Washington, DC (November 6, 2021) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement following passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the U.S. Congress. The bill will now go to President Biden for his signature.
“This is a transformative, historic investment for America as President Biden delivers on his promise to rebuild the physical infrastructure of our country, grow the economy for decades to come, create good-paying, union jobs, and better position us to compete in a global economy.
“As we make significant progress in closing the digital divide and delivering 21st century broadband, farmers will have access to real-time information and new technologies needed to maintain their competitive edge, small businesses will be able to develop their markets, and rural communities can become better connected to jobs, telemedicine, and distance learning.
“As we repair crumbling roads and bridges and make much-needed investments in our ports, waterways, and rail transit, we will connect agriculture and rural communities to more markets and more economic opportunity. Upgraded power infrastructure, environmental remediation, and clean and safe drinking water will power and revitalize communities historically left behind.
“As we invest in green infrastructure, we will preserve our lands and natural resources and the outdoor recreation opportunities they provide for so many Americans. At the same time, we will respond to the climate crisis by increasing community resiliency and conducting critical work on our farms and in our forests to mitigate wildfires, support farmers and ranchers grappling with drought, and improve watersheds and water supply in the West.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to build up rural America with wealth that stays in rural communities, jobs you can raise a middle-class family on, and the ability to compete around the world. I’m thankful to those in Congress who drove this bipartisan legislation over the finish line, and to President Biden for his leadership for America’s working families. Now, let’s get to work and see to it that the benefits of modern infrastructure reach every corner of country.”
Washington, DC (November 5, 2021) -- The House of Representatives voted last night 228 to 206 to approve the bipartisan infrastructure package, which the Senate passed in August by a vote of 69 to 30, clearing the way for legislation to become law.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes funding important to corn growers, including $17.3 billion for the nation’s ports and inland waterways and $2 billion specifically for rural broadband access. New spending in the bill is paid for through unused COVID relief funds, bonds and extensions of various government fees, and the bill does not include tax increases for individuals or farms.
“We are pleased to see the House act on this legislation which was developed in a bipartisan manner and allocates funding for initiatives that are extremely important to corn growers and rural America,” said NCGA President Chris Edgington. “This is a once in a generation infrastructure investment that will help farmers for years to come.”
As 60% of corn exports move on the inland waterways system, the maintenance of that system is vital for the global competitiveness of U.S. farmers. The funds dedicated to providing broadband access specifically for rural areas will be meaningful for corn growers who rely on this access for marketing crops, using precision technologies and running their business.
The bipartisan infrastructure plan, which has already passed the Senate, will head to the president to be signed into law.
Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide and the interests of more than 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 50 affiliated state associations and checkoff organizations work together to create and increase opportunities for their members and their industry.
Arlington, VA (November 6, 2021) - CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Ted McKinney praised the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the U.S. House of Representatives by releasing the following statement:
“State departments of agriculture commend the U.S. House of Representatives for coming together to build opportunities for agriculture and rural communities. We can all recognize the importance of a thriving U.S. agriculture industry to all people, and today’s actions will connect more individuals to American grown products and provide financial sustainability for farming and ranching businesses.”
Improving infrastructure and capacity for rural communities is a priority policy issue for state departments of agriculture.
More than 26 percent of rural Americans lack access to broadband services compared to less than two percent of urban Americans according to the Federal Communications Commission. NASDA has consistently advocated for bipartisan solutions for investing in and modernizing rural infrastructure, and most recently, NASDA sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives encouraging lawmakers to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
NASDA members also recognized in addition to investments in digital connection, significant funding is needed to improve the rural roads, highways, waterways and railways necessary for the agricultural community to deliver their commodities and products around the world.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances American agriculture through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.
Milwaukee, WI (November 6, 2021) - Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) senior vice president of government and industry relations Kip Eideberg issued the following statement on the passage of the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“Tonight’s vote represents a win for bipartisanship and a once-in-a-generation investment in the future of our country. We salute this rare and historic bipartisan victory for the 2.8 million men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry. It will make us more competitive, more prosperous, and more equitable as a nation. Equipment manufacturers have long criticized the partisan rancor and division that has undermined much-needed investments in our future. The lawmakers who put country first and voted in favor of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act have demonstrated real leadership and a commitment to our nation’s renewal.”
Arlington, VA (November 6, 2021) – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch late Friday applauded the House passage of the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.” The legislation authorizes a new highway bill and includes funding for roads, bridges, broadband and water navigation.
“Infrastructure investment is critical to the fertilizer industry because of the just-in-time nature of demand. Fertilizer needs to be delivered to growers exactly when and where they need it and there is not much room for error,” Rosenbusch said. “Bottlenecks due to road or bridge closures or delays due to crumbling locks and dams can negatively impact the timely delivery of necessary crop nutrients to farmers. Fertilizer is critical to strong yields and the success of America’s agricultural industry."
Surface transportation provisions of particular importance to the fertilizer industry are $110 billion for Highway programs, including $12.5 billion for the Bridge Investment Program, and the inclusion of the Drive Safe Act apprentice program and Hours of Service exemption.
“All fertilizer utilized in the United States touches a truck at least once, meaning that reliable and safe highways, roads and bridges are of paramount importance,” Rosenbusch explained.
Rosenbusch next highlighted the $17 billion for waterway infrastructure and the $2.5 billion marked for inland waterways construction, explaining that “fertilizer moves year-round by rail, barge and pipeline and ocean vessels and there is much funding needed to address over $8 billion in backlog maintenance for inland waterways.”
Connecting rural America to broadband is also a priority of TFI, with Rosenbusch calling it essential for precision agriculture and the wider implementation of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices, a scientifically proven method of maximizing crop yields while significantly reducing environmental impacts.
“It has been a long road to get here, but we applaud the House and Senate for coming together and passing this much needed legislation,” Rosenbusch concluded. “Half of all crop yields are directly attributable to fertilizer. If growers don’t receive fertilizer in a timely manner, then there are potential consequences for food security and the environment. We urge President Biden to sign this landmark legislation as soon as it comes across his desk.”
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation’s fertilizer industry. Tracing its roots back to 1883, TFI’s membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers, and trading firms. TFI’s full-time staff, based in Washington, D.C., serves its members through legislative, educational, technical, economic information and public communication programs. Find more information about TFI online at TFI.org. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at nutrientstewardship.org.