COLUMBUS, OH—Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted the 2014 Farm Bill and a new initiative aimed at expanding Ohio’s biobased economy. Investing in biobased products, which link two of Ohio’s most important industries – agriculture and manufacturing – could be a job-creation boon for Ohio. Brown and Vilsack visited Plastic Suppliers, Inc., an industry-leading company which makes plastic film from biobased materials, to outline how passage of the 2014 Farm Bill will create manufacturing and agriculture jobs through increased biobased procurement and promotion.
“The biobased industry connects two of Ohio’s strongest sectors – agriculture and manufacturing. With one in seven jobs related to food and agriculture in Ohio, finding ways to create new markets and investments is key to creating jobs and promotion economic growth,” Brown said. “Biobased products also give Ohio’s small towns and agricultural communities new opportunities for their agricultural biproducts.”
Biobased products are composed wholly or significantly of biological ingredients—renewable plant, animal, marine, or forestry materials. From natural pet foods and biobased paint, to soy ink and toner, Ohio companies are creating jobs throughout the state, and generating a link between agriculture and manufacturing. Ohio has an emerging biobased-manufacturing industry, with nearly 130 companies – including Plastic Suppliers, Inc. –in Ohio already producing biobased products, and has the potential to lead the nation in the creation of new biobased products.
“We are pleased that we had the opportunity to show Secretary Vilsack and Senator Brown how EarthFirst films offer a more sustainable choice for food packaging companies,” PSI President and CEO George Thomas said. “We know the packaging industry seeks new and innovative materials to help them achieve their responsible packaging goals, and our EarthFirst films offer a smart solution for packaging companies to reach those goals.”
In March 2012, Brown announced his “Grow it Here, Make it Here” initiative to boost the biobased products industry and expand markets and create jobs in Ohio. Brown’s initiative would increase access to capital for biobased manufacturers, improve marketing of biobased products, and further the commercialization of new agricultural innovations. Ohio has an emerging biobased-manufacturing industry, with nearly 130 companies in Ohio already producing biobased products, and has the potential to lead the nation in the creation of new biobased products.
In September 2011, Brown held a roundtable with business leaders, students, and farmers at the Ohio State University— as part of his “Grown in Ohio” Listening Tour—to discuss the potential of Ohio’s biobased industry. In July 2010, Brown invited Denny Hall, a sixth-generation farmer from Union County and the assistant director of the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center (OBIC) to testify before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry at a hearing to examine how biobased manufacturing can create jobs in rural Ohio Brown has held more than 200 roundtables throughout the state, and is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 40 years and served on the 2014 Senate farm bill conference committee.