SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — There’s now a connection between sheriff’s departments in South Dakota and the state’s second biggest crop, soybeans, which bring in $2.5 billion a year.
On Thursday, Governor Noem and members of South Dakota’s soybean growers announced a new partnership with Goodyear Tires that also benefits sheriff’s offices around the state.
“The South Dakota Soybean Checkoff is partnering with Goodyear to donate sets of tires to 50 county sheriff departments across South Dakota.” said South Dakota Soybean Checkoff Chairman Tim Ostrem
This announcement is the culmination of another partnership between South Dakota’s soybean industry and Goodyear.
The two have been working together for several years, after Goodyear discovered that soybean oil mixes better with tire compounds than other options and makes the tires more pliable, especially in very cold weather.
This partnership was a deliberate decision by the soybean growers, to try to take greater control of their fate.
“Several years ago, soybean farmers decided that rather than waiting to see what the market would give them, wanted to move the market themselves,” said South Dakota Soybean Association Executive Director Jerry Schmitz “And so they decided to invest one half of 1% of the sale of every bushel to go toward research and marketing.”
One of the first law enforcement agencies to get the soy-based tires is the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff Mike Milstead says they’re seeing an immediate economic impact. He says the new, more pliable tires, really are all-season for South Dakota, so they’re saving money by not needing to change tires on all their vehicles for winter.