A gold standard: New checkoff initiative brings soybean farmers and firefighters together

Categories: WSMB, WSPPublished On: March 20, 20242.3 min read

Share This

As the saying goes, “you can’t put fire out with fire.” 

But you can with soy.  

The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB) joined a group of soybean farmers, firefighters and industry leaders from across the U.S. in Dalton, Georgia, this week to see firsthand a new checkoff initiative come to fruition. 

Developed by Cross Plains Solutions, SoyFoam TF 1122™ is a smothering agent capable of extinguishing Class A and Class B fires while eliminating intentionally added PFAS chemicals. There are also no detectable fluorines (less than 1 parts per million) in the concentrate. 

“It’s exciting to see our soybeans being used for such a good cause,” WSMB President Pat Mullooly said. “This project is the true definition of innovation, and we know our soybean checkoff dollars helped bring this to life.” 

WSMB was represented by Mullooly and Executive Director Adam Kask. During their two days in the Carpet Capitol, the group toured the manufacturing site of SoyFoam TF 1122™ along with a demonstration viewing at a local fire department training station. 

During the demonstration, the group was able to view the foam used in various scenarios and concentrate percentages. 

“We saw firsthand the product really works,” Kask said. “We were able to see it in action and hear the feedback from our farmers and first responders.” 

The United Soybean Board began investing checkoff dollars into this concept in October of 2022.  

“It’s taken 18 months to get from conception to almost commercialization,” said Alan Snipes, managing partner with Cross Plains Solutions. “We’re really close.”  

SoyFoam TF 1122™ is the first and only firefighting foam to attain the gold level through GreenScreen Certified for Safer Chemicals, a globally recognized chemical hazard assessment method.  

“The environmental advantages have proven themselves,” Snipes said. 

Along with containing no PFAS, also known as “Forever Chemicals,” and no detectable fluorines, the foam is also Certified Readily biodegradable and 84 percent biobased.  

The foam currently utilizes U.S. soy flour due to its protein level and availability, but additional research is being done on how to use soybean meal. 

“WSMB, through the use of checkoff funds, just funded a project to target soybean meal as the protein source for the foam concentrate,” Mullooly said. “This testing and training for this will actually be done right in our state.” 

Cross Plains Solutions has partnered with the Chippewa Valley Technical College – Fire Safety Center in Eau Claire. The partnership between Cross Plains Solutions, Chippewa Valley Technical College and WSMB will be used to carry out the development and certification of soybean meal.  

“We’re making great strides to create a demand for our soy while having a positive impact on our fire responders and communities,” Mullooly said. “It’s an all-around win.”