A number of farmers and industry stakeholders were in Cincinnati this week to hear President Trump discuss the Administration’s infrastructure initiative. The event was designed to highlight the economic importance for infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges and the inland waterways system. According to a story from Rod Bain, President Trump was joined at the event by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
NCGA Applauds Trump for Prioritizing Infrastructure
The National Corn Growers Association applauded President Trump’s pledge to make rebuilding America’s infrastructure a national priority and committed to working with his Administration on the issue.
“It’s time to recapture our legacy as a nation of builders, and to create new lanes of travel, commerce, and discovery,” President Trump said at a speech in Cincinnati on the backdrop of the Ohio River.
Ken Hartman, chair of the NCGA Market Access Team, thanked the President for calling attention to infrastructure issues.
“Farmers rely on our national infrastructure every day to get our products to market quickly, safely, and efficiently. Waterways, roads, and bridges are central to farmers’ efforts to feed and fuel the world, and we must invest in all of them,” said Hartman, a farmer from Waterloo, Illinois.
In his remarks, President Trump specifically called for upgrading the nation’s aging system of locks and dams-making him the first modern president to focus on this critical piece of the infrastructure puzzle.
“These critical corridors of commerce depend on a dilapidated system of locks and dams that are more than half a century old, and their condition… is in very, very bad shape. It continues to decay,” Trump said.
Nearly three-quarters of U.S. grain exports are transported to the port via the U.S. river system, but most of the nation’s locks and dams have outlived their intended 50-year lifespans. Breakdowns in the river infrastructure add to transport costs, some of which are passed on to farmers. Meanwhile, rural areas rely disproportionately on federal funding for infrastructure projects, underscoring the need for robust federal investment.
“We especially appreciate the President’s interest in inland waterways and in the unique infrastructure challenges facing rural areas,” said Hartman. “We look forward to working with the Trump Administration to invest in our nation’s waterways, roads, and bridges, and we thank the President for making this issue a top priority.”
ASA Welcomes President Trump’s Infrastructure Commitment
American Soybean Association (ASA) Governing Committee member Bret Davis, of Ohio, and Directors Kendell Culp, of Indiana, and Gerry Hayden, of Kentucky, were among a number of soybean farmers and industry stakeholders that joined President Donald Trump in Cincinnati to highlight the economic importance of the inland waterways system and the need to invest in upgrades to the locks and dams that enable the system to serve as an efficient mode of moving commodities, such as soybeans.
President Trump’s remarks highlighted the importance of the waterways and the need for infrastructure upgrades, specifically citing the backlog in funding needs for modernization of locks and dams that have exceeded their life expectancy and are deteriorating.
Davis, a soybean farmer from Delaware, Ohio said of the event, “we appreciate and applaud the President for the attention he is placing on infrastructure needs, especially the emphasis that this event today places on our inland waterways system, which is an often overlooked aspect of our transportation infrastructure. Soybean farmers know the impact the waterways have on our bottom line and it is good to see the President and policymakers recognizing that as well.”
Upgrading the inland waterways infrastructure is a top priority for ASA. Working with industry partners and policymakers, ASA is actively supporting action on a major infrastructure initiative in 2017 that provides funding to address priority needs to modernize locks and dams and other vital infrastructure.
“We’ve long maintained that the quality of our infrastructure networks in the United States—road, rail, waterways, and ports—is directly connected to the competitive advantage we have over other soybean producing countries,” added Culp, who farms in Rensselaer, Indiana.
“If we do not invest in modernization of this infrastructure, we lose our competitiveness in global export markets,” said Hayden, a soybean grower from Calhoun, Ky. “We are very pleased to see President Trump acknowledge the importance of investing in projects to improve these vital aspects of our supply chain and we look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to advance an infrastructure package this year.”
One of the benefits of President Trump’s event is the additional focus and attention it generates for the inland waterways issues, including a segment featured on CNBC, which can be viewed by clicking here [ http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000625182 ].
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