On 20 April 2012 U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited spent the day visiting Iowa to inspect firsthand how plant-based manufacturing is generating a new bio-economy. He toured a factory that uses plant-based materials to manufacture ingredients used in dietary supplements and in personal care products. The company, Kemin has just added built six new manufacturing facilities, three new research facilities and a new corporate headquarters building, creating nearly 100 new jobs.
According to Vilsack, plant-manufacturing is part of his efforts to promote production of biofuels and embracing biobased products have helped reduce dependence on foreign oil to less than 50 percent." Biobased manufacturing is one of the several initiatives undertaken by the Obama Administration to grow the U.S. rural economy. Other include:
- Presidential Memorandum to create jobs in rural America through biobased and sustainable product procurement
- a $350 million commitment in SBA funding to rural small businesses over the next 5 years
- launching a series of conferences to connect investors with rural start-ups
- creating capital marketing teams to pitch federal funding opportunities to private investors interested in making rural and making job search information available at 2,800 local USDA offices nationwide.
- establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
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