Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC)
About Us and History
The Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) began as a dream between two Benson, Minnesota men more than a decade ago. John Carruth, a local farmer, and Ray Millet, the local electric cooperative manager, wanted to make the most of the area’s corn production while also stabilizing electricity rates. Their answer: the Chippewa Valley Agrafuels Cooperative (CVAC), a group of more than 650 shareholders that included producers, elevators, and local investors.
CVAC came together with an engineering firm and created Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company, LLC. Corn producers of Southwest Minnesota. Then they began working with experienced members of the ethanol industry.
Construction on the CVEC plant began in June 1995 and finished up April 1996 (ahead of schedule and within budget). The first bushel of corn was ground on April 26, 1996, and that was just the beginning. The plant was at full capacity within 30 days.
Today, CVEC produces approximately 46 million gallons of ethanol annually. It is still the same small-town Minnesota company, but has grown to 975 cooperative owners; the majority of those owners living within a 50 mile radius of the plant. The company is recognized at both the federal and state levels for efficient production and leadership in shaping ethanol policy.