Three Students Receive 2020 Adkins Energy Scholarships

LENA, IL, May 14, 2020 — Adkins Energy LLC is proud to award three outstanding local students with $500 scholarships to help them further their higher education. Entries for this year were judged on academic achievement and an essay: Why is ethanol important to agriculture?

Aaron Folk, son of Brian and Jill Folk, highlighted the importance of ethanol for fuel, food production, and conservation of the environment: “When petroleum is released into the environment it can cause cancer and smog. Corn ethanol helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 40 percent.” A graduate of Durand High School, he will begin his education at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., with a future goal of becoming a nursing home occupational therapist.

Kayla Runkle, a Pearl City High School graduate and the daughter of Eric and Billie Jo Runkle, is pursuing a degree in physical therapy at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. In her essay, she recognized ethanol’s food and fuel production benefits, while also highlighting the importance of ethanol in global markets. “With the need for exported ethanol-based goods on the rise, the United States economy benefits from this expansion into the global markets.”

Hannah Pickard, daughter of Marcus and Katherine Pickard, is a graduate of Hononegah Community High School. In addition to the many benefits of ethanol in her essay, she emphasized the importance of the industry to non-urban areas. “Considering that the United States is the world’s number one producer in ethanol, it is a huge benefit to the economy, giving thousands of Americans jobs.” Hannah will continue her education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign as she works toward her goal of becoming a forensic pathologist.

Adkins Energy congratulates Aaron, Kayla, Hannah and all area graduates, and wishes them good luck in their next endeavors, whether it is school or work (or a combination of both).

Click here for a PDF version of this release.

Adkins Energy is a dry mill corn-to-ethanol and biodiesel facility located in northwest Illinois. It is owned by over 275 local investors and Pearl City Elevator, and employs 40 people. Since it started production in 2002, Adkins has processed over 275 million bushels of corn to produce over 750 million gallons of ethanol and over 3.8 million tons of wet and dried distillers’ grains. Adkins Energy also operates a 3-million gallon per year biodiesel facility that is fully integrated into its ethanol operations. For more information, contact Adkins Energy (1-888-ETHANOL) or visit
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