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Hitting the road with soy

Lyon Co. Corn and Soybean Growers donate soy-based tires to Sheriff’s Office

Photo by Deb Gau Grant VanKeulen knelt to get a closer look at the set of new soy-based tires the Lyon County Corn and Soybean Growers’ Association donated to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

MARSHALL — It was a unique donation. The new set of tires on a Lyon County Sheriff’s patrol car wasn’t just a way to say thank you to local law enforcement, area farmers said. It was also an opportunity to show what soybeans can do.

On Monday, members of the Lyon County Corn and Soybean Growers Association met with Sheriff Eric Wallen and deputy Austin Thompson, to formally present a set of all-weather tires made with soybean oil.

“We appreciate the things you do,” said Ken Lanoue, chairman of the Lyon County Corn and Soybean Growers’ Association. The Corn and Soybean Growers’ Association tries to give back to the community as much as possible, he said.

“We appreciate the gesture, and thank you for the tires,” Wallen said.

Thompson said he’s had the new tires on his vehicle for about five shifts now.

“They seem comparable to other high-performance tires,” like the ones the Sheriff’s Office uses on its other vehicles, he said. Thompson said he hasn’t yet had a chance to see how the new tires perform at high speeds.

The donation was made possible with the help of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotional Council’s “Driving Soy” campaign. Each of the MSR&PC’s 44 member counties had the opportunity to donate a set of soy-based tires to their county sheriff’s department.

“There’s a high level of enthusiasm with our county boards for this campaign,” said MSR&PC Director and former chairman Cole Trebesch in a news release. “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.”

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office received a set of Goodyear’s soy-based Eagle Enforcer tires, which are designed for first responder vehicles. Since 2017, Goodyear has released four lines of tires made with soybean oil compounds instead of petroleum, the MSR&PC said. The development of the tire lines was done with the support of United Soybean Board checkoff investments.

Bailey Grubish of the MSR&PC said it takes a bushel of soybeans to make four soy-based tires.

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has pledged to replace all of its petroleum-driven oils with soybean oil by 2040, the MSR&PC said.

“I’m excited for Goodyear to continue to grow the soy-based tire lines to be fully soy oil in the future,” said Brad Verly, Lyon County Corn and Soybean Growers secretary. “I hope that people will learn about the tires from our donation and other promotions and make the change to the soy-based tires for their own vehicles.”

The MSR&PC will be giving away two sets of Goodyear’s soy-based Assurance WeatherReady tires at Farmfest in August.

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