State Representative Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) circulated legislation to create the Ag-Road Improvement Program (ARIP), which will invest an additional $150 million in local, rural roads. The biggest logistical challenge, for many farmers, often occurs on the roads just outside their farms.
“Wisconsin farmers help feed the world and need to have strong and reliable roads in place to make sure that the food they produce is able to leave the farm and arrive to market quickly, reliably, and efficiently,” said Rep. Tranel. “The ARIP will set our states second largest industry up for long term stability and prosperity.”
“Farmers are the backbone of Wisconsin’s $105 billion ag-economy,” said Sen. Marklein. “Targeting money to repair and improve the first-mile of ag-roads will ensure farmers can move goods off the farm and to market.”
The bill creates a state-funded program to upgrade local roads and bridges that are the critical link between farmers, their fields, processing facilities, and the businesses that provide essential feed and supplies. The program will be funded with a $150 million investment in one-time money to provide local governments with resources to make significant infrastructure upgrades.
This program is modeled after the existing Local Roads Improvement Program (LRIP) and is designed to direct money to local roads and bridges used by farmers every day.
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Executive Director of Governmental Relations Jason Mugnaini released the following statement regarding the circulation of LRB-2553, a draft bill to create an Ag Road Improvement Program:
“If you ask any farmer, they will tell you that their biggest hurdle to get products to market are the roads right outside their farms. Weight restrictions, alternative routes, running partial loads and crumbling infrastructure in rural Wisconsin are creating serious challenges for agriculture and straining the food supply chain. Everyone can see the impacts that events globally and locally have had on the food supply chain with higher prices at the grocery store.
This proposal provides the key investment agriculture and rural communities need. Thanks to the hard work of Senators Howard Marklein, Cory Tomcyzk and Joan Ballweg, and Representatives Travis Tranel and Nancy VanderMeer, Wisconsin farmers have champions to help provide the infrastructure necessary for modern agriculture.
Tomorrow, more than 250 Farm Bureau members will be attending Ag Day at the Capitol to advocate for this important infrastructure investment for agriculture and other important agricultural initiatives.”
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