On the Road: Glenville - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

On the Road: Glenville


Start with a small farming town with neighbors who enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Add in a production plant of one of the world's largest ethanol producers. And you've got yourself Glenville, Minnesota in southern Freeborn County.

"For me, this is perfect," said Jerry Peterson, a resident of Glenville, who has lived in the town for 15 years.

With a population of just more than 600, some people think it's just the right size.

"Small town neighborhoods are really wonderful. The neighbors kind of look out for each other and that's really valuable, I think, this day and age," said Brooke Larsen.

Glenville has the one thing big cities will never have.

"There isn't a whole lot to do here and that's one of the reasons I'm here, just for the peace and quiet," said Peterson.

So what's there to do if you live in Glenville?

"I spend a lot of time in my yard. I actually garden, myself, mainly flowers. My husband and I do a lot of walking. We walk around the whole town. It's a safe, nice little town to walk in," said Glenville resident Beth Atz.

When asked if there are every any block parties, Peterson told us: "Every now and then, if you notice the canopy, that's normally where it takes place."

For young families, you can look no further than a couple of life's simplest pleasures for a way to spend your day.

"We like to go to the park, and we like to ride bike around town, we take walks and just play in the yard," said Larsen, who has two young daughters and two nieces.

A good school for a good education is also really important to people.

"My son wanted to go to high school here and really liked the smaller school. And my husband and I were thinking about moving, anyway. So, we found a house we really liked, and nice neighborhood,” explained Atz.

"I just love the small-town culture of Glenville. There's a great school system down here, the small class sizes are wonderful," said Larsen.

But,aside from the small-town charm and neighborhood get-togethers, there's another side to this small town.

Glenville owns the bragging rights to housing one of the major production plants of POET.

"POET is the largest management group of ethanol in the country. One of the largest ethanol producers in the world," said General Manager of POET Glenville Steve McNinch.

Producing roughly 40 to 45 million gallons of ethanol in a year at the Glenville plant alone, POET contributes in a big way to powering the American economy.

"Ethanol is primarily used for oxygen for motor fuel. 90 percent of the fuel supply in the United States contains at least 10 percent of ethanol, and blends go up to 85 percent," said McNinch.

And the plant means jobs for Glenville.

"Our plant provides a stable work environment, we employ roughly 45 people. We provide a high-value animal feed to local animals and producers. And a local market for the grain producers," said McNinch.

Within the last year, POET switched from a co-op to an LLC, or Limited Liability Company, meaning good news for local farmers.

"We've purchased the local elevator, so now, you no longer have to be a member of the co-op to bring grain here. It's an open market, anyone can bring grain to the facility," explained McNinch.

For a farming town like Glenville, POET is a huge economic advantage.

"Agriculture is the engine that fuels this country and we're probably the best kept secret in the country," McNinch said.

So, if you enjoy the simple things in life, such as small schools, fresh fruit and vegetable stands, and neighbors who care about each other, put some ethanol in your tank and get "On the Road" to Glenville.

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