‘A big deal’: Pope County farmers make tire donation to Car Care

Pope County farmers and their soybean checkoff dollars are giving back to local families in need – and promoting the diverse uses of soybeans at the same time.

The Pope County Soybean and Corn Board has teamed up with the Car Care Program to supply four local families with a new set of soy-based Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady tires as part of their Driving Soy Campaign – completely free of charge.

“The Pope County Soybean Growers wanted to promote Goodyear and their line of soy-based tires, but we also wanted to give back to the community,” Board member Bruce Zavadil said. “Goodyear’s line of soy-based tires supports local soybean farmers, and the Car Care Program and these four sets of tires support families with reliable transportation.”

The Car Care Program, which locally serves Douglas and Pope counties, is a nonprofit organization helping people remove transportation barriers by providing no-cost repairs and ready-to-drive vehicles.

“One of the root issues in all the counties we serve is transportation,” Car Care Program Director Kris Chisholm said. “Without reliable transportation, families can’t get to their children to day care, they can’t get to their job, and they can’t get access to food. Part of having a reliable means of transportation means having a good set of tires.”

Chisholm estimates that roughly 60% of the cars they repair need tires, which is usually one of the most expensive items to replace. One of the families that recently received a new set of Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady soy-based tires was already dealing with extensive repair bills to fix their home that was damaged by a flood, along with a car that was in disrepair.

“We put new brakes on it, we put a set of Goodyears on it and we were able to keep a family employed.” Chisholm said. “Tires are a big deal and a big cost, and we are so thankful for this partnership with the Pope County Soybean Growers.”

The Driving Soy partnership was also a learning experience for Chisholm.

“We love Goodyear Assurance tires, and we were already putting them on people’s vehicles, but prior to this campaign I had no idea they were made from soy,” he said. “It’s great to know that when we buy them in the future, we’ll be supporting local farmers.”

Brownie’s Tire Service distributed the tires to the Car Care Program and provided them with a discount.  

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 its petroleum-driven oils with soybean oil by 2040.

The Pope 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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