In memory: Larry Johnson paved the way for renewable fuels in Minnesota

Larry Johnson, a renowned figure in Minnesota’s renewable fuel movement, died on July 19.

Johnson was known as the “Ethanol Answer Man,” and was a leading authority on renewable fuels. During his career, he traveled across Minnesota, the U.S. and the world to promote biofuels and push for policies that would benefit farmers.

“Larry and I were on the same side of a lot of issues,” says Mike Youngerberg, Minnesota Soybean’s senior director of product development and commercialization. “He was a true advocate for renewable fuels.”

Johnson farmed for three decades in Carver County, where he raised turkeys and field crops. He was a longtime director and former president with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. He also had a stint promoting ethanol with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Minnesota farmer Larry Johnson visited every U.S. state to promote the ethanol industry.

“Larry was pretty much synonymous with ethanol and renewable fuels,” Youngerberg said. “He was also very eager to see biodiesel advance in Minnesota. He was a champion for biofuels.”

During the past handful of years, he served on the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) board. Johnson was enthusiastic about soybean checkoff-funded projects.

“He was very engaged on our board,” said Harold Stanislawksi, AURI’s business development director. “He was a true patriot to the renewable fuels industry and always related well to people.”

Johnson was particularly interested in AURI’s participating in soy-based road preservation.

“He really liked that,” Stanislawski said. “He thought it was really cool and a great way to advance soy’s reputation.”

Click here to read Johnson’s obituary.

Follow The Conversation