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Secretary’s Column: Biobased Jobs, Grown and Made in America

USDA works everyday to help create jobs in rural America – without waiting for others in Washington to act.

Last week, as a part of President Obama’s White House Rural Council, we announced efforts to spur economic growth by helping businesses take advantage of the productivity of America’s farmers and ranchers.

Today, there are more than 3,000 companies producing more than 20,000 so-called bioproducts made from grasses, grains, oilseeds, and agricultural waste rather than petroleum. They range from cleaning supplies and personal care products to food packaging and turf for football stadiums.

The companies that manufacture these goods employ about 100,000 Americans – many of them in rural communities – by marrying together two important economic engines: agriculture and manufacturing.

At USDA, we think there is incredible potential for the industry to grow, innovate and create economic opportunity. So we’ve taken action to help the expand markets for these products.

One year ago, we created a biobased product label that will soon be featured on more than 500 products you can buy at a local grocery store or pharmacy. It will signal that you are buying a product that was grown and manufactured here in America.

And last week, the President announced steps to encourage the federal government to dramatically increase our purchases of biobased products.

Biobased cleaning goods and construction materials like carpet pads and insulation are grown and made in America, as are lubricants, paints, oils and paint removers used in aircraft, motor vehicles, and by the military.

As the federal government encourages use of these cost-competitive bioproducts over alternatives made from oil, it will mean more contracts for American businesses, and more American manufacturers creating good jobs.

As we lay the foundation for an economy that is built to last, this effort will create jobs, drive innovation, reduce our dependence on oil, and support incomes for farmers and ranchers. Americans can’t wait for us to help unleash the incredible potential of a biobased economy to create middle class jobs.

You can also find the audio version of the weekly message here.

2 Responses to “Secretary’s Column: Biobased Jobs, Grown and Made in America”

  1. says:

    Could you clarify the following very important questions about this label?

    Are you suggesting these bio products are safer?

    Could this be used to greenwash products and create even more confusion for consumers?

    Hoe does this address the larger problem of growth within the context of protecting the environment?

    How about we label GMO foods?

    Thank you for taking the time to answer these important questions.

  2. Joseph Armington says:

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s office,

    USDA, Way to take the initiative!
    I thought your office might be interested in what we’re doing down here in FL (actually you probably have some idea as we are USDA certified)
    Please take a moment to review and if you see a good fit, as I do, please contact me.
    Regards, Joe Armington/GET Public Initiatives 407-455-1785

    CELEBRATION, Fla., Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The NASCAR world just got a bit greener. G-Oil, America’s first and only API and USDA certified bio-based full synthetic motor oil, announced that it will sponsor driver Tayler Malsam and the TriStar Motorsports Toyota Camry team for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series.
    Green Earth Technologies is a “totally green” clean tech company that combines renewable sourced feed stocks with proprietary technologies molded around the four ideologies of being GREEN:
    Biodegradable – Renewable – Recyclable – Environment Safe

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