Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talks expanding economic opportunities in rural America

By Joseph Morton, World-Herald Bureau

vilsackIn particular, he talked about the need to continue supporting renewable fuels and the bio-based industry. A new report says that industry contributes $393 billion to the economy, he said, adding that it has helped rural areas recover from the Great Recession by supporting 4.2 million jobs. The administration, he said, has tried to shift rural areas from an extraction economy to something that is more sustainable. “This is really about taking the natural resource advantage that we have in rural America and expanding its capacity,” he said. “For far too long we relied simply on production agriculture and exports to support the rural economy.” Read more here.