Farm income has plummeted to a 12-year low, and vital markets for U.S. agricultural goods are being crushed by government restrictions, foreign trade barriers and a global crop surplus. It’s the worst rural recession since the 1980s, leaving many communities across the Midwest wondering what comes next.
To meet this challenge, rural families are looking to Washington for support. Access to new markets for American-made biofuels could unleash a wave of growth, driving demand for energy-rich farm crops. While other manufacturing sectors have left rural America, more than 200 biofuel plants support thousands of farmers and workers across rural communities.
Lifting outdated government regulations on biofuels would restore demand for surplus crops, but federal bureaucrats are standing in the way. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue must help the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) act immediately on the president’s promise to revitalize rural growth by cutting the red tape holding back U.S. biofuels.