President's Column: Safe and Reliable Transportation is Essential to Kentucky's Economy

Posted on Aug 1, 2017

One thing I have discovered over the years, either on the farm or in the boardroom, is the benefit of working together and networking with others cannot be overstated. There is great value in coming together with individuals or organizations to accomplish a common goal.

Kentucky Farm Bureau is a wonderful example of how that works. Our members have accomplished great things to make agriculture the strong industry it is today in this state which ultimately benefits all Kentuckians.

Through the years we have partnered with others to address issues and achieve objectives that might not have been possible without the collective strength of all those involved.

KFB is proud to be a part of the Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition, which is made up of manufacturers, farmers, engineers, local leaders and more than 40,000 transportation workers who understand that safe, reliable, efficient transportation is essential to Kentucky’s economy.

I don’t have to tell our farm family members how important transportation issues are to them and to KFB. Our organization worked diligently to maintain the 22.2 percent allocation of the state gasoline tax revenue for rural roads. Supporting the continuation of that allocation and support of rural secondary and county road aid programs is a priority issue for us.

Our roads, bridges, railways, airports and waterways are essential to get our products from the farm to markets locally, regionally, across the country and around the world. It goes without saying that maintaining and improving these methods of transportation is a priority for agriculture, and really, for all industries and individuals who call Kentucky home.

From a geographical standpoint, the Commonwealth is somewhat of a crossroads for the eastern United States ideally located within a day’s travel, by most methods, to some of the largest metropolitan areas, with the largest airports and water ports in the eastern half of the country. Having an adequate transportation infrastructure in place to get to those places is not only critical for our businesses and citizens here, but for those who pass through our state daily.

Closer to home, as direct sales from the farm have grown, an increased number of our farm families travel to local and state markets to meet the demands of the consumer. A good transportation system is critical and is an essential component in fulfilling part of our mission statement which reads “achieve better economic opportunities and enhance the quality of life for all.”

The coalition supports long-term, sustainable funding that provides adequate revenues for all modes of transportation so our state can maintain the infrastructure we have today and build what we need for our future.

As we move forward, I feel certain we can maintain and enhance our transportation infrastructure through diligence, education and advocacy efforts made possible when we work together.