Vilsack: People to notice what happens in rural America in 2013

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says research and investment in the next generation of farmers will gain attention for rural America in 2013.

Vilsack shared his outlook for the year with attendees at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th Annual Meeting in Nashville. The drought of 2012 made it a tough year, bringing on challenges for America’s producers. Vilsack said 2012 proved farmers, ranchers and producers are resilient and willing to embrace new technology to improve production.

While acknowledging the impact of key events in 2012 on the year ahead, he encouraged attendees to take advantage of opportunities a biobased economy presents.

“We must create new agricultural products that provide a renewed opportunity for the next generation of American farmers,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack focused on research and investments in rural America through research and collaboration. One of the opportunities lies in biofuels and research and loan support will promote the development of new-generation refineries.

A newly created “USDA Biobased Product” label will help promote production of feedstocks to be converted into biofuel. The label will link manufacturers of more than 25,000 plant-based products with buyers.

Other priorities the secretary listed this year include passage of a five-year farm bill, a strong safety net and continuing the country’s commitment to enhancing trade.

Reuters reports rural America doesn’t have the political power it once had due to a declining population, but its presence can improve through alliances with immigration reform groups, anti-hunger advocates and the renewable energy community. Alliances can shine new light on agriculture to emphasize its role in food, fuel, conservation, recreation and other areas.

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January, 15, 2013 at 12:10 PM

That last sentence about Reuters and how we should form alliances with crackpot activist groups is pretty shabby advice - exactly the sort that would come from Vilsack and his fluffy crew of alternative agriculture fruitcakes. I distinctly recall Reuters reporting on Vilsack chewing us out for being too few among voters in the nation, scolding us for being irrelevant because a lot of us didn't vote to his satisfaction. The night we crawl in bed with the alternative crowd will be the first night of the end of our existence as independent producers. Don't get sucked in by Vilsack and his slippery meatless Monday USDA scabs. What we really need to protect and grow American agriculture is a lobbying organization on par with the NRA and second amendment rights. It's getting so us farmers are being attacked worse than gun owners. What the hell is up with that, anyway?

tony newbill    
powell butte ore  |  January, 16, 2013 at 09:43 AM

See this just Proves the So Called Free Market is a FRAUD !!! How does the Dow Jones Industrials let along the International markets grow when you have this ZERO Growth Policy actively being pursued by the World Governments ? How can durable supply grow and capital formation be created that tax revenues are generated from when you have this ZERO Growth Policy ?

Ohio  |  January, 16, 2013 at 05:19 PM

Just wait till higher food prices and scarcety will hit the urban folks and then they will notice rural America.

California  |  January, 16, 2013 at 05:29 PM

Why push biofuels when the U.S. has huge supplies of petroleum fuels. Grow food.

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