Washington, D.C.) – Today, Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade released the following statement after President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill into law.
“This is an historic investment in America’s agriculture infrastructure. While American agriculture depends on trade, trade depends on infrastructure. For too long we have seen our competitive advantage in infrastructure slip. Today marks a turning point.
“This package invests in America’s highways, waterways, ports, locks, and dams in a way that will help us reassert American agriculture competitiveness. It will allow more ag product to get to market quicker and more efficiently. It will also help our infrastructure keep pace with ag production; something that is essential at a time when supply chains are being severely challenged. This investment will also create jobs in rural America where they are urgently needed.
“This is a win for American agricultural, workers, trade and our economy and will allow the United States to be a global leader going forward. We have been proud to fight for this package in communities across the country over the last year.”
For more information on the importance of infrastrucutre for farming and rural America, please read our letter to Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader Schumer, and Leader McConnell, G20 Bipartisan Working Group, and the House Problem Solvers Caucus, found here supporting the bill.
Farmers for Free Trade’s network of farmer advoactes have fought for passage of the bill throughout 2021. Below are a selection of quotes from opinion pieces across the country written by farmers in our network supporting the bill:
“As a farmer, I know how important this bill is to saving our family farms, keeping our products on the open market and putting ag first. Farm products like soybeans — America’s No. 1 agriculture export — rely on the health of our roads and bridges, rail systems and waterways — not to mention rural broadband connectivity — to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive global market.” – Ken Boswell, soybean farmer from Shickley, Nebraska. Op-ed found here.
“A major reason to support this bill is jobs. Infrastructure jobs are blue-collar jobs that pay well. And that matters … We need to create opportunities for rural, working class jobs and this bill does it.” – Tyson Shoemaker, ag production consultant from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Op-ed found here.
“As any farmer will tell you, for farmers to succeed, their product needs to get to market. That happens thanks to truck drivers, grain facilities, refineries, ships and cargo containers. But every aspect of the supply chain depends on a one thing: infrastructure. And that’s why farmers and ranchers across South Dakota are taking notice now that Congress is moving forward with an historic investment in infrastructure.” – Abbie Everist, Senior Manager at KCoe Isom from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Op-ed found here.
“All our representatives need to recognize the essential nature of our roads, bridges, ports, and waterways to farmers by voting for the investment in this bill. Not only will the bill support good-paying jobs across our state in the actual construction phase, it will pay dividends for decades to come for Iowa agriculture.” – Bob Hemesath, Director for the National Corn Growers Association from Decorah, Iowa. Op-ed found here.