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News & Press: VABIO News

USDA Report Outlines Emerging Bioeconomy Opportunities

Sunday, October 12, 2014  
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Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore traveled with Governor Terry McAuliffe to San Diego in June 2014 to attend the BIO International Convention. With agriculture as Virginia’s largest industry and bio technology innovation increasingly driving the value and global competitiveness of the industry, the Secretary and Governor have identified ag biotech as a focus of support and opportunity for economic development.

The release of the USDA’s new report “Why Biobased?” that explores opportunities in the emerging bioeconomy gives further weight to the Governor’s focus.

"This new report presents the opportunities U.S. agriculture and forests have in the emerging bioeconomy," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The recent inclusion of mature market products into the BioPreferred program strengthens our commitment to the U.S. biobased economy and brings together two of the most important economic engines for rural America: agriculture and manufacturing."

Synthesizing findings from existing government, academia, and non-governmental organizations, the new report explores how government policies and industry business-to-business sustainability programs are driving the biobased economy. The report further demonstrates that the biobased economy is, in fact, growing and it offers great potential for increased job creation in numerous sectors across the U.S.

On the heels of this completed study, the USDA BioPreferred program has awarded a contract for a more in-depth economic study of biobased products and economic impacts, including research on job creation and economic value. It will be the first federally sponsored economic report of its kind targeting the biobased products industry in the U.S. Congress mandated the upcoming study in the 2014 Farm Bill.

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