Kemin Industries, a Des Moines-based global nutritional ingredient company that uses science to touch more than 3.8 billion people every day with its products and services, has announced intentions to establish a Monarch Fueling Station at its Research Agronomy Center near Kelley.
Kemin, which provides enzymes for use in the biofuels industry, uses plant science to develop specialty crops that can produce molecules with active or functional benefits. The company has a research farm in Kelley, where it will be creating a habitat that will promote the repopulation of monarchs and other important insects, such as bees.
The monarch habitat will span over two acres, and seeding is expected to begin in November. Kemin will plant milkweed to attract and provide “fuel” for the butterflies and other beneficial insects.
“A project like the Monarch Fueling Station aligns with our company’s vision to improve the quality of life by touching over half the people of the world through our products and services,” said Dr. John Greaves, vice president, specialty crops, Kemin Industries. “We’re also committed to sustainable crop production, and we’re excited to be able to use our resources to promote the repopulation of monarch butterflies and other beneficial pollinator insects. Such projects can help positively impact Iowa’s environment and agriculture for future generations to come, and create additional resources to help feed the world from right here in Iowa.”
The location and size of the plot was decided in consultation with Kevin Reynolds, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s habitat establishment coordinator.
“It’s exciting to see the Monarch Fueling Station Project gain momentum and expand beyond biofuels plants,” Reynolds said. “The more organizations we can have engaged in this project, the better off the monarch butterfly will be and the better off Iowa’s environment and agriculture sectors will be.”
The Monarch Fueling Station Project was established by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) in partnership with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in December 2017. It is a program to help Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel plants establish patches of monarch habitat on plant grounds. To learn more about the IRFA Monarch Fueling Station Project, contact IRFA at info@IowaRFA.org or 515-252-6249.