OSA and OSC Applaud Federal Support for Bio-based Products
Ohio Soybean Association
Ohio Soybean Council
Feb. 21, 2012
Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio Soybean Council Applaud Federal Support for Bio-based Products
Will help drive innovation and create jobs in rural America
WORTHINGTON, Ohio – The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) and the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) applaud the recent announcement by The White House that encourages federal agencies to take steps to ensure the federal BioPreferred program is fully implemented. This increased emphasis on bio-based product procurement will help drive innovation and create jobs in rural America.
Established by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, the federal BioPreferred program was created in an effort to drive demand for bio-based products at federal agencies.
This announcement is a significant move to examine federal purchasing procedures to ensure the use of bio-based products. With the announcement, the administration is calling on federal agencies to follow Executive Order 1314, which requires sustainable acquisition goals and milestones to be reported annually and also requires agencies to ensure that 95 percent of new contracts for products and services advance sustainable acquisition.
Additionally, the announcement directs the Secretary of Agriculture to increase bio-based products in the program by 50 percent in one year and requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work with procurement technical assistance centers to train and assist bio-based companies in taking advantage of opportunities within this program.
“We are very excited about the emphasis that is being placed on bio-based products at a national level,” said Bret Davis, OSA president and soybean farmer from Delaware County. “Not only does this encourage use of green products, many of which are made from soybeans, but it will also help increase our energy security and lessen our dependence on foreign oil since many bio-based products replace petroleum-based products.”
Both OSA and OSC have long supported the creation of new, green products that utilize soybeans as an ingredient, as well as promotion of these products to both domestic and international markets.
“Creating new uses for our soybeans, and driving demand for those products is an important part of supporting the future of Ohio soybean farmers,” said John Motter, OSC chairman and soybean farmer from Hancock County. “Additionally, the growing green industry in Ohio could play a vital role in creating new jobs and increasing our energy independence.”
To read the full announcement from The White House, click here.
To read USDA’s reaction to this announcement, click here.
Ohio Bio-Based Procurement Program
Two years ago this month, OSA celebrated a victory for bio-based products in Ohio when Senate Bill (S.B.) 131 was passed by the legislature and signed into law. S.B. 131 requires state entities, along with colleges and universities, to give purchasing preference to bio-based products as long as the products are comparable in price, performance and availability.
The bill adopted the product standards and approved product lists established by the Federal Biopreferred program and made Ohio the first state ever to create a statewide bio-based procurement program.
“The creation of an Ohio bio-based products procurement program shows the commitment to developing this growing industry in Ohio, which is an industry that will benefit not only the future of Ohio’s farmers, but all citizens,” said Davis.
Beginning in the early 1990s, OSC, supported through farmer-contributed checkoff dollars, began investing in the development of new soy-based products. In partnership with Battelle, based in Columbus, Ohio, OSC has successfully brought several new products to market including a soy-based toner for printers and copiers that is currently being used at The Ohio State University.
“It is very exciting to see these products go from an idea to reality,” said Motter. “Soy toner, soy plasticizer, soy polyols that are used to make foams for seat cushions are all examples of products OSC has been working on with Battelle that have either already made it to the marketplace or are very close. This is exciting stuff.”
Headquartered in Worthington, the Ohio Soybean Association is governed by a volunteer farmer board dedicated to education and promotion, as well as to uniting producer interest through support of legislative activities beneficial to the Ohio soybean industry.
Headquartered in Worthington, the Ohio Soybean Council is governed by a volunteer farmer board, which directs the Soybean Promotion and Research Program. The program’s primary goal is to improve soybean profitability by targeting research and development projects using the investment of farmer-contributed funds.