Dakota Farmer

Dakota Digest: Grants offer soy-based tires to first responders in North Dakota.

February 2, 2023

3 Min Read
Lori Dykstra and Luke Reindl
DONATION: South Dakota Farmers Union partnered with Farmers Union Enterprises to donate 35,000 pounds of pork to Feeding South Dakota. Here, Feeding South Dakota CEO Lori Dykstra is shown with Luke Reindl of South Dakota Farmers Union. Courtesy of South Dakota Farmers Union

To help state residents who are struggling with increased grocery costs, South Dakota Farmers Union partnered with Farmers Union Enterprises to donate 35,000 pounds of pork to Feeding South Dakota.

“Family farmers and ranchers are not immune to increased grocery prices. Like everyone else, our food costs have gone up, but our income has not,” says Doug Sombke, SDFU president.

With some 80,000 South Dakotans facing food insecurity, the pork donated by Farmers Union is much needed, says Megan Kjose, development director for Feeding South Dakota. “When we talk to guests, some of the most important food products are protein,” she said.

The pork will be distributed to about 13,000 residents across the state served through Feeding South Dakota’s mobile food distribution. Through this program, volunteers provide 55- to 65-pound boxes of food to guests who face food insecurity.

“The support we receive from our agriculture partners, like Farmers Union, goes a long way to the work Feeding South Dakota does to address food insecurity in our state,” Kjose says.

The 35,000 pounds of pork are from Redwood Farms, one of the entities in the Farmers Union family of businesses owned by Farmers Union Enterprises. Redwood Farms supplies premium pork products to high-end restaurants in New York, Chicago and other cities across the U.S.

Soy-based tires given to first responders

North Dakota and Barnes County farmers, through their soybean checkoff dollars, are giving back to local first responders this winter while promoting soy-based innovation at the same time. In January, the North Dakota Soybean Council provided a grant to the Barnes County Sherriff’s Department for the purchase of Goodyear soy-based tires for two of their squad cars.

“We are a small department with a limited budget, so this grant helps us out a lot when we can save some money on larger purchases, like tires,” says Emma Nelson, office deputy with the sheriff’s office.

To give back to their communities and support uses for soybeans, the North Dakota Soybean Council is providing grants up to $1,000 per organization for the purchase of Goodyear soy-based tires.

DRIVE ON SOY: Barnes County Sherriff Sgt. Steve Loibl (left); Rob Rose, vice chairman of North Dakota Soybean Council; and Sgt. Dan Anderson showcase new Goodyear soy-based tires on squad cars. (Courtesy of North Dakota Soybean Council)

“Many of us have had that horrifying moment where we’ve needed first responders, whether it be medical emergency, accident, fire or crime,” says Rob Rose, NDSC vice chairman and soybean producer from Wimbledon. “This soy-biobased tire promotion is a way for the North Dakota Soybean Council and all soybean farmers across the state to say, ‘Thank you’ to our dedicated, brave and selfless first responders.”

Since 2017, Goodyear, supported by United Soybean Board checkoff, has released seven lines of tires with soybean oil compounds. The company based in Akron, Ohio, has increased its use of soybeans by 73% since 2018 and has pledged to fully replace all of its petroleum-driven oils with soybean oil by 2040.

“Thank you to the North Dakota Soybean Council for offering this grant program to first responders,” says Sgt. Steve Loibl of Barnes County Sheriff’s Office. “I haven’t gotten stuck this winter since these tires were installed. We appreciate the generosity!”

Sources: South Dakota Farmers Union and North Dakota Soybean Council

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