Nobles County farmers donate soy-based shoes to health care workers
Group donating Skechers soy-based GO shoes to the Worthington and Adrian Ambulance, as well as First Responders in Bigelow, Brewster, Ellsworth, Leota, Lismore, Round Lake, Rushmore and Wilmont.
NOBLES COUNTY — From farm to frontline, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council is highlighting environmentally friendly investments from the soybean checkoff.
Nobles County soybean farmers, in partnership with MSR&PC, are participating in a Stepping Up campaign to amplify farmer profitability and promote value-added uses of soybeans.
Nobles County has joined more than 50 Minnesota counties in the Stepping Up campaign, which began last summer, to donate more than 3,000 pairs of shoes.
“The Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers are extremely excited to partner with our local first responders and ambulance crews to donate the Skechers soy-based shoes,” said Dustin Neugebauer, treasurer of the Nobles County organization. “They always are on the frontline in our county, helping people in need and we want to give back to them with something we helped create through our local soybeans.”
As part of the Stepping Up promotional effort, Nobles County is donating 50 pairs of Skechers soy-based GO shoes to the Worthington and Adrian Ambulance crews, as well as First Responders in Bigelow, Brewster, Ellsworth, Leota, Lismore, Round Lake, Rushmore and Wilmont.
“We chose the fire departments, first responders and two ambulance crews from Nobles County as our recipients for the Stepping Up promotion,” board member Tom Diekmann said. “We felt it was a great place to honor the very first responders that give the first hands on care to all emergency patients. They carry a pager 24/7 to volunteer their help to all of us.”
“The Bigelow Fire Department is grateful for the donation of Skechers shoes from the Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers,” Terry Neugebauer said. “We are excited to try the Skechers shoes out that are made with soybean oil.”
The Stepping Up campaign runs throughout the summer and strives to inform both farming and non-farming individuals of soy’s environmental advantages and the myriad uses of soybean oil.
Skechers released its GO line of footwear in 2020, using soybean oil to improve grip, stability and durability of the shoes. Skechers is using the same checkoff-supported technology featured in Goodyear Tire Company’s line of sustainable soy-based tires, which incorporated soy into its rubber technology.
For each dollar Nobles County soybean farmers pay toward checkoff resources, growers receive an $12.34 in return value. Today, more than 1,000 commercially available products — ranging from shoes to machinery lubricants to asphalt — use commodity and high oleic soybean oil.
“Once that soybean hits the mill, it’s local, it’s national — it’s everywhere,” said Belinda Burrier, a United Soybean Director who helped oversee the partnership with Skechers. “The money farmers make back on the checkoff is fantastic.”
Nobles County is affiliated with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, a 15-person, farmer-led board that oversees the investment of 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 requiring all soybean producers to pay a fee on the soybeans they sell. This money is used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans.