As technology ‘wipes out’ traditional work, biotech investment could revitalize rural America

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Cow-free burgers are now all the rage — after Beyond Meats’ recent IPO, shares rose 163% on the first day of trading. Shortly afterward, competitor Impossible Foods announced an additional $300M investment.

That’s great for California, but rural America is stuck in a bind. Technology is wiping out traditional jobs, and high-tech training can be hard to come by in towns where livestock outnumber people.

Despite this economic pressure, rural America remains one of our nation’s most fertile regions, and recent advances in biotechnology are making it easier than ever to sustainably grow new kinds of valuable goods, from biopharmaceuticals to biomaterials. With the right strategic investments, rural America could see a biotech “bloom.”

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[A] Bio-Belt is stretching through middle America to bring new skills and high-paying jobs to communities that desperately need them. This initiative would bolster investment in biotechnology training, education, infrastructure and entrepreneurship in rural areas in order to develop new, sustainable sources of income.

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Rural biotechnology, like all biotechnology, will require strategic partnerships between business and academia. Agriculture extension schools, which are often located in rural areas, should expand to deliver research and job training for rural communities.

Read full, original article: The Bio-Belt: Growing the Future in Rural America

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