Distillery helps supply hand sanitizer to veterinary medicine college


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer has become a hard-to-find product. S&B Farms Distillery is working to supply sanitizer to facilities that need it, including Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Sage Smith

Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine usually has a plentiful supply of hand sanitizer, but it has become a hard-to-find product amid the COVID-19 crisis.

S&B Farms Distillery, with the help of “helping hands on campus and beyond,” has been supplying Vet Med facilities with hand sanitizer, according to an Inside Iowa State article.

Renee Knosby, director of operations for the Vet Med administration, said in the article Vet Med tried to replenish its inventory March 2 for sanitizer as a faculty member expressed concerns. The sanitizer supply started getting low at the college’s facilities by March 20.

The hospitals alone go through about two gallons of sanitizer every month, and Knosby said the usage is about double right now due to the heightened hygiene practices because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Shimkat, director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), had been working with the owner of S&B Farms, Sara Winkleman, as the distillery made changes to begin making alcohol for sanitizer. This was after federal regulators gave emergency approval to distilleries to produce sanitizer.

Winkleman said in the article that they decided this was their way of stepping up to help during this time. The SBDC helped the distillery to obtain required ingredients to make the sanitizer like glycerin.

“The only way to make a difference is to step up and make it happen,” Winkleman said in the article. “That is what everyone did, and we were lucky enough to be a part of it.”

Staff at the SBDC also aided the S&B Farms to find a supplier for extra ethanol to continue supplying hand sanitizer to those in health care and emergency personnel who need it.

Vet Med ordered 30 gallons of sanitizer, which was picked up March 25, and college faculty members worked together to get it back to campus. The 30 gallons should last for two to three months.

“This is truly an example of Iowans working together to address issues in a very challenging situation,” Knosby said in the article.

The college has stationed hand sanitizer dispensers near classrooms and throughout the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory since the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak.