Jun 08, 2017
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 yesterday 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.
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.
"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," said Davis, a soybean farmer from Delaware. "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.
Hayden, a soybean grower from Calhoun, Ky, said if we do not invest in modernization of this infrastructure, we lose our competitiveness in global export markets.
"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,” he said.
One of the benefits of 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.