Back on the range: Biodiesel Open returns this summer

Time to take your golf bag out of storage; bring out the shorts, cleats and shades; and put an iron to your Minnesoyta polo shirt. We’re back!

Yes, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association is teeing up the return of in-person events. After a virtual shift in 2020, the Biodiesel Open is returning to an in-person format in 2021. For many Minnesota Soybean Growers Association directors and advocates, the Biodiesel Open will be the first in-person gathering among MSGA farmer leaders in more than a year.

“We’re very excited to once again welcome back our farmers and sponsors for the Biodiesel Open,” said MSGA President Jamie Beyer, who farms in Wheaton. “It will be great to reunite with everyone for a good cause – I know I’m looking forward to it.”

The Biodiesel Open (the Bean Blast has been put on hold for the time being) will be held Tuesday, July 13 at the North Links Golf Course in North Mankato. The price remains the same from previous years: $100 per golfer, and $400 per team. Fees include: 18 holes of golf, golf cart, supper and dessert, plus drink tickets.

Click here to register for the 2021 Biodiesel Open.

To ensure everyone’s safety, there will be no indoor dining this year. For the first time, food trucks will be stationed. Currently, TNT Eats is confirmed, with more vendors to follow.

The day before the golf outing, MSGA will be holding its first in-person board meeting in more than a year. A new president will also be elected; Beyer is stepping down as president after two years leading MSGA.

“I value MSGA more than I ever have,” said Beyer, who will remain on the governing committee, along with serving on her local Traverse County Corn and Soybean board.

The annual Biodiesel Open fundraiser has been held in some fashion since around 2007 with farmers, industry leaders, lobbyists, bankers, lawmakers and officials from state agencies all joining together in a relaxing atmosphere to support MSGA. At the time of the Biodiesel Open’s formation, B2 (2 percent biodiesel) was already in place in Minnesota. The Environmental Protection Agency began to move from low sulfur diesel to ultra-low sulfur diesel, which created an opportunity for biodiesel use as a lubricity agent. Because checkoff dollars can’t be used for legislative activities, the Biodiesel Open was created to help raise funds and awareness for MSGA’s advocacy mission. To this day, with Minnesota entering its fourth year of a B20 blend in the summer months, all funds from the Biodiesel Open go toward MSGA’s lobbying efforts in St. Paul and Washington, D.C.

“These fundraisers are critical to funding our Hill Visits and staffing a lobbying team at the state and federal levels,” MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek said. “The Biodiesel Open is also a fun time and a chance for our farmers to visit and unwind a bit after planting season. We look forward to seeing old and new friends alike this year.”

For Biodiesel Open sponsorship opportunities, contact MSGA’s Sara Hewitt at shewitt@mnsoybean.com.

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