Next steps: Lyon County continues walking the walk with donation to local fire department

After the successful Stepping Up: From Farm to Frontline campaign completed its first lap, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) was left with big shoes to fill. The Council decided to take the next steps and make a bigger impact on communities and educating of the “miracle bean” by dedicating more funds to the campaign, but with a twist.

This year, Stepping Up is committed to giving back to any organization or entity in Minnesota where the local county boards see a need. Minnesota’s organized county soybean boards are donating to schools, homeless shelters, fire departments, students in need and organizations that make impacts in their communities.  

LyonCounty, in partnership with MSR&PC, which directs the state’s soybean checkoff resources, continues the Stepping Up campaign to promote the value-added uses of soybeans and make community connections.

This time around, the Lyon County Corn & Soybean Growers Association donated soy-based footwear to the Marshall Fire Department. The department received steel toe or composite toe boots that they can use for training.

Skechers now offers more than soy-based sneakers. Marshall firefighters pose after receiving Skechers boots for training use, courtesy of the Lyon County Corn & Soybean Growers and the soybean checkoff.

“Because I’m part of both the Lyon County Corn & Soybean Growers and the Marshall Fire Department, I’m in a unique position to witness firsthand the impact this donation has on its recipients,” Board Director Jordan Jacobson said. “With these two organizations working together, we are giving our local fire department the recognition that they deserve while simultaneously promoting the soybeans grown right here in Lyon County.”

The continuation of the Stepping Up campaign aims to inform more consumers on the value that soybeans bring to the market, as well as highlighting the crop’s versatility. Minnesota farmers also want to honor groups and organizations in their communities that are making a difference.

In summer 2022, more than 53 counties around Minnesota participated in the first Stepping Up campaign. In 2022 alone, Minnesota farmers and the soybean checkoff donated nearly 3,000 pairs of Skechers soy-based shoes across 120 Minnesota health care facilities.

For its first donation, Lyon County donated 56 pairs of Skechers soy-based GO shoes to Avera Medical Group Marshall, Field Crest Assisted Living, Boulder Estates, Heritage Point Assisted Living, Hill Street Place, Prairie Home Hospice, Boulder Creek Assisted Living, Tracy Nursing Home and Sanford Tracy Medical Center. 

“The Council is proud to continue the Stepping Up promotion and give back to those who serve our communities,” Council Chair Tom Frisch said. “It’s a win-win for our county boards because we’re able to connect with our neighbors while also showing the value of the soybean checkoff.”

The beginning

In 2020, Skechers released its GO line of footwear, which uses soybean oil to improve grip, stability and durability. 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.

By using soybean oil in Skechers’ GO line, Goodyear’s tire compound reduces petroleum-based use, ultimately cutting energy consumption, weight and promoting sustainability while increasing efficiency. 

For each dollar Lyon County soybean farmers pay toward checkoff resources, growers receive an estimated $12.34 in return value. More than 1,000 commercially available products – ranging from shoes to machinery lubricants to asphalt – use commodity and high oleic soybean oil.

Learn more about Stepping Up by visiting mnsoybean.org/stepping-up.

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