Plant a tree, save the environment, let freedom GROW.

It’s a simple concept that has been celebrated for years on Arbor Day – plant a tree to enhance our world and conserve our everyday environment. This Arbor Day, POET Tree was born to take POET’s environmental commitment even one step farther.

Every year hundreds of gallons of foreign crude oil are displaced from the use of ethanol. Less emissions cast into the environment. Less harm done to our planet. And a mission to create a cleaner, greener future for our children. But, POET does that every day.

On Arbor Day, fifth-grade students in POET communities celebrated Arbor Day by helping plant trees at Biorefinery locations. In addition, they were each given a seedling to take home to plant. All in all, the POET Tree program was responsible for the planting and distribution of over 2,750 trees.

By planting POET Trees, students were given an everyday reminder of a tree that will improve our environment and a mission that will protect our future.


POET Biorefining – Preston had a very successful POET Tree event. The fifth-grade class from Harmony, Minn., planted eight trees around the facility.


“We had a wonderful POET Tree Arbor Day Celebration at POET Biorefining of Portland!” says Jo Peters, Administrative Assistant at POET Biorefining – Portland.

POET Biorefining – Portland hosted 110 fifth-grade students shovel dirt around the celebratory crabapple tree with Greg Noble, General Manager, and Todd Thornburg, Grain Buyer. They also learned about the ethanol process and how the production of a renewable energy source is so important for the future of our environment.

The students received a Bald Cypress tree to take home to plant before they loaded back onto the buses and headed to school.


POET Biorefining – Mitchell hosted the fifth-grade class from nearby Ethan, S.D. to plant trees and tour the biorefinery. The students took home a POET Tree bag with a seedling and other environmental goodies. Team members and students had a great time!


Tough scheduling with local schools didn’t stop POET Biorefining — Ashton from participating in POET Tree celebrations. Team members at the facility planted trees on Earth Day and cleaned up the biorefinery in light of their commitment to the environment.


POET Biorefining – Chancellor had a great Arbor Day hosting 37 fifth and sixth grade students and teachers from the nearby Viborg and Hurley, S.D. schools.

Rick Serie, General Manager, gave the kids a lesson on making ethanol before going outside to plant eight trees. The students were treated to “dirt cups” and pretzel/ cookie flowers while they read their nature poems out loud. They were each sent home with a Black Hills Spruce seedling from the biorefinery.


POET Biorefining – Groton hosted fifth-graders from the local elementary school. Kelly Kjelden, General Manager, fielded several questions from the inquisitive, young environmentalists including: how much ethanol comes from a bushel of corn; how much corn do you use in three years; what would happen if you drank the ethanol; if a squirrel falls in the corn, does it get turned into ethanol; can people eat the distillers grain and if there was a drought, where would you get the corn from.

“Overall, it was a good experience,” says Kjelden. “Plus, we put three new trees in the ground at the biorefinery!”


POET Research Center invited the fifth-grade students from Scotland Elementary school to participate in an Arbor celebration onsite. Team members told the history of Arbor Day. And explained how the holiday fits into America’s need for energy and finding environmentally friendly ways to get there.

The students were treated to cupcakes decoratively arranged in a tree shape before planting a POET Tree at the facility. Each student was also given a bag with a tree to plant at home.


“Rain, rain, go away… ” The chant actually worked for POET Biorefining – Hanlontown on Arbor Day. An hour before the 29 students they were hosting from Central Springs Elementary arrived, the rain stopped, leaving them with good weather for planting. The students and their teachers helped plant three trees near the entry sign.

The students learned how ethanol was made through an explanation from team members and a short tour of the biorefinery. A few of the students even gave interviews to the local TV station.

“The environmental message and the connection with the elementary school was brilliant!” says Kelly Hanson, General Manager. “It was also rewarding for the team members who participated and helped organize.”

The facility also held a tree planting event on April 22 at Central Springs Elementary as part of their Earth Day celebration. Team members planted four POET-donated trees with the students and distributed the seedlings at that event.


Due to a rainy Arbor Day, POET Biorefining – Corning postponed their celebration until May 6. On April 30, team members visited Corning Elementary and shared with fifth-graders the importance of tree planting and the advantage of ethanol.

On May 6, team members hosted 35 sixth-graders at the biorefinery. On a funny note, what were supposed to be 24″ seedlings, arrived at the plant 4′ to 6′ tall. Each student took home a tree and loved it!


POET Biorefining – North Manchester hosted 115 fifth-graders from Manchester Intermediate School on April 30 in celebration of Arbor Day. The students and teachers assisted in planting 10 willow trees at the POET facility.




Vital is a news & media resource published by POET, presenting a variety of stories with the thought leadership one expects from the largest, most forward-thinking bioethanol producer.