Traverse County farmers treading new ground with tire donation to sheriff’s department

Traverse County farmers and their soybean checkoff dollars are giving back to local first responders this summer – and promoting the diverse uses of soybeans at the same time.

The Traverse County Corn and Soybean Growers joined the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) and its 44 organized counties by utilizing Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s line of soy-oil tires to spotlight value-added products while also supporting law enforcement agencies in their community. They donated a set of Eagle Enforcer All Weather tires to the Traverse County Sheriff, which were recently installed on the Sheriff’s patrol vehicle.

The Traverse County Corn and Soybean Growers donated a set of Goodyear soy-based Eagle Enforcer All Weather tires to the Traverse County Sheriff. From left: Steve Lundquist, Bill Schmidt, Sheriff Trevor Wright, Gary Yost, Jamie Beyer and Chadd Berger.

Goodyear’s soy-based Eagle Enforcer All Weather tires are designed specifically for first responder vehicles traversing rugged climates like Minnesota’s.

“When the Traverse County Corn and Soybean Growers approached us with the offer for the tires, we were surprised but very appreciative,” said Traverse County Sheriff Trevor Wright. “I had never heard of the soy-based tires before. I’ve only driven a few hundred miles on the tires so far, but they are performing well.”

With COVID-19 gathering restrictions relaxing, the timing is ideal for the Council to drive its grassroots county program forward after a year marked by cancelled and postponed events. Promoting soybean oil via checkoff investments in renewable technology is the perfect vehicle to showcase the Council’s ongoing mission to improve farmer profitability by promoting value-added products.

“Our county board was excited to bring their soybean checkoff funds home and bring awareness to a new use of soybeans,” said Jamie Beyer, a member of the Traverse County Corn and Soybean Growers board. “The diverse uses of the crops we grow often go unnoticed or under-appreciated, so it was great to recognize this ingenuity while also supporting our local first responders.”

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 of its petroleum-driven oils with soybean oil by 2040. The Enforcer tires will appeal to more than just law enforcement but also state fleets and municipalities, increasing demand for soybean grown in Minnesota.

In additional to the county promotion, the Council will give away two sets of Goodyear’s popular Assurance WeatherReady tires – also made with 100% soybean oil – at this year’s Farmfest (Aug. 3-5) and Big Iron (Sept 13-15). A third set of the WeatherReady tires, which are tailor-made for everyday vehicles, will be available through an online promotion that will allow farmers to nominate their favorite nonprofits.

To learn more about the Driving Soy campaign, click here.

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