The American Farm Bureau Federation says, in the economic stimulus package, lawmakers must include investment in programs that will strengthen American agriculture and rural life. AFBF President Bob Stallman wrote to members of the Senate and House appropriations committees.
It that letter, Stallman urged the inclusion of $6 billion to build a reliable rural broadband network that is affordable, moves data quickly and securely, and can be adapted as telecommunications technology changes. He said the slow or nonexistent deployment of modern telecommunication services in rural areas hinders the health, education, safety and economic opportunities of rural Americans.
AFBF also called critical improvement of the nation's transportation system; particularly rural highways and the inland waterway system of locks and dams used to transport domestic goods including farm products to market.
"Our rural highways and bridges are outdated and crumbling," Stallman said. He also cited the inclusion of $2 billon in the stimulus bill for critical upgrades to the nation's locks and waterway infrastructure.