WSMB: Soy Powers Mississippi River Tourist Ferry

Bob Karls, 608-274-7522
[email protected]

MADISON, Wis. – June 9, 2005 – Wisconsin soybean growers are powering the Cassville-to-Iowa ferry with soybean-based biodiesel this summer as the vessel carries vehicles, bicycles and passengers on it’s daily jaunts across the Mississippi River.

State grower checkoff funds are being used to purchase the clean-burning, renewable fuel for this popular, state tourist attraction located along Wisconsin’s Great River Road – a National Scenic Byway.

This is the first time that biodiesel is being used to fuel the ferry’s Cummins engine. Along with its value-added benefits for growers, biodiesel helps reduce toxic emissions and air pollution. Biodiesel is good for human health, the environment and the state’s economy. It also helps commercial fleet operators comply with state and federal clean air requirements.

The ferry operates Wednesdays through Sundays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., from Memorial Day to Labor Day (river conditions permitting) and offers passengers a unique way to cross the Mississippi River. It is widely used by tourists, as well as by a variety of organized groups, including an antique tractor ride scheduled for June 25. On the Wisconsin side, the ferry landing is located at the upriver end of Cassville’s Riverside Park, connecting to Iowa at a river landing leading to the Great Iowa River Road. More information about the ferry is available online at

The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB) organized this soybean-based biodiesel promotion. Established in 1983 as part of a Wisconsin-mandated checkoff, the WSMB is dedicated to maximizing profitability of Wisconsin soybean producers via research, education and outreach initiatives. Working together with the national United Soybean Board, WSMB directs state soybean funds to statewide, national and international projects as part of the Soybean Promotion and Research Checkoff program. Additional information on Wisconsin’s Soybean Checkoff is available online at or by calling the Soybean Program office in Madison at 608-274-7522.