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Nobles County farmers donate set of tires to sheriff’s department

Eagle Enforcer tires use soybean oil in tread compound

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Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers Association members Tom Diekmann (from left), Dusty Neugebauer, Matt Widboom, Randy Lubben, Bill Gordon and Joe Henning stand with Nobles County Sheriff Ryan Kruger and one of the new soy-based tires. (Special to The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Nobles County farmers and their soybean checkoff dollars are giving back to local first responders this summer – and promoting the diverse uses of soybeans at the same time.

The Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers Association has joined the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) and its 44 organized counties in a new “Driving Soy” campaign. The statewide promotion highlights Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s line of soy-oil tires.

Each county that has an organized soybean growers group has the opportunity to donate a full set of Goodyear’s soy-based Eagle Enforcer All Weather tires — designed specifically for first responder vehicles traversing rugged climates like Minnesota’s — to their county sheriff’s department.

“We are excited to participate in the Driving Soy campaign this summer,” said Matt Widboom, chairman of the Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers Association. “Donating the soy-based tires to the Nobles County Sheriff’s Department is a way to both thank the department for their hard work, especially through COVID-19 and to educate the community about a new soybean use.”

With COVID-19 gathering restrictions relaxing, the timing is ideal for the Council to drive its grassroots county program forward after a year marked by cancelled and postponed events. Promoting soybean oil through checkoff investments in renewable technology is the perfect vehicle to showcase the Council’s ongoing mission to improve farmer profitability by promoting value-added products, said MSR&PC Director and former chairman Cole Trebesch.

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“There’s a high level of enthusiasm with our county boards for this campaign,” he said. “We all know summertime is fleeting in Minnesota, and after the hardships of the past year, our county boards are champing at the bit to promote our commodities and checkoff investments.”

Since 2017, Goodyear, supported by United Soybean Board checkoff investments, has released four lines of tires with soybean oil compounds: Assurance WeatherReady, Eagle Enforcer All Weather, Eagle Exhilarate and Assurance Comfort Drive. The Akron, Ohio-based company has increased its use of soybeans by 73% since 2018 and pledged to fully replace all of its petroleum-driven oils with soybean oil by 2040. Enforcer tires will appeal to more than just law enforcement, increasing demand for soybeans grown in Minnesota.

In addition to the county promotion, the council will give away two sets of Goodyear’s Assurance WeatherReady tires at Farmfest this week and Big Iron, Sept. 13-15. A third set of WeatherReady tires will be available through an online promotion that will allow farmers to nominate their favorite nonprofits.

“We hope that people will be more aware of the innovative uses of soybeans like the soy-based tires,” said Dustin Neugebauer, Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers Association treasurer. “It’s been exciting to promote a product that I grow and to show that it has endless possibilities.”

The Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers Association is affiliated with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, which oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of the nearly 28,000 soybean farmers in Minnesota. The Council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program that requires all soybean producers pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. This money is used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans.

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