Soybean Checkoff Gets on Board with Tractor Pullers

Laura McNamara

Soybean CheckoffSoybean Checkoff and the National Tractor Pullers Association are working together to promote the use of soy biodiesel. The United Soybean Board anticipates entertainment and education for the spectators of various summer tractor pulls.

National Tractor Pullers AssociationThis summer the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff will gear up with the National Tractor Pullers Association (NTPA) to co-sponsor six events in the 2007 NTPA Championship Pulling Series. The sponsorship represents an opportunity to promote the diesel engine benefits provided by soy biodiesel.

With the message of “Do something nice for your engine,” the soybean checkoff continues to focus its message on fuel quality and soy biodiesel performance that provides lubricity to reduce engine wear.

“We are excited about the opportunity to inform a wider audience on the advantages of soy biodiesel through new promotional efforts, like summer tractor pulls,” says Jack Reed, USB Communications chair and a soybean farmer from Salem, Ind. “We are experiencing record soy biodiesel usage among farmers, and we hope to carry our momentum to mainstream diesel users who are interested in fuel quality and engine performance.”

Soy biodiesel continues to grow at a rapid rate in the United States, as over 3,000 retailers, suppliers and distributors currently carry the fuel. With such a rapidly growing market, it makes sense that the performance-driven diesel users should be on the fast track to fuel benefit awareness. The widely attended tractor pulls provide the necessary forum.

Biodiesel blends run smoothly in engines across the United States with the most common being a B2 blend (2 percent soy biodiesel with 98 percent petroleum diesel). Advantages of using soy biodiesel include improved engine lubricity and performance compared with most diesel fuels, a reduction in air pollution and increased handling safety.

For those interested in fuel quality, the soybean checkoff-funded National Biodiesel Board (NBB) operates BQ-9000, a quality program that works to ensure that soy biodiesel industry provides the best-quality product for consumers. So, when purchasing soy biodiesel, look for the BQ-9000 starburst logo.

“We feel our promotion with NTPA will not only offer fans the opportunity to experience tractor pulling, but also the chance to learn something more about how they can improve their own equipment‚s performance,” says Reed. “Hopefully when fans pass through the gates and see our exhibit, they will stop and learn more about the benefits of soy biodiesel.”

USB will exhibit the benefits of soy biodiesel and soy-based products by booking interviews, handing out rally towels and soy lip balms and lotions. Look for the soybean checkoff at these NTPA events:

* Ottertail, Minn, June 15-16
* Tomah, Wis., June 22-24
* Chapel Hill, Tenn., July 20- 21
* Bowling Green, Ohio, Aug. 17-19
* Saluda, S.C., Aug. 10-11
* Sandwich, Ill., Sept. 6- 8

USB is made up of 64 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Customer Information Act, USDA‚s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

Biodiesel, Soybean, Tractor