Conferences give Benson business development leads

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For the past eight years representatives of the City of Benson have attended the annul International Biomass Conference & Expo conducted at cities around the United States. This year the conference is in Atlanta.

Benson’s council saw attending the event, where it shared a booth with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), as a way to potentially capitalize on the Benson Power, LLC, biomass electric generation plant through attracting additional biomass industries to the community.

However, with Benson Power now shutting down and the possibility of a cheese plant coming to the community, City Manager Rob Wolfington suggested that the city instead focus its efforts on attending this year’s American Dairy Products Institute and American Butter Institute’s 2018 Annual Conference April 29 to May 1 in Chicago.

Mayor Terri Collins suggested that rather than abandon the contacts the city had made at the biomass conference, that it send delegations to both events.

As a result, Benson High School science teacher Brian Edlund and city employee Preston Flolo are in Atlanta representing the city at the biomass conference this week. Edlund, who has a Master of Science degree, teaches classes in environmental science, renewable energy and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classes.

Flolo, who has an accounting and business degree, is working toward his water and wastewater licenses with the city.

Meanwhile, Wolfington and Swift County Rural Development Authority (RDA) Director Jennifer Frost, along with Lisa Hughes of DEED, will be attending the dairy conference. DEED and Benson will share a booth at the conference....


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