"In the Garden with Eric Carle" - a program inspired by the works of Eric Carle.

This summer's theme for the Conservatory at Vander Veer revolves around children's author, Eric Carle. He is a beloved author of such books as "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "The Very Grouchy Ladybug" and many more. This display was inspired by local woodcarver Thom Gleich's donation of a five foot caterpillar and large wooden ladybug to the park last fall. Four of Gleich's delightful carvings are featured.

Through storyboards and display elements the story of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is recreated inside the Conservatory. Three additional Eric Carle book story stations are also included in the display; "The Very Grouchy Ladybug", "The Very Busy Spider" and "The Honeybee and the Robber" in various vignettes. This allows repeat visitors an opportunity to enjoy the display in new ways each time. A fun "Eric Carle Eye Spy" worksheet is a hunt and find game for all ages and sure to keep you busy exploring!

A Quad City Arts Access grant provided funding for the display and the opportunity for partnering with local storyteller, Jessica Sheridan to read the Eric Carle books aloud for the preschool summer programming on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. outdoors near the playground. Jessica is a Davenport native and actor extraordinaire. She also is featured before each outdoor concerts in the park from 6-6:30 p.m. Our next concerts will be Thursday, August 12 and Thursday, August 26 from 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Come join the fun at Vander Veer Botanical Park Conservatory. "In the Garden with Eric Carle runs through Sept. 26! The Conservatory is open to the public from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $1 for anyone over 16 years old. Tuesday it is free to the public.

We would love to have ANY Eric Carle books in good condition donated to us for use in our Fall Festival event. Books may be donated by dropping them off to the Park Store at Vander Veer or to the Fairmount Library bookstore or their drop box. Donors will receive a free one time family pass (up to four adults) for admission to the Conservatory. Please only drop them off at The Park during our business hours - Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 4 p.m. Donations will be accepted through Sept. 10.

Our observational bee hive is back for another season. Come in and read "The Honeybee and the Robber" by Eric Carle right next to our real beehive!

For more information: Call the Park at 563-326-7818 or 563-323-3298


The new business will bring a unique new tourist attraction to LeClaire and the Quad Cities metro area.

LeClaire, Iowa -- July 12, 2010 - Work began today on a new building in downtown LeClaire that will soon be the new home of Mississippi River Distilling Company. With plans to open on the banks of the Mississippi in late 2010, Mississippi River Distilling Company will produce handmade, premium spirits made from locally grown grains.

This start-up business will be the first whiskey distillery in the Quad Cities area since prohibition. Once in operation, the public will be able to tour the facility daily to see the production of vodka, gin and bourbon whiskey up close.

"We are so excited about the potential for our company in LeClaire," said company partner Garrett Burchett. "The town fits our company's image and the proximity to Interstate 80 gives us a steady stream of potential tourists to visit our facility. The community has been a great partner in bringing this dream to reality."

People who visit the distillery will be able to witness the entire process of liquor creation on site. From the milling of the grain to the fermentation, distillation, aging and bottling; everything from grain to glass will be done at the distillery.

A new Iowa law that went into effect on July 1 allows micro-distilleries in Iowa to offer limited retail sales and tastings on the distillery premises. Mississippi River Distilling Company plans to be the first new distillery in Iowa to open after the passage of this legislation.

As the building is being constructed, operators are also awaiting the construction of a 1,000 liter handmade German pot still that will be the focal point of the facility. This copper and stainless steel instrument takes craftsmen up to six months to fabricate. Once shipped from Germany and installed, it will be the only one of its kind in the Midwest. The steam heated still gives producers the flexibility to create vodka, gin, whiskey and other spirits.

Aside from the production facility, the building will also house a retail area and large tasting room. Tours will conclude in the tasting room that will feature a large glass window looking into the production facility as well as a large window view out to the Mississippi River.

This building is the first of four to be constructed that will extend the existing downtown retail area of LeClaire to the north and develop a block of land that has stood empty for several years. This commercial expansion in LeClaire has many business people excited.

"LeClaire is experiencing continued growth and this development will enhance the experience of our visitors," said Deb Mulvania, the president of the LeClaire Chamber of Commerce. "We are excited that Mississippi River Distilling Company has chosen to locate their unique new business in our downtown area. They will compliment our existing businesses and create excitement for further economic development."

The construction of this facility has been the culmination of efforts from many entities across the region. Mississippi River Distilling Company has worked closely with the City of LeClaire, First Central State Bank in LeClaire, New Ventures Initiative in Davenport and the Iowa Department of Economic Development to develop and fund the project. "We can't say enough about the community support we've received throughout this process," said Burchett. "It really strengthens our connection to the local community to have such wonderful support from LeClaire, the greater Quad Cities region and the State of Iowa."


Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits, Steve Winwood, Kings of Leon, Rihanna, Ben Harper, Train, Timbaland, McCoy Tyner, Kelly Clarkson, and Many More Celebrities Team Up With High-Profile Music Industry Executives To Choose 2010 ISC Winners

July 12, 2010 - The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has put together the most high-profile and prestigious judging panel in its nine-year history. Known for its high caliber of judges, ISC offers songwriters and artists the unprecedented opportunity to have their music heard by some of the world's most iconic and successful recording artists, as well as many major and indie record label presidents.

Now accepting entries for the 2010 competition, ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among the 66 winners) including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash and $20,000 in prizes.

To enter, go to

Open to both amateur and professional songwriters, ISC offers 22 categories to enter, representing all genres of popular music. Past winners have included artists at all levels, from Grammy winners to hobbyist songwriters and everyone in between. To better level the playing field for unsigned artists, ISC has added this year the "Unsigned Only" category which is open to songwriters and artists
not signed to a major label record deal, publishing company, or distribution deal. This category provides an excellent opportunity for unknown artists to compete against others on a similar level.

Winning ISC can be a tremendous career booster. In the past five years, three of the Grand Prize winners have been signed to major label deals (Universal and Epic). Many more winners have secured publishing deals, smaller label deals, licensing deals, and distribution deals in addition to getting more gigs, fans, and recognition.

Monte Lipman, President of Universal Records, talks about his role as an ISC judge: "We're always been impressed with the talented songwriters who participate in the ISC. This is a great A&R source to find new artists."

ISC judges include :

Recording Artists: Peter Gabriel; Rihanna; Kings of Leon; Tom Waits; Ben Harper; Jeff Beck; Kelly Clarkson; Timbaland; Keane; McCoy Tyner; Ben Folds; Train; Wynonna; Robbie Williams; Michael W. Smith; John Scofield; Jerry Lee Lewis; Regina Spektor; Alejandro Sanz; Jeremy Camp; Terence Blanchard; Ray Wylie Hubbard; Montel Jordan; John Mayall; Craig Morgan; Jazmine Sullivan; DJ Tiesto; James Cotton; Sandra Bernhard; Robert Earl Keen; Baaba Maal; John Digweed; K'Naan; Adele; Black Francis (The Pixies); Robert Smith (The Cure); Chris Hillman (The Byrds); Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.); Toots Hibbert (Toots & The Maytals); Matt Thiessen (Relient K); and more to be announced...

Industry Executives: Monte Lipman (President, Universal Republic Records); Amanda Ghost (President, Epic Records); Rick Krim (Exec. VP, Talent & Music Programming, VH1); Brian Malouf (VP A&R, Walt Disney Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Angel Carrasco (Sr. VP A&R, Latin America, Sony/BMG); Ric Arboit (President, Nettwerk Music Group); Daniel Glass (Founder/CEO, Glassnote Entertainment Group); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Dr. Demento (Radio Host, The Dr. Demento Show); Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Dan Storper (President, Putamayo World Music Records and Putumayo Kids); Lisa Ramsey Perkins (Sr. Director, A&R Sony Nashville) Kim Buie (VP A&R, Lost Highway); and more to be announced.

Please visit
http://www.songwritingcompetition.com for an entry form or more details.

ISC Sponsors: ASCAP, Berklee College Of Music, Disc Makers, D'Addario, Shure, Thayers, Onlinegigs, SongU.com, The Music Business Registry, Independent Mastering, Indie Venue Bible, George Stein, Esq., Sonicbids, Taxi, music Submit, and Alphabet Arm Design


CORVALIS, Ore., July 12, 2010 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced Recovery Act investments for 11 businesses in 9 states to strengthen rural economies by supporting local and regional food systems. Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Victor Vasquez made the announcement on behalf of Secretary Vilsack at the annual conference for the National Rural Economic Developers Association.

"Our farmers are the most productive in the world, supplying much of the nation's food, and in so doing, are creating the create jobs that are necessary to strengthen our economy," said Vilsack. "By connecting farmers and ranchers more closely with consumers of food, we are creating new economic opportunities for producers and helping consumers to access healthy, nutritious food."

These announcements come as part of USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative, which seeks to create new economic opportunities, to promote local and regional food systems that help keep wealth in rural communities, and to encourage a national conversation about what we eat and where it comes from in order to benefit producers of all sizes.

"The Obama Administration and USDA are committed to strengthening and supporting rural business and regional economies in order to revitalize our small towns and communities," Vasquez said. "This funding will help create and save jobs and build on America's economic recovery."

For example, in O'Neill, Neb., Garden Fresh Vegetables, LLC was selected to receive a $3.9 million guaranteed loan to expand its greenhouse business by purchasing a 10-acre greenhouse, and by constructing a new facility. The expansion will create an estimated 35 new jobs in the community. The company is one of the largest employers in O'Neill, whose population is 3,733. Garden Fresh Vegetables currently employs 50 full time and an additional 10 part-time workers and also offers seasonal employment opportunities to high school and college students. Their produce is currently used in many local grocery stores and they also participate in the local Farm to Schools program.

Meanwhile, in Dundee, Ore., the Torii Mor Winery, LLC was selected to receive a $6 million guaranteed loan that will enable the company to restructure debt and establish a working capital reserve to create and retain jobs -- including preserving nine existing positions. Established 17 years ago, the business is in the heart of Oregon wine country and is an integral part of the local value-added agricultural economy. The winery purchases nearly 90 percent of its grapes from local vineyards, which helps sustain additional jobs and agricultural businesses in the region.

The loan guarantees announced today are from USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry (B&I)Guaranteed Loan Program, which received $1.57 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to help rural businesses stimulate their economies and support local communities. Under the B&I program, eligible applicants include private businesses, cooperative organizations, corporations, partnerships, non-profit groups, Federally-recognized Indian tribes, public bodies and individuals. The funds are targeted to create and retain quality jobs and serve difficult-to-reach populations and areas hardest hit by the current economic downturn.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the Federal Government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov.

A list of borrowers receiving loans is shown below. Funding is contingent upon borrowers meeting conditions in the loan agreement.


  • North American Co-Pack, LLC; Iowa State Bank: $1,890,000 loan
  • World Food Processing, LLC; Bank Iowa: $8,000,000 loan

Willard White and family friend Sklyar Zesch are in the midst of a 3,333 mile trek. They are pedaling from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean to raise money and awareness for Shriners Hospitals for Children®. Willard says he hopes the three-month trip will raise at least $10,000. White's wife Laura and their daughters are following the pair in a van filled with supplies.

Willard and family will be in Davenport on Friday, July 16th.  They will be on Paula Sands Live at 4:30pm on KWQC-TV 6.

Each the White's three adopted daughters has a complicated medical history which required either life-saving or life-altering care. Now, White is charting his own expedition to thank the hospital that made that care possible.

"I am pedaling several million times to raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children® to give back for all they have done for my family and many others," he said.

The Whites credit Shriners Hospitals for Children® ? Salt Lake City Chief of Staff Jacques D'Astous, M.D., with saving the life of their oldest daughter Marcela. When she arrived in the U.S. from a Bolivian orphanage, the 12-year-old had severe scoliosis. Laura White says her daughter's spinal deformity had progressed to the point it was compressing down on her lungs, "If they hadn't put the rod in her back, she would have died in her twenties. Shriners Hospitals for Children® gave her a chance to live."

Marcela experienced complications during her 22-hour spine surgery due to another rare and undetected condition. As a result, she underwent another twelve surgeries within two weeks. The Whites say Dr. D'Astous stuck with them throughout.

"I've never been around such compassionate care," Willard said. "I just remember him crying and hugging me. It was a miracle he got her to pull through."

Marcela was never expected to walk, but after months of intense physical therapy and years of hard work, she can now walk with a crutch. At age 22 she is a happy newlywed and animation major at Brigham Young University.

The Whites also adopted two other girls. Baya has cerebral palsy and has received surgery and therapy at Shriners Hospitals for Children®. A third daughter, Faith, sustained a brain injury before birth that causes her to walk on her toes. The hospital system has helped her by providing physical therapy and orthotics.

Willard logs 50 - 60 miles a day on his bike. Along the way he shares his story about the expert pediatric orthopaedic care his daughters received at Shriners Hospitals for Children®.

Willard and Skylar are expected to reach Coney Island in August. You can follow their progress at http://inspirationroad.blogspot.com/ and donate through the White's personal fundraising page, which is on the Shriners Hospitals for Children®  website at http://support.shrinershospitals.org/site/TR/Events/General?pxfid=1090&fr_id=1030&pg=fund .

To create your own personal fundraising page to support the life-changing care provided by Shriners Hospitals for Children®, visit www.donate2shc.org/personalfundraising.

The use of red light cameras is now more effective, thanks to Governor Pat Quinn's signature on Friday.

A new law allows the continued use of red light cameras in the Chicago and St. Louis metropolitan areas. Cameras are triggered only when a car enters the intersection illegally and anyone who is ticketed is allowed to review the footage online.

"Red light cameras are a traffic safety measure that effectively reduces the number of crashes in our communities." said Melody Geraci, interim executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. "This law will make red light cameras more effective tools in making our roadways safer for even the most vulnerable roadway users - children, seniors, bicyclists, pedestrians and the disabled."

A person is injured in a red light-running crash every two seconds in the United States. That results in 165,000 injuries and 800 deaths per year, according to a 2009 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Red light cameras are proven to effectively reduce speeding and the number of crashes. The City of Naperville, for example, showed a 33% reduction in injury crashes, 75% reduction in angle/turning crashes, 19% reduction in total crashes and an 8% reduction in rear-end crashes (6 months of data compared with 3-year previous average) as a result of red light camera technology.

The Active Transportation Alliance was heavily involved in the dialogue around red light cameras. Active Trans is Chicagoland's voice for better biking, walking and transit. One of the organization's goals is to reduce crashes in the Chicagoland area by 50%.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is North America's largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

DAVENPORT, Iowa, July 12, 2010 - The Davenport Walmart, located at 3101 W. Kimberly Road, will celebrate a grand re-opening this week, giving local shoppers a glimpse of the company's next generation of store design and customer experience. The results of a two month remodeling project will be unveiled at the Davenport Walmart at 7:30 a.m., Friday, July 16. Among the many improvements are a new layout, wider aisles, low-profile shelving, bright interior paint scheme, enhanced lighting and easy-to-read signage to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers than ever before.

"We listened to our customers and have redesigned the store to make shopping at Walmart even easier," said store manager Daniel Cosner.

New Layout Improves Customer Experience

The remodeled Davenport store features a more open shopping environment with wider aisles that contain no product displays. Walmart also aligned the departments that customers shop most frequently, making it quicker to purchase everyday items.

"The new layout is easier to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for necessities," said Cosner.

A bright interior paint scheme and enhanced lighting create a more inviting shopping experience and help define the store's merchandise areas. Low-profile shelving creates an improved sightline and directional signage helps customers find the products they need.

Expanded Departments Add Value and Savings

The remodel also brings Walmart customers an expanded electronics department featuring a wide selection of the latest consumer electronics and home entertainment. The new design includes a more hands-on experience for customers with interactive displays for hi-definition Blu-ray, video gaming and portable electronics. The interactive experience enables shoppers to test new technology.

A new department called Celebration Station has been added and will feature party supplies, greeting cards, balloons and helium tanks, cake supplies and gift wrap.

Grand Re-opening Activities Include Support for Local Organizations

The grand re-opening celebration is scheduled for Friday, July 16, and will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m. During the ceremony, store associates will present $2,500 in grants from the Walmart Foundation to three local organizations including Children and Families of Iowa, lowa Council, Boy Scouts of America and the Scott County Family YMCA.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $2 billion to U.S. hunger relief efforts through 2015. The Fighting Hunger Together campaign will also engage Walmart customers and associates in the fight against hunger. More information can be found at walmart.com/fightinghunger.

About Walmart 

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or "Walmart," serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine's 2009 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Walmartnews. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.

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Quad Cities-IA/IL --  Helping Haiti will be the Quad Cities first locally produced hour of high definition news and will be broadcast Wednesday, July 21st at 7:00pm on ABC affiliate WQAD, News 8.

In June, News 8 anchor RaeChelle Davis and photojournalist Jon Reidy accompanied a group of Davenport teachers to the cities of Port au Prince & the mountain village of Grand-Bois, Haiti.  The teachers are volunteers for Quad Cities based ServeHAITI, a faith based organization helping Haitians get healthcare, education, clean drinking water & economic opportunities.

The trip marks the first time a Quad Cities journalist has visited the country which was ravished by a January Earthquake. "I thought I'd prepared myself for what to expect," stated News 8's RaeChelle Davis. "I didn't expect to see so little progress in the cleanup, nor the ever present smell of death.  In Kafu, the earthquake epicenter, they've just piled rubble into the middle of the street on top of the bodies that had been laid there right after the quake happened. Despite the devastation you see, the time spent by volunteers and the money sent by many of us has not been wasted. There are very good, very positive and very vital stories about what's happening in Haiti and how volunteers from the Quad Cities are helping make those successes happen. This is the story we're here to tell."

The hour long special follows a short series of reports that air on News 8 at 10:00pm beginning Sunday, July 11th and concluding Thursday, July 15th. In the High Definition Hour, airing on the 21st, you will see how much and how little progress has been made in relief efforts at Port au Prince, hear the stories of people dealing with the harshest of living conditions; even before the earthquake hit and meet the volunteers who help make life better one Haitian at a time.

"I had a lot of trouble with what I saw in Haiti the first time I went in 1996," stated nurse volunteer Deb Stockdale.   "How could I possibly make a difference? There's no way. This whole country needs an overhaul. But what it comes down to is you can't make a difference in the big picture - but what's really important is that you're able to help at least one person. If I can go help that one person, then it's worth the trip."

Helping Haiti will air at 7:00pm, Wednesday, July 21st on WQAD News 8.

Local TV LLC is a broadcast holding company created in 2007 and owns 16 television stations in mid-sized markets.  Local TV is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, management and a consortium of bankers and high yield lenders who drank the kool-aid and are as enthusiastic about our future as we are.  Stay tuned.

Over the past three months, twenty bands entered in the Great River Days "Battle of the Bands" competition have been stumping for support and votes, in an effort to make the "final five" bands that will perform on July 30, 2010 on The Family Credit Union Main Stage at Riverfront Park in Muscatine Iowa.

In a unique web-poll format hosted at www.GreatRiverDays.com, the public previewed the best bands from three states, and chose whom they wanted to see perform for over $2250 in cash in the finals at Great River Days. This "Command Performance" was entirely decided by the fan poll results, and over 3000 people participated in the selection process. While every band involved had support from the fans, the "final five" garnered almost 50% of all votes cast.

The "final five" each will perform a 45 minute set of music that evening at the event, with the fans in attendance voting to select the "Best of the Best" homegrown music talent in the region. The "final five" bands are as follows:

Crashing the FM, from Durant Iowa. An up-and-coming music act, they have been playing together for a little over a year throughout eastern Iowa. Their repertoire includes such artists Led Zeppelin, Blink 182, AC/DC, and some original compositions.

Marmaduke, from Davenport Iowa. Last years GRD runner-up in the Battle of the Bands, Marmaduke took the crowd by surprise with an amazing amount of music from just three musicians. High energy style and all things rock, they play regularly to packed venues throughout the Quad Cities area.

The Beat Boxcar Children, from Rock Island Illinois. The Boxcar kids have previously competed in three other "Battle of the Bands" competitions in the area, and have won all of them. With music influences from hip-hop to rock to country banjo, count on them to present a set full of surprises and high energy music.

Pour Boyz from Muscatine Iowa. This six piece band covers all the angles, from rock to country to blues and punk. Multiple vocalists and guitars abound in their music, and they have quickly gained a large following in the Muscatine area.

Room 212 from Muscatine Iowa. 212 is the veteran of the "final five", having performed at last years "Battle of the Bands" and throughout area music venues over the last 14 years. Four musicians who stick it out as a band through thick and thin for so long is a force to be reckoned with. To say that they play well together is an understatement. Rock music is their forte, and they deliver the goods.

The Great River Days "Battle of the Bands" concert will be held on Friday, July 30 starting at 7PM. 97X radio personality Steve Donovan will host the event live on stage. Advance tickets are on sale now throughout Muscatine or available at the gate on the day of show.

Soybeans aren't just for eating anymore. In addition to numerous industrial uses that are being researched every day, the oil from soybeans is contributing to U.S. energy independence, creating rural employment opportunities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. When soybeans are processed, they are crushed to extract the oil from the meal. Soybeans are produced primarily for their 80 percent meal content, but biodiesel is produced from the soybean oil, a commodity that has historically existed in surplus.

Biodiesel, a homegrown renewable fuel, has also provided a significant market opportunity for rural communities, and its production contributes additional employment opportunities and economic stimulus in both urban and rural areas.

Biodiesel holds great promise for helping reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy. Every gallon of domestically produced biodiesel consumed is one less gallon of petroleum diesel that has to be imported. For the sake of national security and economic security, the U.S. needs to be developing the resources we have at home to become less dependent on foreign sources of energy.

Biodiesel has some of the best energy and environmental profiles of any alternative fuel. A U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture full lifecycle emissions study found that for every unit of fossil energy needed to make biodiesel, 3.5 units of energy are gained. In contrast, it takes 1.2 units of fossil resources to produce 1 unit of petroleum diesel.

In addition to boasting a positive energy balance, biodiesel significantly reduces emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, unburned hydrocarbons and sulfates. On a lifecycle basis, biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide by 78 percent compared to petroleum diesel. One billion gallons of biodiesel, the amount the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard calls for to be used annually by 2012, will reduce current lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by over 16 billion pounds - the equivalent of removing 1.4 million passenger vehicles from U.S. roads.

Not only does the fuel make for a healthier environment, biodiesel blends also help improve human health and reduce chronic disease. Particulate matter is reduced with biodiesel blends, thereby lowering air pollution and reducing illnesses and death caused by asthma, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases.

The increased use of biodiesel does not take away from the world's food supply, but actually creates more food and feed to meet its growing demand. All commodity soybeans are processed using the same basic crushing and extracting methods, regardless of how the soybean meal and soybean oil will ultimately be used. Only the soybean oil is used for biodiesel production.

The key point to understand about the relationship between soybeans and biodiesel production is that as the demand for soy biodiesel increases, the amount of soy protein available will also increase. An easy way to think about this is that for every 1.5 gallons of biodiesel produced, there will be more than four times as many pounds of protein-rich soybean meal available for animal and human consumption.

Earlier this year, General Motors announced that its new lineup of heavy-duty pickups will have B20 biodiesel capability, and Enterprise Holdings announced plans for its entire fleet of more than 300 Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Rental airport shuttle buses across more than 50 North American markets will begin using at least B5. These are just two of the latest in a long list of companies who have realized the benefits of investing in biodiesel and are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, move toward U.S. energy security, and support rural jobs.

The American Soybean Association (ASA) is working for immediate enactment of a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax incentive, which expired Dec. 31, 2009. The one dollar per gallon biodiesel tax incentive is structured in a manner that makes biodiesel price competitive with petroleum diesel fuel in the marketplace. Lapse of the biodiesel tax incentive is costing U.S. jobs and stifling production. In 2009, the U.S. biodiesel industry supported 23,000 jobs in all sectors of the economy. This added $4.1 billion to the nation's Gross Domestic Product and generated $828 million in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments.

ASA's farmer members are proud of the contributions they are making to grow an abundant and safe food and feed supply, reduce the nation's dependence on imported petroleum, and enhance the environment for future generations.

All commodity soybeans are processed using the same basic crushing and extracting methods, regardless of how the soybean meal and soybean oil will ultimately be used. Only the soybean oil, a commodity that has historically existed in surplus, is used for biodiesel production.