Ford Teams Up With Jose Cuervo

Now it may not seem like the Ford Motor Company and Jose Cuervo have a lot in common, but they do.  They are working together to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics to employ in Ford vehicles.

Ford and Jose Cuervo are testing the bioplastic for use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins. Initial assessments suggest the material holds great promise due to its durability and aesthetic qualities. Success in developing a sustainable composite could reduce vehicle weight and lower energy consumption, while paring the use of petrochemicals and the impact of vehicle production on the environment.

“At Ford, we aim to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, sustainability research department. “As a leader in the sustainability space, we are developing new technologies to efficiently employ discarded materials and fibers, while potentially reducing the use of petrochemicals and light-weighting our vehicles for desired fuel economy.”

The growth cycle of the agave plant is a minimum seven-year process. Once harvested, the heart of the plant is roasted, before grinding and extracting its juices for distillation. Jose Cuervo uses a portion of the remaining agave fibers as compost for its farms, and local artisans make crafts and agave paper from the remnants.

Now, as part of Jose Cuervo’s broader sustainability plan, the tequila maker is joining forces with the automaker to develop a new way to use its remnant fibers.

Like Ford Motor Company, Jose Cuervo is family-owned and operated. Founded in 1795, it has been making tequila for more than 220 years with the same experience, craftsmanship and recipes that have been handed down generation through generation.

The collaboration with Jose Cuervo is the latest example of Ford’s innovative approach to product and environmental stewardship through the use of biomaterials. Ford began researching the use of sustainable materials in its vehicles in 2000. Today, the automaker uses eight sustainable-based materials in its vehicles including soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fiber, cellulose, wood, coconut fiber and rice hulls.

“There are about 400 pounds of plastic on a typical car,” said Mielewksi. “Our job is to find the right place for a green composite like this to help our impact on the planet. It is work that I’m really proud of, and it could have broad impact across numerous industries.”

Pretty cool huh?

Tom Bulleit Named Louisville Hometown Hero

History was made today as the bourbon pioneer, Tom Bulleit, was recognized by Ky. Governor, Steve Beshear and Louisville Mayor, Greg Fischer for excellence in his respective field of entrepreneurship. For the past 12 years, The Greater Louisville Pride Foundation has strived for the campaign to enhance community pride and serve as inspiration for Louisville residents. Today, a giant mural was unveiled in honor of the 22nd Louisville Hometown Hero, Tom Bulleit.

A proud and hardworking Kentuckian, Tom’s southern charm can be noticed by all through the mural currently displayed in downtown Louisville at 138 South 3rd Street, between West Market and West Main Street.

In 1987, Tom quit his job as a successful Louisville lawyer to start the Bulleit Distilling Company– forever forging his family name into the annals of bourbon history. Today, Bulleit Bourbon, Bulleit Rye and Bulleit 10-Year are some of the fastest growing small batch whiskies in America and have been launched in countries around the world.  Fiercely passionate Kentuckians, Tom and his wife Betsy are proud to call the Bluegrass State home. Sharing his passion for bourbon, he travels the country introducing his family’s Kentucky recipe to thousands of people each year.

In addition to an unwavering dedication to reviving a 150-year-old family bourbon recipe, Tom has been a mainstay in the Louisville community throughout his life.  After graduating from Trinity High School and earning his B.A. from the University of Kentucky in 1966, Tom served his country during the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967-1969. Upon returning home, he earned a law degree from the University of Louisville School of Law, all while working in Kentucky distilleries between terms.

Stemming from his commitment to share his family’s legacy, Tom was appointed by Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher as a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels in 2006, the highest accolade a Kentucky citizen can receive. In 2009, Tom was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame – the most prestigious honor available for those in the industry.

“Having been raised in a Louisville family that values its history and native roots, I am overwhelmed and deeply honored to be placed among such an elite group of individuals who have brought such pride to our city,” Tom Bulleit said. “Bourbon’s history is deeply rooted in Louisville, and to have the chance to play a role in American Whiskey’s international renaissance and rising popularity is something I cherish. To be honored in this way, in a place that has done so much for me and for my family, is truly one of the most humbling moments of my life.”