The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB) never stops searching for avenues that will expand the tools, markets and research available to soybean growers in the state through wise checkoff investments.
One such avenue is the recent partnership with MEG Corp, a fuel consulting organization. Established in 2005, MEG Corp works to increase the awareness, availability and utilization of biodiesel across eight states: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.
In Wisconsin, MEG Corp’s primary focus is the fuel suppliers and fleets that make critical decisions regarding fuel types and have traveled throughout the state to attend various trade shows to get as much face-to-face time as possible with these target audiences.
“We can make a bigger impact when we get in front of fleets and fuel suppliers,” said Lisa Pedderson, operations manager with MEG Corp. “During conversations, you can tell that some have been in it for years and you can tell that it’s new for many others.”
By offering diesel mechanic training in trade schools, MEG Corp is helping teach the next generation. And following the partnership with WSMB, MEG Corp is identifying trade schools throughout the state with diesel mechanic programs that would benefit from their expertise.
“We’ve been doing this since about 2010,” Pedderson said. “Some of those mechanics have gone on to be fleet or service managers in organizations or at municipalities and they’re more accepting of trying new things, such as B20.”
Because the relationship is new, MEG Corp only conducted one training class before summer began, at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee. However, they’ve identified 11 schools that they will reach out to as the fall semester approaches.
“We do diesel mechanic training because their understanding of fuel and acceptance of biofuels is really important,” Pedderson said. “When customers go in and have a problem, that’s who they’re talking to. Years ago, it was a problem that people said was biodiesel or ethanol’s fault, but we want to make sure they have the tools and knowledge available to make informed analyses.”
The work that MEG Corp is conducting in Wisconsin, and throughout other participating states, helps build a solid foundation for the biodiesel industry in the state, expanding market opportunities for soybean farmers.
But MEG Corp knows that soybean growers are their bread and butter.
That’s why MEG Corp has the diesel helpline, which is available to all Wisconsin soybean farmers. By calling the helpline at 800-929-3437 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, callers receive answers to general fuel questions, recommendations for storage, handling and blending best practices and diagnosis of fuel issues and filter plugging at no charge.
As they continue to expand their presence in Wisconsin, MEG Corp will work to increase the knowledge of biofuels and raise awareness of best practices, solidifying the opportunities for soybean farmers.
“We want them to use biodiesel for many reasons,” Pedderson said. “One of those reasons is that you have constituents in your county growing the soybeans used to make biodiesel. This market has a substantial impact on their income and ability to support the county or city. So, that’s what we’re really trying to do.”