Naig visits Iowa Central biofuels lab
By PETER KASPARI
Iowa’s secretary of agriculture stopped by Iowa Central Community College on April 3 to get a tour and learn more about the college’s Biofuels Testing Laboratory.
Mike Naig, who has been the state’s agriculture secretary for a month, met with Don Heck, director of the Iowa Central Biofuels Testing Laboratory, who gave him a tour of the facility and explained how the lab does its job.
The laboratory tests fuels for clients across not just Iowa, but the country and internationally as well.
Naig said he was impressed with what he saw.
“We certainly partner with the laboratory here to run our state samples, and that’s a great partnership that we’ve developed here,” he said. “But I’m impressed with how the lab has gone out and attracted other business, and that really tells me that they’re doing good work.”
Everyone across the state benefits from the work done at Iowa Central’s lab, which is the only community college-based facility of its kind in Iowa, he said.
The testing of the fuels in the lab has many benefits, Naig said.
“It’s important that the testing supports our fuel regulatory program,” he said. “When you’re making decisions, you want to make sure that that’s based on good data.”
The tour included Heck showing Naig all the equipment in the lab, which includes testing ethanol and different minerals.
After his visit to the lab, Naig said he’s learned a lot that he’ll take away with him.
“And so what I’m taking away from this is that these folks are doing a good job up here, and I’ve got a high level of confidence in the work that’s coming out of the lab,” Naig said.
His visit to Iowa Central was part of a series of stops he was making in north central Iowa last week.
Naig said he’d been wanting to visit the fuels lab for some time, and was finally able to do so, despite the snowy weather.
“We were able to make this work,” Naig said. “The snow didn’t keep us away.”
According to information provided by Heck, the lab serves more than 200 clients, which includes those across 40 states and five countries.
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