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Minnesota soybean farmers prepare to see checkoff dollars in action

Jan 21, 2019, 11:54 AM
Soybean growers, fuel distributors and mechanics given opportunity to increase biodiesel knowledge at National Biodiesel Conference

For immediate release

News contact: Sam Johnson, Regional Project Manager
Minnesota Soybean | 507-613-0001 |

MANKATO, Minn. – For nearly twenty years, Minnesota has taken a bold stance on the use of biodiesel in today’s fuel products. In 2002, Minnesota became the first state to mandate a 2 percent biodiesel blend in diesel fuel across the state. This has continued to increase to the current mandate of a 20 percent biodiesel blend during the summer months, and a 5 percent blend during the winter months.

In order to continually grow markets and promote soybeans, the soybean checkoff invests money in research to launch and continue promoting new uses of soybeans that ultimately help farmers’ bottom lines. To view those investments, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) has created the See For Yourself program where farmers can see firsthand how soybean checkoff dollars are used in value-added ag products such as biodiesel. Twenty-two Minnesota soybean farmers, fuel distributors and mechanics have been selected to attend the 2019 National Biodiesel Conference in San Diego, Calif.

“This program gives participants an opportunity to increase their understanding of why the soybean checkoff is of great value to farmers,” says Jim Willers, a MSR&PC director and See For Yourself group leader who will also join the other participants from Jan. 20 to 24. “This program helps give farmers an enormous amount of knowledge to bring back to Minnesota and serve as a biodiesel advocate.”

Since the mandate increased the minimum blending requirement for a twenty percent biodiesel blend during the warm months, it is estimated that the biodiesel greenhouse gas benefit in 2019 will equate to removing nearly 223,000 passenger vehicles from Minnesota roads. This is through the expected use of 110 million gallons of biodiesel throughout the year. Biodiesel is an also an economic generator in Minnesota, contributing an estimated $1.7 billion dollars in economic activities.   

 “This program has been a great success year after year,” says Mike Youngerberg, Minnesota Soybean’s senior director of product development and commercialization. “Biodiesel is so important to our farmers and the Minnesota economy. The increase in knowledge and support for biodiesel by each participant after this See For Yourself program is the reason we continue to make this a yearly priority.”

MSR&PC has engaged MEG Corp Fuel Consulting to manage the arrangements for this See For Yourself experience as well as to develop, expand and service current markets for biodiesel through their technical support, education and promotion efforts. MSR&PC has also has created a Clear Air Choice Partnership program with the American Lung Association of Minnesota to recognize biodiesel as a Clean Air Choice fuel that drivers can make today to do their part and make an impact on environmental and human health.

 “We hope this program gives participants an understanding of the many and diverse ways in which soy checkoff dollars are being spent to both promote biodiesel and continue our research on these types of new uses,” Willers says. “Because of the climate change movement and the benefit biodiesel provides in lowering carbon levels, this is why state officials from across the country have started using it in their local fleets and continue to promote the enormous benefits.”

MSR&PC hosts a See For Yourself trip on biodiesel every year in coordination with the National Biodiesel Conference.

The list of Minnesota participants include:

Wilers, Jim

Luverne, Minn.

Graves, Elisha

Grey Eagle, Minn.

Tiede, Andrea

Windom, Minn.

Johnson, Debra

Evansville, Minn.

Velde, Tim

Granite Falls, Minn.

Enninga, Spencer

Fulda, Minn.

Jerzak, Tim

Ivanhoe, Minn.

Braun, Tim

Princeton, Minn.

Girard, Ryan

Marshall, Minn.

Martin, Todd

Kimball, Minn.

Tiede, Pat

Windom, Minn.

Kesteloot, Dustin

Marshall, Minn.

Richards, Shane

Moorhead, Minn.

Grandstrant, John

Stephen, Minn.

Beaudry, Trevor

Elk River, Minn.

Winter, Rob

Kimball, Minn.

Lawrence, Steve

St. Cloud, Minn.

Gamradt, Mark

Sauk Centre, Minn.

Zurn, Bill

Callaway, Minn.

Freeman, Paul

Fergus Falls, Minn.

Hill, Chris

Brewster, Minn.

Overmoller, Ron

Brewster, Minn.


About the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council

The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) is the elected board of soybean producers from Minnesota who direct investments of the state’s checkoff dollars in programs designed to increase profitability to Minnesota soybean farmers.


For more information or to request an interview, contact Sam Johnson at 507-613-0001 or email him at

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