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Grow it Here, Make it Here, Create Jobs

June 17, 2014
Stephen Rapundalo, PhD, president and CEO of MichBio, and Pete Pellerito, senior policy consultant at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), submitted a great op-ed to The Hill which highlighted the Farm Bill Energy Title Programs.

In Grow it Here, Make it Here, and Create Jobs, Rapundalo and Pellerito argued how the United States should "combine its strengths in agriculture and manufacturing and leverage them with new technology, such as biotechnology, to grow our economy and jobs":
"That simple premise underpins the Farm Bill energy programs, which with recent reauthorization and expansion promise to continue supporting rural business formation, investment and job growth.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) led the multiyear, bipartisan effort to reauthorize the Farm Bill. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and MichBio stood with her back in October 2011 as she launched her 'Grow It Here, Make It Here' initiative, which aimed to make Farm Bill energy programs more effective for U.S. companies.

The initiative laid out a concrete path for the United States to use its leadership in technology and manufacturing know-how to generate consumer products from homegrown renewable agricultural resources. With this successful initiative in place, the Farm Bill’s energy programs now support companies that make biobased products and renewable chemicals."

A recent report by Nexant, prepared for the USDA, estimates an annual economic boost for the U.S. of $775 million by 2017, through production of renewable chemicals. That potential grows to $3 billion in annual economic activity by 2022, which would more than 19,000 new jobs.

Today, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing examine the role that bio-based products are playing in helping to revitalize and re-energize American manufacturing, and how that is helping to grow the economy and create jobs.

Immediately following the hearing, Chairwoman Stabenow hosted a ‘Grow It Here, Make It Here’ Spotlight on Innovation event in the Kennedy Caucus Room, highlighting new technologies from more than 30 innovators from across the country leading the charge in biobased manufacturing.

BIO encourages you to read the opinion editorial in its entirety and to watch the hearing here. If interested in viewing photos from today's showcase, check out our tweets at @IAmbiotech.