American families and businesses are feeling the impact of higher gasoline prices. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says rural America is leading the way to long-term solutions:
“America holds only 2% of the world’s proven oil resources and we consume 25% of the global supply. We simply cannot drill our way to low gas pries or energy independence. Rural America supplies much of our nation’s renewable electricity, generating power from wood, biofuels, wind and geo-thermal sources. Today, rural Americans produce biofuels that help replace almost 10% of our gasoline for cars and trucks.”
USDA Introduces BioPreferred Product Label
Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan has unveiled the first 60 products that consumers will soon see in stores bearing the new USDA BioPreferred product label for certified biobased products. The new BioPreferred label designates products that are composed wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients – renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. This new label indicates that the product has been independently certified to meet USDA BioPreferred program standards for biobased content.
Repeal of Estate Tax Underway
Texas Congressman Kevin Brady says discussions have begun with the chairman of House Ways and Means to move estate tax repeal forward - but he acknowledged that getting it through the Democratic-controlled Senate will be a challenge...
“The compliance of the death tax actually costs more than what its revenue yields for the country. But, I anticipate that there will certainly come from the Senate a discussion on offsetting it in some way.”
Preparing for the Easter Season
Easter is fast approaching and the Pork Checkoff has ideas for the holiday meal. Consumer Communications Director Pamela Johnson is encouraging all ‘foodies’ to check out the Pork Checkoff website;
“Our website, porkbeinspired.com we have well over 100 ham recipes that not only cover the centerpiece ham for the Easter celebration but all sorts of great leftover ideas for that ham that’s left over after the meal.”
Good News on the Labor Front
The Labor Department reported Friday morning that the nation's unemployment rate fell to a two-year low in March, dropping to 8.8 percent and businesses added jobs at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis (soh-lees) discussed today's jobs report in an interview with CBS News, Radio:
“I feel very positive. I feel that February and March as you know, have been the strongest two months of private sector job growth since 2006, and in the last 13 months we’ve seen 1.8 million private sector jobs created.”