YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Infrastructure spending benefits rural communities
By Gary Joiner
Rural America stands to benefit from the infrastructure package recently passed by Congress and signed into law.
The package offers $550 billion in new spending over the next five years. The dollars will boost the resiliency of farms, ranches and rural communities.
It includes $110 billion for U.S. roads and bridges. That’s important. Over 40% of the bridges in the United States are over 50 years old. Americans make 178 million trips every day across structurally-deficient bridges.
It provides an exemption for livestock and insect haulers from Hours-of-Service regulations within a 150 air-mile radius from their final destination.
The package also includes $17.3 billion to shore up our nation’s ports and inland waterways, and it spends $65 billion in broadband expansion.
A quarter of America’s farm families have no high-speed internet access. This tool is essential to modern agriculture. It also gives families access to online health care and education.
Investments in physical infrastructure like broadband will be critical to bridging the digital divide.
That’s good for precision agriculture technologies that reduce inputs, protect water quality and improve soil health.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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