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Published February 18, 2009, 12:00 AM

Ethanol company in Fergus Falls seeks investors here

Otter Tail Ag Enterprises, LCC in Fergus Falls has announced its intent to raise additional capital through its membership or additional investors.

Otter Tail Ag Enterprises, LCC in Fergus Falls has announced its intent to raise additional capital through its membership or additional investors.

Company CEO and spokesperson Anthony J. Hicks said that the company needs the additional funds to continue its operations during a prolonged and unforeseen period of negative margins that has impacted the entire ethanol industry, including the industry’s largest producer, VeraSun.

The ethanol industry is facing the difficult realities of volatile commodity prices, the economic slowdown, over capacity and lower consumption, Hicks said.

“There are currently 34 idle plants in the U.S.,” said Hicks. “We’re all caught right now in the very difficult part of a down cycle. However, we have seen this before in agriculture and in ethanol, and the industry should recover. Otter Tail Ag Enterprises believes it can be successful when the turnaround comes. We have many things to be proud of, we have a quality plant built on time, on budget and a dedicated staff.”

The equity offering provides current members an opportunity to leverage their original investment and new investors an opportunity to participate in the local ownership and regional benefits of operating a large renewable fuels plant in Otter Tail County, the company said.

During its original equity offering and subsequent financing two years ago, Otter Tail Ag Enterprises, LLC enjoyed local and regional support from Fergus Falls, Fergus Falls Township, Otter Tail County, the state of Minnesota and many surrounding communities.

“The community support has been tremendous. We hope to see the same type of support again, even in these tough economic times,” said Jerry Larson of Elbow Lake, chairman, Otter Tail Ag Enterprises, LLC board of governors. “People in this region understand the benefits that our ethanol plant provides, by adding value to our corn and to the local economy. In addition, every gallon of ethanol we produce enhances our national security, helps our environment and increases our country’s GDP. We want to assist all who are interested in this investment with their individual decisions, by providing the right information.

The company will be conducting member-investor regional meetings as follows:

•Morris – Tuesday, February 17, 7 p.m. at the Prairie Inn.

•Alexandria – Wednesday, February 18, 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn.

•Fergus Falls – Thursday, February 19, 7 p.m. at the AmericInn.

Hicks encouraged all those who are interested in learning more about this investment offering to attend one of these information meetings. This equity offering is only available to current residents of Minnesota.

Additional information about this offering can be found on Otter Tail Ag Enterprises’ Web site at or in the Otter Tail Ag Enterprises, LLC SEC regulatory filings at or call (218) 998-4301, extension 10 and leave a message.