A 45-year-old livestock farmer from Seymour in southern Iowa proudly strode onto the field at half-time of the September 15 University of Iowa vs. Iowa State University football game to claim the nation's first E85 chopper.
Michael Murphy bought the winning raffle ticket for the Orange County Chopper's 'green' creation at the Farm Bureau booth at the Iowa State Fair in August. His win came as quite a surprise to his friends and family. His winning raffle ticket was purchased August 10 when Murphy was waiting in line at Farm Bureau Park to get the Teutuls' autographs. "I haven't won anything in my lifetime," says Murphy, "and I almost didn't win this. It's funny; I was just going to buy one ticket, but the young man who was helping me had trouble finding change, so I got another one. That ended up being the one that won."
The Iowa Farm Bureau Renewable Energy Chopper was created by the talented "Orange County Chopper" stars, the Teutuls, who have a TV program and this machine is the first cycle they've built to run on E-85. "I'm a big fan of the Teutuls and watch their show faithfully, so I was surprised to find out that they were finally building a 'green' bike," says Murphy, who is a fifth generation Wayne County family farmer and father of four. "I can see the impact of renewable energy on Iowa; I was driving through western and northwest Iowa recently and was really impressed with all the wind farms up there."
"We're happy for Michael and for the incredible potential this 'green' chopper has to educate not just Iowans, but the nation on the role of agriculture in Iowa's renewable energy industry," says Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Lang. "This chopper, and our Join the Ride Iowa campaign, has also shown livestock's critical role in the cycle of sustainability for growing our state's renewable energy industry."
Money made from raffle is donated
All the proceeds from the chopper raffle went to the American Lung Association of Iowa. The raffle raised more than $113,000 for the American Lung Association of Iowa. "This generous donation from the Iowa Farm Bureau will help the American Lung Association of Iowa spread the word about our Clean Air Choice program, which promotes the use of cleaner-burning fuels such as E85 and biodiesel," says Roger Kuhle, chairperson of the American Lung Association of Iowa board. "This innovative promotion has helped to educate Iowa drivers about alternative fuels that can help keep our air cleaner and healthier for everyone."
The Farm Bureau's Renewable Energy Chopper and Iowa's renewable energy industry will be featured October 11 and October 18 on the "American Chopper" show, which airs on the Learning Channel. The chopper engine will also be a prototype for Orange County Chopper's future 'green' commercial chopper line.