Ethanol is a clean burning fuel typically produced from corn. It is reported to have far less harmful hydrocarbon and benzene emissions than other fuels. In addition to corn, grains such as wheat or barley can be used to make ethanol, and all of these grains are abundantly available in the United States.
Hill City FFA members in Kansas wanted to educate consumers about the environmental and economical benefits of using ethanol by hosting an Ethanol Rally. Their goal was to convince at least 51 percent of the customers who stopped by their rally to purchase ethanol over gasoline.
The Ethanol Rally lasted three hours, and FFA members spent the time handing out flyers and discussing the benefits of ethanol to customers. They also had a live radio broadcast for the event. Members spoke to 298 consumers about the advantages of ethanol, and 82 percent of the consumers who bought gas agreed to purchase ethanol instead. There were 244 cars filled with ethanol that day!
FFA members pumped 1,423 gallons of ethanol at the rally, gaining the support of two local fueling stations that agreed to promote the use of ethanol to their customers. Additionally, the local Farm
Bureau office agreed to offer a per-gallon discount to consumers who chose ethanol, proving that sometimes it pays to go against the grain.
The Hill City FFA chapter was a finalist in the 2010 National Chapter Models of Innovation award program in the area of community development.