A strong promoter of the soybean industry, James Kukowski of Strathcona serves as President of the Roseau-Lake of the Woods County Soybean Growers Association, he is a director on the Environmental Committee at the state level, and in June, 2018, he was elected to represent Minnesota soybean farmers on the American Soybean board. is now one of five Minnesota directors of the ASA board which focuses primarily on agricultural policy development and implementation in Washington, D.C.
“Of the five, I’m the only one north of Highway 94 and it’s a privilege to represent Minnesota on the national level,” Jim said. “That are many national issues affecting Minnesota soybean farmers. I’m ready to make sure those challenges and concerns are heard.”
This summer the Roseau-Lake of the Woods County Soybean Growers Association is teaming up in northwestern Minnesota by partnering with the Minnesota Research and Promotion Council to promote biodiesel.
Kukowski commented, “There are currently over 200,000 acres of soybeans in Roseau County and biodiesel production has been a good market for soybean oil to go. The added sixty-three cents of value in every bushel of soybeans really makes a difference to our farm’s profitability.”
What is “biodiesel”?
According to the website, www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-biofuel-and-vs-biodiesel,
biodiesel is a form of fuel used in diesel engines. It is created by the chemical conversion of animal fats or vegetable oils. Pure vegetable oil also works well for engines, but it is relatively syrupy and difficult to burn completely at surrounding temperatures in modern vehicles. There are so many advantages in converting to biodiesel fuel.
• It readily mixes with petroleum in any ratio.
• It is made from renewable sources.
• It reduces the gummy consistency of pure vegetable oil.
• No modification is required to burn in modern vehicles.
Minnesota moved to using a 20 percent blend of biodiesel/80 percent diesel fuel in May of this year. On September 30 the blend will go back to five percent during the winter months.
The Roseau-Lake of the Woods Soybean Growers Association sponsored several “Biodiesel Buydowns” beginning Monday morning, July 16, at Roseau County Co-op., Greenbush. Buydowns were also held in Badger at Roseau County Co-op, Northern Resources in Roseau, and lastly at Roseau County Ford, Roseau. The final “Biodiesel Buydown” will be on July 21 at Cenex in Baudette from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Consumers could get twenty cents off each gallon of biodiesel and witness the biodiesel promotion, the “DieselSellerz” truck which was built by the DieselSellerz, stars of Discovery Channel’s hit show, “Diesel Brothers”.
The counties’ goal for hosting the truck is to create awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of biodiesel in Minnesota.
Drew Parsley, Roseau-Lake of the Woods County board member, was quoted as saying, “Biodiesel contributed roughly $1.7 million to the state’s economy last year. It is also tough on air pollution. The increase to a 20 percent blend of biodiesel during the summer is like removing the emissions from nearly 202,000 vehicles.”
Badger farmer Ed Walsh and Roseau-Lake of the Woods County Soybean Growers Association member, said he regularly checks for water buildup in his tanks. “Water contamination is a major factor for all diesel issues, and can be avoided with a little tank management. We want people to know the fuel works great and adds value to the rural economies.”
One can also read this story in the July 18 issue of The Tribune in print or online.