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Partnership Formed to Meet Sanitizer Need

John Caupert of the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville knew his team was in a unique position to solve the sanitizer shortage our nation faces. On Wednesday, March 18th Caupert challenged the NCERC team with formulating a sanitizer recipe that would not only meet, but exceed the World Health Organization specifications by March 25th. The NCERC team developed and delivered the first demo bottle of sanitizer on Friday March 20, five full days ahead of the challenge date.

Stumpy’s Spirits, in Columbia, IL realized they had a unique advantage to turn their distillery operation into a sanitizer bottling and packaging facility. However, Stumpy’s ability to process sanitizer was limited due to their production constraints. Stumpy’s Spirits and NCERC collaborated and came up with a plan that utilizes each organizations strengths.

“They solved our production issues and we solved their packaging problem. It seemed like the perfect fit!” said Laura Stumpf, owner of Stumpy’s Spirits. “This is a great group solution that is better than individual efforts. We’re incredibly excited and grateful to be in the position to help our communities in need.”

“Using alcohol produced from corn, corn from Illinois farmers. Illinois farmers are on the front line to combat the Corona virus outbreak,” said Caupert of NCERC.

The partnership formed by National Corn to Ethanol Research Center and Stumpy’s Spirits highlights the importance of public/private partnerships. NCERC has the ability to rapidly develop a sanitizer production system. Stumpy’s has a bottling, labeling and packaging system in place. Together, NCERC and Stumpy’s have the talent, equipment and agility necessary to assist and support their community in a time of need.


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Illinois agriculture isn’t just about getting food on the table. The systems and infrastructure built in order to sustain the agriculture industry is vital to meet a multitude of needs for our state. Read more stories about how Illinois agriculture organizations are meeting needs during the COVID-19 outbreak at: