Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is in Canada today speaking at a biotechnology conference in Toronto. The Governor is touting Iowa’s state universities, it’s rich farmland and the success of current biotech companies in an attempt to lure more biotech firms to locate here. He says biotechnology businesses are an expansion of the state’s efforts to add value to farm products.He says the state had traditionally focused on ethanol production facilities and the livestock industry, and he says there are also opportunities in organic farming. Vilsack says the move by the legislature to add more resources for start-up companies is a selling point for the state.Vilsack says traditional manufacturing businesses sought by the state drew their workers from community colleges. He says biotech industries go after a different workforce.Vilsack says the biotech companies can bring high-paying jobs to Iowa that’ll entice graduates of the four-year universities to stick around. Vilsack says 15-thousand people from 30 different countries are attending the conference.
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