Ohio Agriculture Day celebrated

HARTVILLE, Ohio — Ohio Agriculture Director Robert Boggs gathered with legislators and community leaders to celebrate Ohio Agriculture Day and highlight the strong relationship between Ohio’s agriculture industry and its emerging bioproducts sector.

Farmers William and Jacqueline Garmier received the department’s Ambassador of Ohio Agriculture award for their work at Renewable Lubricants Inc.

Bioproducts

Bioproducts are commercial and industrial materials that can be made from agricultural products, rather than petroleum.

Examples of bioproducts can include everything from lubricants, coatings and ink toner that are made from soybeans, to plastics and molded fiberglass made from corn and plant fibers.

Ohio’s research laboratories, both public and private, are leading in the development of new bioproducts, such as high performance rubber made from the Russian dandelion — a crop that could be grown in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture chaired the Ohio Agriculture to Chemicals, Polymers and Advanced Materials Task Force, created by the legislature in 2008, to identify ways in which Ohio can become a leader in the bioproducts industry by linking the state’s multi-billion food and agriculture industry with its $49 billion chemical and polymer industries.

Future growth

The Ohio Department of Development has named bioproducts as one of nine statewide targeted industries that will position Ohio for future growth and prosperity.

Boggs serves as chair of the Third Frontier Bioproducts Advisory Board, which is charged with developing the program plan for the $50 million bioproducts portion of Governor Strickland’s and the Ohio General Assembly’s $1.57 billion Bipartisan Job Stimulus Plan.

Every March, Ohio Agriculture Day is celebrated to help educate citizens about the state’s agriculture industry and the large role it plays in our everyday lives. Food and agriculture is the top industry in the state; it annually provides $98 billion to the economy and employs one in seven Ohioans.

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