For farmers and ranchers, an updated transportation bill means more than just new roads and infrastructure—it could affect the ease at which they transport agricultural goods, according to American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Transportation Specialist Andrew Walmsley.
“Farmers and ranchers use the roads and the highways to get our inputs to our farms along with get our products off our farms to market, to consumers. So we need good infrastructure. We need reliable and safe highways to do this,” Walmsley told AFBF’s Newsline. “Also, there are a couple of provisions in this bill that would help make a farmer’s life a little bit easier, help their business have a few less headaches and reduce burdens in as far as regulations go dealing with how they transport their products to market.”
The Surface Transportation Bill expired in 2009 and, since then, Congress has continued the legislation through short-term extensions. A more permanent transportation bill with necessary provisions for farmers and ranchers is needed to clarify exemptions for movement of agricultural goods.
Walmsley noted that exemptions for farmers and ranchers are needed to allow them to transport goods across state lines and during off-hours in the midst of busy planting and harvest seasons.
A complete transcript of Walmsley’s Newsline interview is available at http://www.fb.org/index.php?action=newsroom.newsclip&id=69707.