The Becker County Sheriff’s Office just received a new set of $1,200 squad car tires, courtesy of Becker and Mahnomen county soybean farmers.

The Goodyear Eagle Enforcer all weather tires are made with soybean oil, and by 2040, Goodyear has pledged to use only soybean oil in its tires.

Goodyear’s soy-based Eagle Enforcer All Weather tires are designed specifically for first responder vehicles traversing rugged climates like Minnesota’s.

The gift is appreciated, said Becker County Chief Deputy Shane Richard.

“We have about 30 vehicles in our fleet -- not just squad cars -- and it’s great for us to support our soybean farmers," he said. "Our prime service area is out in the county, and if we keep using tires that benefit our farmers, it’s a win-win,” he said.

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“Farmers support our police strongly,” said Jim Jirava, a member of the Becker/Mahnomen County Corn and Soybean Growers board, who added that soybean checkoff dollars were used in the promotion.

“These soy-based tires are a great example of value-added products and how the soybean checkoff improves the profitability of farmers,” said Bill Zurn, Callaway farmer and chairman of the Becker/Mahnomen County Corn and Soybean Growers board. “Our board was honored to donate these to our sheriff to thank them for their service, while also bringing awareness to different uses of soybeans.”

Zurn says promoting soybean oil via checkoff investments in renewable technology is the perfect vehicle to showcase the Council’s ongoing mission to improve farmer profitability, by promoting value-added products.

Since 2017, Goodyear, supported by United Soybean Board checkoff investments, has released four lines of tires with soybean oil compounds: Assurance WeatherReady, Eagle Enforcer All Weather, Eagle Exhilarate and Assurance Comfort Drive.

The company based in Akron, Ohio, has increased its use of soybeans by 73% since 2018 and pledged to fully replace all of its petroleum-driven oils with soybean oil by 2040.

The Enforcer tires will appeal to more than just law enforcement, but also state fleets and municipalities, increasing demand for soybeans grown in Minnesota.

In addition to the county promotion, which involves 44 squad car donations across the state, the Council will give away two sets of Goodyear’s popular Assurance WeatherReady tires – also made with 100% soybean oil – at this year’s Farmfest (Aug. 3-5) and Big Iron (Sept 13-15). A third set of the WeatherReady tires, which are tailor-made for everyday vehicles, will be available through an online promotion that will allow farmers to nominate their favorite nonprofits.

The Becker/Mahnomen Corn and Soybean Growers Association is affiliated with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, which oversees the investment of soybean checkoff dollars on behalf of the nearly 28,000 soybean farmers in Minnesota.

The council is governed by the rules of a federally mandated checkoff program that requires all soybean producers to pay a fee on the soybeans they sell.

This money is used to promote, educate and develop market opportunities for soybeans.