In the past I have always been excited in the days leading up to the conference, but never more so than today.
Within a few short moments of my arrival at the Temecula Creek Inn, this year’s primary conference venue, I found myself in the midst of a discussion with Gerhard Knothe (USDA ARS) regarding alternative fuels feedstock. A few minutes later Rod Yawn and I are in deep discussion about cationic resins, which is then followed by me meandering over to Leon Griffin of WVO Designs who is intently constructing his Beast Centrifuge which will be on display at the vendor tables.
This years participants number slightly less than a hundred. Many have come long distances, from Europe, to the Eastern United States, Canada, and India.
Many old friends are here, and in some ways it is a time for us to reflect on our past year in the industry. Sometimes our discussions evolve into a type of cathartic commiseration.
Don Scott of the National Biodiesel Board said something to me earlier in the evening that struck me as as especially applicable for the folks here. The essence of what he said to me is that a person’s dedication to a cause tended to increase in a manner proportional to the amount of suffering one has endured in its furtherance.
We are all survivors here. We all have spent the year learning, making mistakes, and recovering from them.
I am proud to be here, amongst others who share a similar devotion to making our fuel an integral part of a solution to our global energy needs.
Make it a better place.