USB Program Helps Mid-Atlantic Fair Cool Down and Go Green

When an ad for soy foam insulation gave St. Mary’s County Fair Association president John Richards an idea of how to cool down buildings at the fair, farmer-leaders of the United Soybean Board (USB) and Maryland Soybean Board were able to help out. Thanks in part to a USB reimbursement program known as the green fairs program, fairs throughout the country can be a little greener by using soy-based products this summer.

“It has worked great,” says Richards of the soy insulation. “Our goal when we installed the foam was to make the building cooler, which is a little bit different than most installations. The sun heat load on the metal roof during the fair causes the interior temperature of the building to be very hot. The soy foam definitely improved the temperature in the building. Our attendees can now enjoy the exhibits in a comfortable atmosphere.”

Ron Christopher, owner of Foamworks, LLC, oversaw the installation of the spray insulation at the fairgrounds this summer. Christopher said that as more people become more aware of green building products his business has been picking up. This insulation includes renewable ingredients such as soy oil and even materials from recycled plastic bottles. And even though the insulation is a little more expensive to install, customers see the savings in their utility bills.

USB director Geno Lowe adds that this program has been a great way to educate the public about soy products and the work that the checkoff does to support them. Through its new uses program, the soy checkoff supports the development of new soy-based products, such as soy insulation.

“Anytime we come up with new uses, it’s another avenue to move more beans,” adds Lowe. “And we’re always looking for new ways to move our oil. Meal mostly goes for feed, but we’re always looking for new areas to expand our oil use into.”

In 2011, checkoff research helped to develop 32 new soy-based products.

To watch a video of soy insulation being installed and hear from Richards and Lowe, click here.