Farmers and Firefighters Join Forces to Eliminate Forever Chemicals

May 3, 2024

This International Firefighters’ Day, the Nebraska Soybean Board encourages farmers to talk to their local fire departments about the health and environmental benefits of soy-based firefighting foam.


Firefighters and farmers in Nebraska serve as the backbones of our local communities, united by a shared commitment to safety and service. As our first line of defense, firefighters face numerous risks navigating hazardous environments with smoke and carcinogens. Firefighters rely on various tools, including firefighting foam, to combat fires. However, traditional foams can pose risks, exposing them to harmful PFAS, or “forever chemicals.” With farmer investment, the safer alternative SoyFoam™ eliminates this exposure, prioritizing the well-being of our first responders.


Cross Plains Solutions’ SoyFoam™ TF 1122 is the first and only firefighting foam GreenScreen Certified® at the Gold level. This partnership between Cross Plains Solutions and the soy checkoff gives firefighters one less thing to worry about while keeping our communities safe. SoyFoam is 100% free of intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and is made with no fluorines. It’s also certified ready biodegradable by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and is certified as 84% biobased through the U.S. Department of Agriculture BioPreferred® program.


"As farmers, we understand the importance of protecting our communities, and that's why we're proud to support innovations like SoyFoam™,” said Jason Penke, farmer and NSB chairman. “Knowing that our soybeans are contributing to safer firefighting practices, especially for those risking their lives on the front lines, gives us a sense of pride and purpose.”



Another benefit of SoyFoam for the soybean industry is that it’s made with soy flour. While soy-based products for biofuels, adhesives, coatings, lubricants and plastics primarily use soybean oil, SoyFoam uses the meal component of the soybean. With the growth of renewable diesel aiming to decarbonize the transportation sector, finding new demand streams for the increased soybean meal crush, which makes up 80% of the bean, remains top of mind. Cross Plains Solutions estimates the current applications of SoyFoam™ TF 1122 have the potential to use the protein from 12 million bushels of soybeans, and new uses for the product, beyond firefighting applications, are on the horizon.


“We are proud to partner with U.S. Soy to launch this breakthrough firefighting foam for use by fire departments across the nation,” said Cross Plains Solutions’ Managing Partner Alan Snipes. “Our manufacturing plant in Georgia is ready to produce SoyFoam now so fire departments can ask their suppliers to offer it. We also see demand for numerous additional applications, ranging from canisters to sprinkler systems.”


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports PFAS being found in water, air, fish, and soil at locations across the nation and the globe. Exposure is linked to several adverse health effects, including certain cancers, thyroid dysfunction, changes in cholesterol and small reductions in birth weight. So, mitigating forever chemicals through soy-based products can create real impact, not only for the safety of our first responders but to maintain the integrity of our local communities’ soil health, air quality and drinking water.


As we commemorate International Firefighters’ Day on May 4, the Nebraska Soybean Board urges local farmers to provide information to their local fire departments to use SoyFoam, not to only protect their firefighters but to safeguard their communities as well. To learn more about the product, visit

About the Nebraska Soybean Board: The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one-half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.


GreenScreen® Certified is an independent certification program owned by the nonprofit Clean Production Action, which promotes the use of PFAS-free and preferred chemicals in materials, products, and manufacturing.




SoyFoam 1: SoyFoam™ TF 1122 seamlessly integrates with current foam nozzles, inductors and pump pressures, requiring no adjustments to a fire department's existing standard operating procedures. SoyFoam is a wetting/smothering agent capable of extinguishing Class A (ordinary combustibles) and Class B (flammable liquids) fires.


SoyFoam 2: SoyFoam™ TF 1122 extinguishes and controls fires safely without harmful chemicals, ensuring a secure foam blanket that is safe to touch. SoyFoam is proudly 100% free of fluorines and intentionally added PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), ensuring a safer and more sustainable firefighting solution.


SoyFoam 3: SoyFoam™ TF 1122 emerging from a firefighter training building, demonstrating its ability to maintain a stable foam blanket and resist burnback even after direct flame exposure.