Littlefield Tells Ethanol Story From The Pit

Susan Littlefield (KZEN Radio, Columbus, NE) has always been a promoter of ethanol. “We use it on the farm in our vehicles, and I enjoy getting the chance to tell the story from the producers’ perspective.” She shares their excitement in knowing that what they grow has such an impact beyond their fields. Susan tells how her special coverage was arranged. “It all started with a conversation that turned to NASCAR with Susan Powers of National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), inquiring if I was interested in covering a race at the Kansas Speedway in May. “I jumped at the chance, and I am glad I did.” Susan spent two days with media credentials and a "hot pass" that allowed her to see the behind the scenes for both the truck and car series. “Talk about feeling like a fish out of the water to start. I arrived and stood with seasoned pros during the driver media conference covering the latest news in NASCAR.”  She observed, “It did make me reflect on what it must feel like for a new NAFB member to attend an event or convention.” 

Susan Littlefield with Austin Dillon,
American Ethanol driver.

She found it interesting that it didn't take other media long to find out that Susan wasn't the "usual" media covering the event. “As we sat in the media room, the group near my work station tossed questions at me about what it was like to report on agriculture. It was an amazing conversation as we talked about everything from farm/ranch life to GMO's and ethanol.” She noted what a great platform they have for telling ethanol’s story while working with NASCAR. “If you ever wanted to reach out and talk to the consumer that would share your story and try your product, it’s NASCAR. They have a strong fan base that backs the products their favorite drivers promote, and every driver in the NASCAR series promotes ethanol as they put it in their tanks in the form of E15.” In talking with American Ethanol driver,#3 Austin Dillon, Susan said, “You could tell he knows his stuff. Austin is the grandson of Richard Childress, so he has been around the track his entire life. When you ask him about ethanol, it’s more than a ‘hey- thanks-for-being-a-sponsor’ conversation.”  She explained, “Austin talks about the benefits of using ethanol on and off the track. He stressed the air quality for his pit crew, the drivers, and the fans.” When he gets the chance, he is right there to spread the word on the good things the American farmer is doing and to promote ethanol. During the evening race, Susan, along with Nebraska grower Deb Gangwish, was seated in the pit box where they could watch up close the work that is done from the computers and could witness the pit stop closely. “You could smell and see the rubber flying when they left their pit stop. One of the strongest statements I heard that weekend was to think about how a seed going in the ground at about 5 mph turns into a fuel that reaches speeds of 150+ mph.” Susan has uploaded all her interviews to her website. She invites broadcasters to listen to and use audio within the interviews. “Thanks again to Susan Powers of NCGA, RCR Racing, Austin Dillon and the crew for allowing me the experience of a lifetime and the opportunity to tell the story of ethanol and the farmer.”