USDA Celebrates Inaugural National Biobased Products Day, Announces 2022 Award Winners for BioPreferred® Program “Excellence in Procurement”
Posted on March 09, 2023 by Lynn L Bergeson
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On March 8, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the kickoff of the inaugural National Biobased Products Day and highlighted the accomplishments of people and organizations working to improve sustainability within the federal government. USDA notes that its ongoing work includes the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative programs, which fund research that advances climate-smart agriculture and forestry and strengthens the bioeconomy. USDA states that in line with President Biden’s September 12, 2022, Executive Order (EO) on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy, “these programs develop sources of clean energy and power, biomass systems and high-value biobased products from agricultural feedstocks to foster economic development.” The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funded innovative new USDA programs such as NIFA’s $9.5 million Bioproduct Pilot Program, which supports research into the benefits of using materials derived from agricultural commodities to manufacture construction and consumer products. USDA notes that the projects have special emphasis on benefits to underserved communities.
USDA states that National Biobased Products Day is an annual celebration on March 8 to raise awareness of the benefits of biobased products. The day recognizes the Biden Administration’s commitment to use the vast array of federal resources to combat climate change and help rural communities address its impacts. The day also aligns with President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan and EO Number 14057, which focuses on making the federal government carbon-neutral by 2050 and reducing planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030.
A key component of these federal sustainability efforts is USDA’s BioPreferred® Program, the federal government’s “official advocate and market accelerator for biobased products.” USDA congratulates the four winners of the BioPreferred® Program’s “Excellence in Procurement Award” for 2022 for reducing their respective agencies’ environmental impact by using biobased products and championing farmers in rural America:
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee;
- Christina Graves with USDA’s Forest Service;
- Brian McCabe with the National Park Service (NPS); and
- Brooke Siegel with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
According to USDA, all of these efforts support President Biden’s EO to advance U.S. biotechnology and biomanufacturing. USDA states that it is supporting this effort by providing tools, resources, and scientific research to ensure American farmers and producers remain globally competitive.