Harold Kraus, a Hays resident and long-time advocate for biodiesel, has been recognized with the "Friend of Biodiesel" award presented by the National Biodiesel Board during its June membership meeting in a Washington, D.C.
Kraus is retiring after twelve years of serving the National Biodiesel Board as a representative of the Kansas Soybean Commission.
"Harold has been a tremendous advocate for the biodiesel industry who will definitely be missed," biodiesel board CEO Joe Jobe said. "The industry has grown out of infancy to a billion-gallon industry due in large part to the efforts of champions like Mr. Kraus."
Kraus said it feels good to be recognized by the people he has spent over a decade working with.
"Any time your peers pat you on the back you have to feel better," he said. "When I came on board, there were 55 members. Now, we're in the hundreds. We've got a good number of people, and they're doing their job."
Biodiesel is made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources, such as soybean oil, animal fats and recycled cooking oil. It is the first and only "advanced biofuel," as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency, that is produced on a commercial scale across the United States.
Biodiesel is produced in nearly every state in the country and is used in existing diesel engines without modifying them. In 2012, the biodiesel industry produced more than 1 billion gallons, supporting about 50,000 jobs across the country.
"From the start, the soybean checkoff has played a major role in developing the U.S. biodiesel industry, and soybean farmers like Harold have invested a lot of time, energy and resources into bringing American-made, high-performing biodiesel to the marketplace," said Dennis Hupe, KSC director of field services. "The award never can express fully the thanks that Harold deserves for his dedication to the development of the biodiesel industry."