Press Release

Illinois Soybean Checkoff Funds Biodiesel Training for Diesel Tech Students

June 26, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, ILL – June 27, 2012 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), with funding from the soybean checkoff, recently hosted two biodiesel training workshops for community college diesel technician students and their instructors.  The goal is to provide students with the background they need to understand and work with biodiesel in the future.

The workshops were held June 11, 2012, at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill., and Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Ill., and offered applied instruction on the reliability, performance and other benefits of biodiesel and biodiesel blends in a variety of diesel engine technologies.

"These hands-on workshops focus on teaching the benefits of biodiesel," says Lyle Wessel, soybean farmer from Waterloo, Ill., and ISA vice chair for industrial utilization.  "Biodiesel is safe, clean, renewable and reliable.  Educating future mechanics about biodiesel is critical before they enter the workforce."

The workshops included an overview of the biodiesel industry and its benefits to the Illinois economy, as well as a discussion on the biodiesel fuel properties that affect maintenance and performance.  Students also learned ways to help customers integrate biodiesel into their fleets.

"We train diesel technicians how to diagnose the root cause of equipment problems related to either petroleum diesel or renewable-based biodiesel fuels," says Rachel Burton, diesel technician trainer for the program. "A better understanding of biodiesel will help the students be more valuable and competitive as they enter the workforce."

The program administrator of Lake Land College, Allen Drake, has received many positive comments from students who attended the workshop.  

"The students especially appreciated the detailed discussion on fuel-related issue diagnosis and other specific situations customers might experience," he says.  

The biodiesel training program utilizes a curriculum developed by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) to educate diesel automotive instructors, service technicians and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) representatives nationwide about biodiesel and biodiesel blends.  The program is the nation's first Automotive Service Excellence (ASM) accredited program that provides biodiesel education to diesel mechanics.  ISA intends to host one more training session this summer and several more during the fall and winter.   

The Illinois Soybean Association is the statewide organization for Illinois soybean growers. The farmers on its board administer soybean checkoff funds to support research, promotions, and educational programs designed to increase demand for Illinois soybeans and administer legislation and membership programs. For more information, visit:


Pictured Above:  Students of Lake Land College diesel tech workshop pose by a John Deere combine on June 11, 2012.  John Deere has approved the use of biodiesel concentrations up to 20 percent (B20) in all of their engines certified up to Tier 3/Stage III A, as well as non-emissions-certified engines, provided the biodiesel used meets ASTM D6751 standards.