Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Sen. John Thune (R–S.D.) has been named Legislator of the Year from the international Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s Industrial & Environmental Health Section.
The award recognizes Senator Thune’s support of the biotechnology industry and steadfast commitment to growing South Dakota’s and the nation’s bio-based economy.
Thune’s award was presented by Doug Berven, a member of BIO’s governing board and vice president of corporate affairs at Sioux Falls-based POET, and Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section.
“Sen. John Thune has been a strong and constant champion of policies that support industrial biotechnology companies in creating jobs, revitalizing manufacturing, improving U.S. energy security and building a bio-based economy,” Erickson said.
“Senator Thune was first elected to the Senate in 2004, when the first Renewable Fuel Standard was under development. He helped expand the program in 2007 and has been a determined advocate in encouraging the Environmental Protection Agency to get the program on track for future growth.”
Thune also was recognized helping renew tax credits for second-generation biofuels and for co-sponsoring legislation to ensure mandatory funding for energy programs in the Agriculture Act of 2014.
“Through his efforts, Congress has incorporated innovative programs in the Farm bill to spur the development of biomass, purpose grown energy crops, bio-based products and renewable chemicals,” Erickson said.
Thune is a strong and consistent advocate for biotechnology in his home state as well, said Joni Johnson, executive director of South Dakota Biotech, the state affiliate for BIO.
“We congratulate Sen. Thune for this much-deserved recognition. We are fortunate that his leadership, at home at in Washington, D.C., is helping create an environment that will allow us to capture all the opportunities that biotechnology presents for our state and our nation,” Johnson said.
About South Dakota Biotech
South Dakota Biotech is the state affiliate of the Biotech Industry Organization (BIO), the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations. Formed in 2006, this non-profit organization is dedicated to developing biotechnology through expanding research, advocacy, funding, education, infrastructure development and promotion. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota Biotech strives to create an expansive bio-based economy in all areas of the life sciences including Human Health, Food and Agriculture and Renewable Energy Biotechnology to drive innovation to feed, fuel, and heal the world. To learn more, visit www.sdbio.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.