Corn Grower Named to Growth Energy Board

WASHINGTON, DC – Gary Pestorious, of Albert Lea, Minn., today accepted a position on the Board of Directors of Growth Energy, a coalition of American ethanol supporters. Pestorious is a fifth-generation farmer from Freeborn County, Minn., CEO of a family-run 12,500-acre operation, 10,000 acres of which is corn, and also serves as a leader for a number of ethanol and biofuels plants in Minnesota.

Pestorious has been a member of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association since the organization was founded, and has served as Chairman of POET-Glenville, a 44-million gallon cooperatively-owned ethanol plant, 100-percent farmer owned, since production began 10 years ago. He also served more than four years on MCGA Board of Directors, and three years on the National Corn Growers Association’s Ethanol Committee, as well as three years on the Board of Directors of the American Coalition for Ethanol, representing the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. He also served on the board of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, until its merger with Growth Energy last year, and previously served as an active member of the Renewable Fuels Association in his role for the last 10 years as Chair of POET-Glenville.

He also serves on the boards of POET-Hanlontown (Iowa), a 50-million gallon-a-year plant, and POET-Lake Crystal (Minn.), a 55-million gallon-a-year plant, and serves as Chair of SoyMor, a 30-million gallon biodiesel plant.

“Gary Pestorious is a leader. He knows farming, he knows what makes the farm economy run, and he knows what the priorities are for American agriculture and ethanol. We’re honored to have Gary on the Growth Energy Board of Directors,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

“I’ve been in renewable fuels may years, and a supporter of corn and ethanol for more than 25 years. Growth Energy has made a name for itself in a very short time – leading the fight for ethanol and agriculture. I know that I’m joining the leadership of an organization that seeks to make a difference,” Pestorious said.

Pestorious takes the seat previously held by Darrin Ihnen, of South Dakota, who recently assumed new responsibilities as President of the National Corn Growers Association.

“Darrin has an important new role at NCGA, and we wish him well. Just as we are thankful for the work of new board members, like Gary, we are thankful for the work of our past board members,” Buis said. “Like the rest of us, Gary knows the priorities well: increasing the blend to E15 and fixing ‘international indirect land use change’ penalties against biofuels. We welcome him to the debate.”

Growth Energy, established last November, has a 12-member board that represents ethanol producers, farming, and ethanol-plant manufacturers. The board also includes (Ret.) Gen. Wesley Clark as Co-Chairman, and former Iowa Rep. Jim Nussle. Growth Energy’s members include more than 50 ethanol plants, including the nation’s biggest producers, and more than 10,000 people.

Since its creation, Growth Energy has established a serious record of achievement on behalf of ethanol and U.S. agriculture, including:

• Filing the Green Jobs Waiver with EPA, seeking an increase to 15 percent ethanol blended with gasoline;

• Launching a coherent defense and counter-offensive against Big Food’s propaganda “food-versus-fuel” blitz attack on renewable fuels;

• Submitting detailed and comprehensive comments to new regulations proposed by the California Air Resources Board and EPA; and

• Initiating a campaign,, calling for a mandate for “country of origin labeling” for fuel.


About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at