• The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Investment Program is developing a new investment fund, the Rural Business Investment Company, to allow innovative small businesses throughout rural America to access the capital they need to grow and create jobs.

    The fund will be managed by Advantage Capital Partners which has pledged to invest nearly $150 million into this new effort.

    Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says this new partnership will allow USDA to facilitate private investment in businesses working in bio-manufacturing, advanced energy production, local and regional food systems, improved farming technologies and other cutting-edge fields.

  • President Obama will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Abe on Thursday.

    Ahead of that meeting, more than 60 House lawmakers have sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack about their concern regarding Japan’s stance on market access for agricultural goods.

    The lawmakers say accepting Japan’s demands would be inconsistent with U.S. requests in previous trade deals and could undermine the balance of concessions the other 11 economies have achieved.