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Lacy Gray Tribe Funds Expand Canola Research & Rural Economic Growth
by Lacy Gray, click here for bio

Program: Washington Ag Today
Date: February 17, 12

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Over the last several years canola research with the Colville Confederate Tribes has helped in providing oil for food and fuel as well as enhancing the area’s economy in northeast Washington State where the Colville Reservation is located. This past fall the CCT awarded a $55,760 grant for WSU and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service to continue and expand the work. A new canola oilseed crushing facility is scheduled to be built this spring at the tribal school by the CCT and area growers. The CCT has established a goal to process enough oilseed for biodiesel to fuel the school buses and other vehicles. In addition, an area feed store has agreed to distribute canola meal to livestock growers. After being crushed the canola meal will also be distributed to local fish hatcheries to feed salmon.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack was a lead panelist Wednesday during a Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing on the subjects of rural economic growth and renewable energy. He spoke of what the production of bioproducts can do for the future of rural America.

VILSACK: Not only is it an opportunity to increase farm income, not only is it an opportunity for smaller producers to have additional markets which are local and regional in nature, but it is a job creator.

Secretary Vilsack also suggests improving the USDA’s role in helping bring about sustainable rural economic growth and energy development through the streamlining of existing programs and greater flexibility in implementing policy and programs by means of authority from the 2012 farm bill.

I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network. 

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