Did you know USDA is the federal leader in helping to advance the U.S. bioeconomy through the use of renewable agricultural (plant), marine and forestry raw materials? By using agricultural feed stocks to make everyday finished products like biolubricants, bioplastics, construction materials and cleaners these products, we add value to the agricultural industry and up and down supply chains. That is, jobs are not created just on the farm or near the farm gate, but throughout the manufacturing process on sales of these biobased products.
Please join me Thursday, December 12, 2 p.m. eastern, as I host a #MyFarmBill Google+ Hangout about the BioPreferred program. We’ll hear from some of the industry standouts working with USDA to create new markets for biobased products. The Hangout will also include YOUR questions and comments.
The BioPreferred program was created by Congress in the 2002 Farm Bill and renewed in 2008 to help develop and expand markets for biobased products made in America and around the world. The BioPreferred program has two parts:
- A mandatory Federal purchase program that requires the use of biobased products in the completion of many government service and construction contracts, thus harnessing power of the Federal government to pull the market for biobased products. USDA has thus far designated nearly 100 categories of such products which include about 10,000 individual products.
- A voluntary product certification and labeling initiative, designed to help drive the consumer market for biobased products. More than 900 “USDA Certified Biobased Product” labels have been awarded to organizations ranging from small, family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 companies and global brand owners that manufacture bioproducts.
USDA stands ready to assist American farmers and ranchers who want to participate in this growing industrial sector and to help businesses that make and sell biobased products. However, USDA’s ability to continue supporting this market and jobs development program is at risk without the swift passage of a Food, Farms and Job Bill.
Participate in the Hangout on Thursday by watching it live on the USDA Google+ page or on usda.gov/live. You can send me questions in advance or share your story by using the Twitter hashtag #myfarmbill, YouTube or Facebook.
See you Thursday!