I see that Jerry Perkins, a long-time colleague in the agricultural journalism world, and editor of the quarterly-published BioFuels Journal of Decatur, Ill., wrote a tribute to Cole Gustafson, in a recent editor’s note. Gustafson, who was co-director of the BioEnergy and Products Innovation Center and a professor of agribusiness and applied economics at North Dakota State University, died in a farm accident while planting corn in Chisago County, Minn..
Perkins, a long-time former farm editor of the Des Moines Register, among his distinguished career stops, described his work with Gustafson this way. “This was the third article in three years that I’ve written with Gustafson’s help,” Perkins said, in an editor’s note. He was precise, cooperative and promptly responded to emails and phone calls.
“Gustafson represented the best what a land grant university has to offer: combining scientifically-based research and practical advice to help farmers and agribusinesses turn farm commodities into marketable products. His work with energy beets was a visionary approach to that work (and will), hopefully, pay big dividends for farmers and others in North Dakota and the Great Plains. Great vision comes from great people. Cole Gustafson was one of the great ones.”
Among other things, Perkins in the BioFuels story talks about the $500,000, two-year grant from the North Dakota Renewable Energy Council, and the $500,000 cash, in-kind donations from Betaseed, Inc. and Syngenta. Gustafson told BioFuels the company was looking to “grind energy beets or to use some other process” than slicing, to process the beets into ethanol, and qualify as an advanced biofuel.