Republican Senator Mike Braun met in Shelbyville last week with members of his Agriculture Advisory Council to discuss issues facing the industry, including infrastructure negotiations.
President Biden announced a deal had been struck on infrastructure, though it has a long way to go and many obstacles to overcome.
Indiana Soybean Alliance Director Kevin Cox from Parke County, a member of Braun’s Ag Advisory Council, says if something does get passed, “Well, I’d love to see some of it spent in my area. You know, it’s a challenge. The counties are struggling for funding to keep roads and bridges up in a good state of repair. Our locks and dams are a huge issue that we see with movement of grain up and down the waterways. So, we just need the money invested in the right place. You know, D.C., in my opinion, is very good about providing funds. It’s just a challenge getting them into the right places.”
Indiana Soybean Alliance and American Soybean Association Director Kendell Culp from Jasper County says broadband infrastructure is equally as important as farms become more technology based.
“You have to connect to the internet, you have to have good cell service, and you have to be able to connect to the satellite. And in many parts of our rural communities, we don’t have that connectivity and we certainly don’t have the speed we need, or the bandwidth. So, we talked a lot about that. That is one of the top priorities I know in all levels of government. It’s kind of a unique situation because you’ve got the federal, the state, and the locals that are all concerned of how we can find more speed and connectivity so those rural communities can be connected to the to the urban areas and to the rest of the world. That is a big priority that we have, the senator has, and I look forward to continuing to try to reach compromises and try to find solutions to make sure that we stay connected.”
In addition to infrastructure negotiations, Braun’s Ag Advisory Council discussed controlling the federal debt and deficits, building workforce in Indiana, as well as the recent Senate passage of his Growing Climate Solutions Act, which helps farmers get paid for sustainable practices.