Kentucky Soybean farmer-leaders always look forward to the National Farm Machinery Show, which is held in Louisville at the Kentucky Exposition Center each February. In addition to putting in a few miles walking around and looking at all the new equipment and other farm-related offerings, many of the organization’s board members volunteer their time to staff the Kentucky Soybean exhibit.
This year was no different. The focus of our exhibit was on the numerous uses for soy and soy components, and there were, well… “SOY” many things to see. From the traditional food items that you find in your pantry to some newer innovations, such as Impact Gel Saddle pads, SYNLawn Artificial Grass, Biobased Motor Oil, DEWALT Bar and Chain Oil, GearHead fifth wheel grease pads, and both tires and Skechers shoes made with Goodyear rubber tread containing soybean oil instead of petroleum, show attendees had a lot to talk about!
While it’s common for consumer-facing events to generate conversations that end with, “I had no idea there was soy in that,” exhibit workers were glad to get that same reaction from some of the farmers who grow soybeans. Many of the innovative new uses for soybean oil, including the Goodyear technology used in tires and shoes, DEWALT Chainsaw Bar and Chain Oil, and others, are a direct result of the investment of farmers’ checkoff dollars into research and partnerships. Establishing renewable, sustainable soybean oil as the oil of choice for industrial applications is a priority for the checkoff, and we want to let farmers know how their investment is returning value to their operations.
To make learning about soybeans and their many uses even more fun, exhibit workers staged a Nerf shooting gallery and a game of “Bucketball” to engage kids and adults alike in learning about soybeans while winning a soy-themed prize. Our friends Matt Adams and Daniel Carpenter visited and taped an episode of their popular, “Dirt to Dollars,” podcast with a special guest, farmer-leader Becky Thomas.
The National Farm Machinery Show was also a great time for Kentucky Soybean to debut its new mascot, Buddy the Bean. From the top of his sporty ball cap to the toes of his colorful shoes, Buddy appealed to all ages. His high fives, fist bumps and engaging smile made him the subject of numerous photo opportunities, and he was happy to accommodate his new friends. Buddy has been in the works for quite some time, and you’ll be seeing more of him in the future. We are thankful for the volunteers who brought Buddy to life and entertained the crowd.
We appreciate each of the farmers who volunteered their time to staff our exhibit and everyone who stopped by to visit during the farm show.