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people and community iowa fair features renewable energy efforts

2 min read | august 09, 2023

The Iowa State Fair, which regularly draws more than 1 million visitors, is recognized for its size, attendance and countless contributions to childhood memories.

Such impressions are etched in Rachel Geilenfeld’s mind. As a child growing up in Iowa, her visits to the fair made a strong impression.

Today, as a Chevron Renewable Energy Group (REG) policy advisor, she returns to the fair as a renewable fuels advocate. Geilenfeld will use the opportunity to highlight our leadership in biofuels production.

“Chevron is part of the biofuels industry and, by extension, the agricultural industry,” she said. “The Iowa State Fair sets the stage for agriculture, so this is really a great place to showcase our work.”

did you know?

illustration of a farmer cleaning up after the cows

waste to energy

We’re helping turn methane from cow waste into renewable natural gas.
illustration of a biodiesel truck with an image of a green leaf on its side

second chance

Used cooking oil can be converted into biodiesel and renewable diesel.
icon of a airplane flying over a field

taking off

Biomass feedstocks are used to produce sustainable aviation fuel.

welcome to iowa

We entered the state last June through our acquisition of the Iowa-based Renewable Energy Group. We’re aiming to grow our renewable fuels production capacity to 100,000 barrels per day by 2030. Chevron now produces and supplies lower carbon fuels for Iowa’s future through three biorefineries throughout the state.

Our participation at the fair allows us to engage the public about our efforts producing biodiesel in Iowa, as well as renewable natural gas projects underway at five local dairy farms.

At those farms, we’re helping convert methane from manure storage into lower carbon transportation fuel.

on a lighter note

The work is important, but so is the festive spirit of the fair. We’ll be promoting a tractor restoration contest for high school students as part of the festivities.

We’ll also host a Chevron STEM zone with five stations to teach kids about things like thermal imaging and injection molding. Meanwhile Kevin Lucke, native Iowan and Chevron Renewable Energy Group president, will flip pork products as a celebrity chef.

“I have a lot of great memories of the Iowa State Fair as I was a grandstand usher for two seasons at the fair,” Lucke said. “To be able to come back and create lasting memories for new generations of Iowans is incredibly special to me.”

food for thought

image of a woman eating funnel cake at a fair

Food is a big attraction for the state fair, including plenty of choices that are battered and deep-fried.

“Fried food is unavoidable at the fair; it’s just everywhere,” said Geilenfeld.

While she won’t try to convince anyone of its health benefits, she does offer something to ease the conscience. The vegetable oil used for frying can be turned into biodiesel, which is used as a renewable transportation fuel.

“When you’re eating that deep-fried stick of butter, you can justify the calories because the oil it was cooked in can be reused to make lower carbon fuel.”

rachel geilenfeld

renewable energy group advisor

The Iowa State Fair runs Aug. 10 through Aug. 20. Follow our activities there on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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