given the opportunity to choose between various energy sources that drive our vehicles.

Citizens of Minnesota, we can now proudly tell our children that we supported the economic health of their homeland and especially southern Minnesota by proudly purchasing ethanol at the pump. We can say that we helped promote corn to the rank of golden general! Many of you can also say you are in favor of new politicians who widely realize that Freeborn County, southern Minnesota and, yes, even Minneapolis, St. Paul and Rochester, exist primarily because our corn and its byproducts are the heart and hope of the Minnesota economy.

Let us all now proclaim that henceforth corn shall no longer be referred to as a “kernel (colonel)” but as a “golden general” from the Golden State of Minnesota.


Jerrold Dettle is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.