March 24, 2017

Farmer Takes the Wheel in New Firestone Campaign – #FARMHARD – Commodity Classic ’17

With its roots firmly planted in the agriculture industry, Firestone Ag, a leading brand of agricultural tires is launching a campaign that proves just how deep its respect for farmers runs.

Firestone Ag officially unveiled its Farm Hard campaign at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.  Farm Hard celebrates the intensity with which most farmers live — working long hours, problem-solving on the go, and getting the job done well.

“Our research tells us that farmers don’t think about tires unless there is a problem,” says Tony Orlando, president, Firestone Ag, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “They are busy making decisions on seed purchases, fertilizer costs and marketing their grain, and they need tires they can rely on to get the job done. This year, we celebrate the 85th year of Firestone providing dependable, durable tires for the farm. We’re a brand that understands our customers, and one that they can trust.”

We visited with Tony on the Trade Show Floor at Commodity Classic in San Antonio.

Take A Listen — Firestone Ag Commodity Classic Tony Orlando

Keeping the farmer front and center in the Farm Hard campaign, Firestone Ag creates a connection with a product that may be forgotten once the purchase is made. The campaign doesn’t stop there, though. Because tires impact common issues on the farm – from soil compaction to fuel efficiency – Farm Hard will include education and information to help Firestone Ag customers be better farmers.

To further its support for farmers facing challenges every day, Firestone Ag is introducing four new products specific to planting and harvest time that can help manage today’s need for larger equipment while keeping soil health top of mind:

  • The Firestone IF210/70R15 DestinationTM Farm tire is a new size for tillage and planting implements that features Advanced Deflection Design (AD2TM) technology, allowing higher carrying loads at the same inflation pressure while reducing soil compaction.
  • The Firestone IF480/80R46 tractor tire has also been updated with AD2 technology, helping farmers maneuver larger equipment in the field while reducing the impact on soil compaction.
  • The Firestone 900/65R32 R2 harvest tire features a 45-degree, extra-deep tread for added traction in wet-to-muddy soil conditions. The tire’s updated tread pattern provides the cleaning farmers require in these specific soils.
  • The Firestone IF900/60R32CFO harvest tire is equipped with AD2 technology. Engineered for extreme load cycles, it has increased load carrying capacity for grain carts and combines, but can reduce soil compaction due to the AD2 technology construction.

To get the scoop on the new specs, we visited with Brad Harris of Firestone Ag at Commodity Classic.

Take A Listen — Firestone Ag Commodity Classic Brad Harris

As part of the Farm Hard campaign, Firestone also is emphasizing its industry-leading 9-year limited warranty, and the dependability that comes with every purchase. Relying on a durable product and having a strong warranty to offer further protection are solid assurances that farmers can Farm Hard with Firestone tires.

To learn more about the campaign and the four new products introduced, visit: HERE

Bridgestone Americas Communications Department

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Bipartisan Senate Letter Urges Trump to Maintain Point of Obligation Under the RFS

Senators Chuck Grassley and Amy Klobuchar led 23 senators in a bipartisan letter urging President Trump to maintain the point of obligation under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and deny proposed changes that would derail the current, successful program. The point of obligation designates who in the fuel supply chain is responsible for blending biofuels, and is a mechanism that ensures higher blends of renewable fuels reach the marketplace.

Growth Energy LogoGrowth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement in response to the letter:

“Growth Energy thanks Sen. Grassley, Sen. Klobuchar, and the other 21 senators leading this important effort to support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the nation’s most successful energy policy. The point of obligation is a vital component of the RFS and is working as intended to make sure that consumers have a choice of fuel at the gas pump. Growth Energy has consistently opposed any change in the point of obligation.

“The fact is – shifting the point of obligation from refiners and importers to fuel marketers, convenience stores, railroads, truck stops and trucking companies, and even consumer service companies like FedEx and UPS – would throw the RFS into chaos. A change would immediately trigger long and complicated rulemaking that would take years to complete. It would create long-term uncertainty in the entire marketplace and reduce consumer choice at the gas pump by removing the economic incentive for retailers to offer higher biofuel blends, ultimately raising prices on consumers.

“The vast majority of the industry remains united in its opposition to any change to the point of obligation. An America-first energy policy means American consumers can access cleaner, more affordable biofuel options at every gas station nationwide. This is an issue where there is no room to equivocate or barter – preserving the point of obligation is essential to maintaining a strong RFS and growing ethanol demand in the U.S.

“We stand proudly with these 23 senators in opposition to this change and will continue to fight for the ethanol industry and rural America.”

Growth Energy News Release

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Wilkins Testifies to House Ag on Importance of Research Funding in Farm Bill

American Soybean Association (ASA) Chairman Richard Wilkins, a soybean farmer from Greenwood, Del., testified Thursday on the significant role that public-sector research plays in continuing the stream of technological innovations that drive the agriculture industry. Wilkins testified in his capacity as vice president of the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research (NCFAR) before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research.

In his testimony, Wilkins spoke to the user-driven nature of the public-sector research industry, and how stakeholders from all points in the farm-to-consumer supply chain benefit from robust agricultural research.

“Tools provided through publicly funded research, extension and education are needed to help achieve safer, more nutritious, convenient and affordable foods delivered to sustain a well-nourished, healthy population; more efficient and environmentally friendly food, fiber and forest production; improved water quality, land conservation, wildlife and other environmental conditions; less dependence on non-renewable sources of energy; expanded global markets and improved balance of trade; and more jobs and sustainable rural economic development,” Wilkins said.

WilkinsWilkins advocated continued funding and support for the intermural and extramural research functions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To accomplish these funding goals, Wilkins noted the active role that NCFAR as a customer-led coalition plans on the research title of the 2018 Farm Bill.

“The research title of the farm bill represents the nation’s signature federal investment in the future of the food and agricultural sector,” Wilkins said. “In fact, the success of every other title in the farm bill and those who are charged with carrying out their respective missions is arguably dependent in significant part on scientific outcomes and tools generated by programs authorized through the research title, and then funded by Congress.”

Wilkins testified to the danger that the current lack of attention to the public research system presents in terms of missed opportunity for innovation.

“We as a nation are not investing enough in in publicly funded research to permit discovery necessary to regain and then maintain our nation’s place as the leader in agricultural research,” Wilkins said. “Federal funding for food and agricultural research, extension and education has been essentially flat for over 20 years despite much greater demonstrated needs, and has reportedly declined by about 25 percent in real terms since 2003. At the same time support for other federal research has increased substantially. Our nation’s competitiveness in global markets is at risk, as investments in food and agricultural science by our global competitors have been growing rapidly.“

For a full transcript of Wilkins’ testimony, please click here.

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