The first vehicle used by the soybean checkoff to demonstrate soy biodiesel as a viable energy source ended its anniversary journey on March 20, amid calls for increased usage of the renewable, soybean-oil-based fuel.
The 1992 Ford F250 pickup truck, having logged more than 300,000 miles on soy biodiesel, helped commemorate National Agriculture Day at USDA headquarters near the National Mall. A day earlier, farmer-leaders and government officials welcomed the vehicle back to Capitol Hill after 10 years of running strong on soy biodiesel. The truck, owned and operated by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC), made a similar trek a decade ago.
"The soybean checkoff organized this trek because it once again demonstrates the superior vehicle performance that soy biodiesel can provide," says United Soybean Board (USB) Chairman Richard Borgsmiller, a soybean farmer from Murphysboro, IL. "From 500,000 gallons a few years ago, biodiesel sales reached 15 million gallons last year. And we know our soybean checkoff can help take soy biodiesel sales even further this year."
Borgsmiller joined members of Congress, USDA officials, state department of agriculture officials, and biodiesel industry and soybean association leaders at a press conference next to the biodiesel-powered truck near the U.S. Capitol. The truck sported banners that read, "Biodiesel and the soybean checkoff. Fueling a stronger America." and "U.S. farmers fuel a stronger America. Use soy biodiesel."