Today, April 26, 2017, Redfield Energy is celebrating a milestone achievement. Ten years ago today we began operating our ethanol plant. After two years of planning, fundraising, construction, and training, we watched our staff turn on the switch that made our plant run.
Our mission is to operate a profitable and innovative ethanol facility, be the preferred market for locally grown corn, and provide a quality feed product. Since our inception in 2005, we have generated a net income of $43.5 million. Some years were outstanding, some years were good, and other years weren’t as profitable as we would have liked. No matter the circumstances, we worked hard to minimize the losses and capitalize on the gains. We have tasked ourselves to be innovative and have become a technology leader in our industry. By purchasing over 194 million bushels of corn at an average price of $4.47 since April 26, 2007, we have provided another market for our local farmers’ corn and we have worked diligently to offer a high-quality distillers grains feed. While we are proud of our achievements, our mission is not over. We will continue to fight for the success of this plant and everyone involved; our members, our employees, our strategic partners, the merchants and contractors we work with, the farmers who produce the corn, and those who purchase our final products.
Not only have we produced 545 million gallons of ethanol in these ten years, our by-products are just as important to our success. We have produced 1.5 million tons of distillers grains and 63 million pounds of corn oil.
We have distributed over $36 million to our members, 89% of the money raised during the 2005 equity drive. Many of our 702 members are farmers, but just as many are not. Most live in our region; some live in other states. Every decision we make has to be the best one for the collective group. This can be a difficult task but we are confident in our ability to do what’s best for Redfield Energy as a whole.
We are proud to be a member of the Redfield community, Spink County, and Northeast South Dakota. We have paid over $2 million in property taxes to Spink County, an immeasurable amount to the local economy, and have dedicated ourselves to being good neighbors and stewards of the land. In the past ten years, we have partnered with several organizations in order to optimize our company. Many of these partners are from the local area. We value the relationships we have built with these partners and look forward to our continued mutual success.
We employ 45 talented people who are the heart and soul of our operation. Twelve of our employees have been here since the plant started producing ethanol. Besides the current employees, 92 others have crossed our path as employees, interns, summer help, and custodians. These employees are active in our communities through their churches, fire departments, ambulance crews, youth programs, and civic organizations. Our board consists of eight elected and one appointed members and we are fortunate to have a local attorney who has been with us since the inception of our company. Four of our current board members were involved in the steering committee and then transitioned to the newly formed board in 2005. Five original members have retired from the board and allowed others to bring new ideas to our organization. These board members and employees have led us through times of trial and times of success. We survived the ice storm in November of 2005 that cancelled our ground breaking ceremony and the flood in May of 2007 that damaged our plant. We raised additional funds when market conditions required us to do so. We said goodbye to friends who moved on or passed away. We celebrated new beginnings of marriages and babies, new friendships, and pride in knowing we contributed to the success of our plant. We have added new technology, tweaked our strategies, increased our capacity, and improved the quality of our products. In the beginning, we were expected to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol per year by using 17 million bushels of locally grown corn. Those initial goals were quickly surpassed and we anticipate producing 63 million gallons of ethanol this fiscal year and using almost 22 million bushels of corn.
From our first gallon in April, 2007 to our most recent gallon in April, 2017, we are doing our share to protect the environment, make our country energy independent, and act as a stepping stone to the next generation of biofuels. Thank you for being part of our journey and we look forward to the next ten years!