Along with the Wisconsin Ag Coalition, the Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) applauds Gov. Tony Evers for signing Senate Bill 247 on June 21, creating the new Agricultural Road Improvement Program (ARIP) into law. With WSA representation present for the signing, the bill marks a significant step forward in addressing the urgent need to repair and improve deteriorating agricultural roads and bridges that burden hardworking farmers across the state.
“Creating this avenue for funding will go a long way to help protect farmers’ bottom line and the equipment they rely on daily,” Evers said during a signing event alongside Wisconsin agriculture leaders at Hamburg Hills organic dairy farm in Vernon County.
Action by the Joint Committee on Finance followed by the unanimous approval of SB 247 by both the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate last week underscored the broad consensus on the necessity of modernizing Wisconsin’s rural road infrastructure.
“Inadequate infrastructure in rural areas leaves Wisconsin soybean growers with yet another challenge to overcome and our struggle to get our products to their markets,” said WSA President Sara Stelter. “WSA is pleased with the passing of this bipartisan bill and is excited for the much-needed improvements to come.”
WSA commends the governor and legislature for recognizing the critical challenges faced by farmers due to the worsening condition of rural roads and bridges. These infrastructure deficiencies have not only hindered the transportation of goods but have also created bottlenecks in the vital food supply chain, adding strain to an already challenging environment.
With grants provided through this program, local governments will have the means to undertake crucial repairs and reconstruction projects, reducing transportation costs and promoting the overall resilience of Wisconsin’s food supply chain.
As part of the Ag Coalition, WSA is committed to working with the governor, the legislature, the Department of Transportation and local government partners to ensure the successful implementation of this critical legislation.