What do tires, shoes, and diesel fuel all have in common? Besides helping us get from place to place, they are all produced using soybean oil.

When soybeans are harvested in the fall and crushed, 80% of the soybean is made up of protein – or meal. Roughly 97% of U.S. soybean meal is used as a protein source when feeding livestock or poultry. The other 20% is oil. Soybean oil can be used for not only baking and frying foods, but making biodiesel, or other industrial uses like tires, paints, shoes, makeup and more. 

This summer, Minnesota soybean farmers, with the help of the soybean checkoff, are ‘Stepping Up’ and showcasing one of these unique uses while giving back to their local, frontline health care workers. 

Minnesota’s 44 county soybean boards (no other state has an organized county soybean program) are eligible to donate up to 50 pairs of Skechers soy-based shoes to a local health care facility, including (but not limited to): hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. On a personal – I own a pair of soy-based Skechers and I love them. I would buy another pair in a heartbeat!

The Stepping Up campaign was developed as a way to say thank you to those who have dedicated countless hours to keeping our communities safe and healthy while bringing awareness to the versatility of soy. How cool is that? 

In 2020, Skechers released its GO line of footwear, which uses soybean oil to improve grip, stability and durability. Skechers is also using the same soybean checkoff-supported technology featured in Goodyear Tire Company’s line of sustainable soy-based tires, which incorporated soy into its rubber technology.

So why use soybean oil? 

Using soybean oil not only reduces the use of petrochemicals, but is readily available, renewable and uses soybeans grown right here in the U.S.

How can you get involved in their statewide campaign? 

As a bonus feature to the campaign, you have a chance to follow in their footsteps by also giving thanks to frontline workers.  

From June 1 through Aug. 4, community members can nominate a health care hero in their community through a nomination form. From those nominations, 20 health care personnel will be selected, and the winning nominees will receive a free pair of Skechers soy-based shoes.

Follow the Stepping Up campaign at #SoySteppingUp.

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