BLOOMINGTON, ILL -- March 7, 2013 -- Biodiesel offers customers economic and sustainable benefits.  The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), through a new checkoff-funded campaign, is educating customers about the benefits while encouraging them to use biodiesel.

"A strong and growing biodiesel industry strengthens the Illinois soybean industry and the state's economy," says Lyle Wessel, soybean farmer from Waterloo, Ill., and ISA director.  "Biodiesel's environmental and cost benefits are central to ISA's effort to get diesel drivers excited to fill up with this accessible, renewable fuel."

ISA’s "Get Pumped Up!" On Biodiesel campaign debuted at the Mid-West Trucker and Trailer Show in Peoria, Ill., in early February.  The campaign features a tradeshow display with an original animated video and an educational brochure customizable for the different segments of biodiesel customers.  Visitors also receive a complimentary "Get Pumped Up!" hand gripper for completing a short survey about biodiesel use.

Mike Cunningham, soybean farmer from Bismarck, Ill., represents the American Soybean Association (ASA) on the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).  He says the investments soybean farmers have made in biodiesel in recent decades are coming to fruition.

"Last year, 2012, was the largest year for U.S. biodiesel yet with 1.1 billion gallons produced," he says.  "It is a great time for ISA to share the benefits of biodiesel and gain the support needed to keep this young industry growing."

Illinois is the number two soybean-producing state, yet sells more biodiesel than any other state.  Wessel, who serves as ISA representative on NBB, cites data from the organization that shows the scale of the state's biodiesel industry:

"Biodiesel supports nearly 7,500 jobs in Illinois across a range of sectors: from soybean farmers and processors to truck owners and operators," he explains.  "Biodiesel supports soybean farmers like me because it creates an additional market for soybean oil.  By using it in farm equipment I’m doing my part to reduce emissions on my farm."

Thanks to state legislation in effect until at least 2018, Illinois biodiesel customers enjoy an exemption from the 6.25 percent sales tax on biodiesel blends above 10 percent.  The incentive keeps prices low and brings blends containing no less than 11 percent to pumps across the state.

Aside from the economic value of production, the campaign touts biodiesel's reliability, cost-efficiency and sustainability.  Compared to petroleum diesel, biodiesel reduces greenhouse gases by more than 50 percent.  Biodiesel blends are approved by most modern OEM automakers.

The next stop for the campaign is the Midwest Petroleum and Convenience Tradeshow (M-PACT), April 16-18 in Indianapolis.  Customers can learn more about biodiesel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYoI9wIul5g.  For technical questions, support or education, customers may call the checkoff-funded biodiesel hotline at 800-929-3437.

Links to additional resources include:

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 45,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts.  The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education.  Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C.  ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace.  For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org.

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Photo Cutline: Mid-West Trucker and Trailer Show attendees visited the checkoff-funded “Get Pumped Up!” On Biodiesel display in February. Photo by Mark Ingbritson

For more information, contact:
Mark Ingbritson
mingbritson@charlestonorwig.com
262-563-5066

Barb Baylor Anderson
anderagcom@sbcglobal.net
618-656-0870