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Gov. Taft, ODA highlight benefits of soy biodiesel
Ohio Correspondent

CINCINNATI, Ohio — It wasn’t on a farm, but Gov. Bob Taft, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Fred Dailey, Peter Cremer North America, DaimlerChrysler, and the Ohio Soybean Council, gathered to celebrate Ohio Agriculture Day.

The celebration took place at Cincinnati-based Peter Cremer North America - the biodiesel processing plant which produced the most biodiesel in the United States in 2005. Taft and Daily highlighted a partnership between the plant and DaimlerChrysler.

The partnership means that all new Jeep Liberty vehicles with diesel engines produced in Toledo will be fueled by soy-based B5 (5 percent biodiesel) when they are driven off the lot.

“What we’re trying to do today is show the interrelationship between agriculture and the consuming public and show that agriculture is more than just food and fiber,” Daily said.

Taft said, “We are so proud in Ohio to be home to the single largest biodiesel plant (Peter Cremer) in the USA. Thirty-million gallons of biodiesel - that’s what they’re going to produce this year.

“This is the best way that we can proceed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Soy diesel is also good for the environment, renewable, biodegradable, a cleaner burning fuel that poses minimal risk to water quality so it has all the advantages.”

Mack Findley, sales manger for Peter Cremer North America said that for them to produce 15 million gallons of biodiesel took 115 million pounds of soybean oil, 10.5 million bushels of soybeans, 263 thousand acres of farmland on 526 farms, and the help of 3,700 people. The company is building six new 1-million gallon tanks to enable them to produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel.

The Jeep Liberty CRD is the nation’s first diesel powered mid-sized sport-utility vehicle and is fueled at the Toledo plant with biodiesel made from Ohio soybeans and refined at the Peter Cremer facility.

Deb Morrissett, a vice president with Chrysler, said, “We at DaimlerChrysler are very excited about the opportunity before us to use clean, renewable, homegrown sources of energy to strengthen our economy, preserve our environment and build a more sustainable transportation system.”

DaimlerChrysler also promotes the use of ethanol with nearly 1.5 million of its vehicles capable of running on E85, a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The company will produce nearly 500,000 E85 vehicles a year beginning in 2007.

Amy Sigg-Davis, chairperson of the Ohio Soybean Council, called soybeans, “A product that starts as a tiny seed planted in the soybean field and ends up as a renewable resource in fuel tanks across the country ultimately reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”

Daily concluded, “Ohio Agriculture Day is about educating people on how this important industry touches all of our lives everyday, whether we realize it or not. Agriculture is about more than just keeping food on the table and clothes on our back - it is about the ability to be self-sufficient and enjoy a good quality of life through the jobs and commerce opportunities it produces.”

This farm news was published in the March 29, 2006 issue of Farm World.