Infrastructure Legislation Signed by President Biden

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Funding

President Joe Biden recently signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, garnering praise from a variety of agricultural groups. The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure legislation includes $550 billion in new spending over the next five years. Funding will be used to address issues of roads and bridges, broadband expansion, improvements on ports and inland waterways, and much-needed investment in water infrastructure. Various industry groups and agricultural organizations have been supportive of the legislation’s progress as it made its way to President Biden’s desk.

Infrastructure legislation

“This package invests in America’s highways, waterways, ports, locks, and dams in a way that will help us reassert American agriculture competitiveness,” Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade, Brian Kuehl said in a press release. “It will allow more ag product to get to market quicker and more efficiently. It will also help our infrastructure keep pace with ag production; something that is essential at a time when supply chains are being severely challenged. This investment will also create jobs in rural America where they are urgently needed.”

Of particular interest to farmers and ranchers in the West, is the investment in projects to improve water supply needs. The infrastructure legislation includes $8 billion for the construction of new water storage and conveyance facilities, as well as funding support for conservation and recycling projects. Investments will also be made to existing water infrastructure such as dams and canals that are in dire need to repair.

“Amid the searing drought across the West and another catastrophic wildfire season, the $8 billion investment included for water infrastructure investments comes at a critical time,” said California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson. “We are appreciative of the bipartisan investment that has been made in new and aging infrastructure as well as water conveyance facilities. Farmers can now look forward to long-needed infrastructure enhancements necessary to produce a safe and reliable food supply.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West