On Tuesday, former Iowa Governor and current US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack paid a visit to Ely Iowa to tour Dan and Debbie’s Creamery and this wasn’t his first time visiting the creamery.

Tom Vilsack touring Dan and Debbie's Creamery Via Kailey Foster
Tom Vilsack touring Dan and Debbie's Creamery Via Kailey Foster
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“This is an exciting, family, adventure. I was here when it started, and I'm here as it's expanding. And this is the kind of thing that I think we need to see more and more of throughout the United States,” said Vilsack.

Vilsack said that what Dan and Debbie Takes are doing with the creamery is what more Iowans are wanting to do- getting more value from the farm. To help farmers do this, congress is investing in the supply chain.

Tom Vilsack touring Dan and Debbie's Creamery Via Kailey Foster
Tom Vilsack touring Dan and Debbie's Creamery Via Kailey Foster
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“We are announcing the $10 million grant under the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” said Vilsack. “The idea is how can we take crop residue and other feedstocks and how do we convert them and change them into bio-based products for consumers and construction.”

The funds will be available to land grant and research universities through an application process. The $10 million is going to help create a roadmap for how producers can create a biobased product.

So, what does it mean to have a biobased product?

Biobased products are commercial or industrial products that are made of renewable agricultural or forestry materials. These can be anything from adhesives, to fuel additives, plastics, cleaners, etc.

Tom Vilsack and Jill Zullo of Cargill Via Kailey Foster
Tom Vilsack and Jill Zullo of Cargill Via Kailey Foster
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An example that Vilsack used is Cargill who has been making efforts to use biobased products by taking corn syrup and producing spandex for athletic wear.

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