October 23, 2023
At a Glance
- A new partnership brings biodiesel-powered team buses to Husker athletics.
- Three Husker team buses promote biodiesel.
- Promoting biodiesel boosts the bottom line for soybean producers.
A unique partnership between University of Nebraska Husker athletics, Arrow Stage Lines and the Nebraska Soybean Board is promoting the benefits of biodiesel.
If you’ve recently attended a Husker football game or another UNL athletic event, you may have noticed the big red team buses emblazoned with the motto, “Team Bus Powered by Biodiesel.” The idea is to bring exposure to sustainable biodiesel by powering the Husker transportation fleet, including three team Arrow Stage Line buses.
“Every once in a while, a unique partnership develops between two very different entities that meet both their interests while showcasing the core of who we are in Nebraska,” says Anne Meis, who raises soybeans, corn, alfalfa and beef cattle with her husband, Jim, with his family near Elgin, Neb. “Such is the case when Nebraska soybean farmers through their checkoff captured the opportunity to transport Nebraska athletes with biodiesel made with soy oil.”
Meis, who has served on the Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) for eight years and currently serves as secretary, notes that Husker athletics is a key place where the message of soybean farmers about the environmental and economic benefits of biodiesel can reach many Nebraskans and raise the profile of biodiesel as a clean energy source.
“This partnership showcases Husker athletics, clean air and agriculture,” she says. “I would say you can’t get much more ‘Nebraska’ than that.”
BOOST FOR FARMERS: Promoting biodiesel through partnerships helps boost the value of locally grown soybeans for farmers. (Photo by Getty Images)
The partnership promotion helps UNL work toward sustainability goals and Nebraska farmers gain economically by adding $1.78 per bushel in the marketplace by the demand for soy oil feedstocks into biodiesel, Meis says.
“Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in our state,” she adds. “This is a win-win for all of us in Nebraska.”
Andy Chvatal, executive director of NSB agrees. “Biodiesel not only promotes the use of locally grown feedstocks, but it also aligns perfectly with the sustainability goals of our university,” he says. “Utilizing biodiesel for Husker athletics will be a significant step in reducing emissions and highlights a great value-added product for soybean farmers to folks across the state.”
B20 and lower-level blends can be used in many diesel vehicles without any engine modifications, so beyond reducing emissions and fostering job growth, Chvatal notes that the transformation of soybean oil feedstocks into biodiesel plays a crucial role in Nebraska’s resilient ag sector.
And, according to Arrow Stage Lines, not only Husker athletics team buses, but also every Arrow Stage Lines bus operating in Nebraska will now be powered by biodiesel. The company cites performance in fuel economy, eco-friendliness of the fuel, lowered reliance on foreign oil sources, sustainability in reducing particulate matter and finally, and an economic boost to soybean farmers as reasons for the move.
“Nebraska agriculture has so much potential to meet the demands for green energy sources by producing renewable fuels from the crops grown here in our state,” Meis says. “There are two new soy crush facilities being built in our state in Norfolk and David City to help meet the demands for feedstocks for biodiesel and renewable diesel. Not only will soybean farmers benefit, but these new crush plants also have the potential to lower the price of soybean meal for livestock producers.”
“We are thankful for the long-standing partnership with NSB,” says Brandon Meier, senior associate athletic director of marketing and multimedia at the Nebraska Athletic Department. “Agriculture is the foundation of our state, and we are proud to have Nebraska soybeans powering our new team buses. The new bus wraps look great, and this wouldn’t have been possible without the ongoing support from NSB.”
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