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Obama Rural Tour Continues

August 16, 2011
By: Jim Wiesemeyer, Pro Farmer Washington Consultant

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Says U.S. must start using refuse, not food to create energy


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


President Obama held town hall style meetings in Minnesota and Iowa Monday as he continues his three-day bus tour of rural America.

In his Minnesota stop, the president talked about a host of topics including renewable energy and commented the technology on biofuels is "moving where we need to start taking advantage of a whole range of biofuels, using refuse, using stuff that we don’t use for food to create energy."

Update: The Obama Administration today said it will "advance a major initiative to produce next generation aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation. The initiative responds to a directive from President Obama issued in March as part of his Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future, the administration's framework for reducing dependence on foreign oil. The biofuels initiative is being steered by the White House Biofuels Interagency Work Group and Rural Council." Link for details.

Obama also talked about providing more funding for beginning and disadvantaged farmers, commenting that "if you’re not a mega-farm, a lot of times you get squeezed." He didn’t mention the coming farm bill debate as a way to help focus on the administration’s goals.

Obama will announce that USDA and the Small Business Administration will hold a series of conferences to attract venture capital to rural areas, and that USDA field offices will now have access to Labor Department job training resources.

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