In the past two years, we have all become accustomed to expecting the unexpected. As the mayor of Nevada and a proud Iowan, I am encouraged by our collective ability to adapt and tackle new challenges. In 2022, we will have the opportunity to address a critical issue with implications for the future of one of Iowa’s foundational industries. 

Agriculture and ethanol play major roles in our local and state economies. Here in Nevada, the Lincolnway Energy ethanol plant supports high-quality jobs and offers a reliable market for local corn growers, helping to keep land and crop prices high. Plants like Lincolnway also produce dried distiller grains to feed livestock. Across the state, agriculture contributes tens of billions of dollars to Iowa’s GDP. 

Unfortunately, trade wars, the pandemic, and special interests threaten ethanol’s future. Considering Iowa currently leads the nation in producing corn and ethanol, the entire state would certainly reel from the loss of this critical industry.  What was once an incredibly reliable source of income for farmers is under attack. Unless we adapt to keep ethanol profitable, corn growers will lose 53% of their market. 

Fortunately, ethanol producers like Lincolnway Energy have sought innovative solutions. By partnering with Ames-based Summit Carbon Solutions to reduce its carbon footprint, Lincolnway’s ethanol will be attractive to consumers across the country, and the plant will compete for decades to come. 

This project, born right here in central Iowa, is critical for the future of agriculture. I am proud to support corn growers, Lincolnway Energy, and Summit Carbon Solutions.


Brett Barker
Nevada, IA