A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

David Beck: Protecting, enhancing our transportation infrastructure requires our collective efforts

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Roads get people to work, students to school, crops and livestock to market, and operational inputs to the farm. Without an effective infrastructure, commerce in Kentucky grinds to a halt. I don’t have to tell Kentucky Farm Bureau members how important transportation issues are.

Kentucky Farm Bureau has worked hard 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.

Kentucky’s roads, bridges, railways, airports and waterways are essential to get our products from the farm to markets, both locally and internationally reinforcing the importance of maintaining and improving all methods of transportation. This is a priority not just for rural communities, but for all Kentuckians.

David Beck

The location of our Commonwealth within the United States is a huge advantage for travel, as we are seated in a crossroads for the Eastern part of the country and a day’s travel away to some of the largest metropolitan cities with international airports and water ports. 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.

As the demand for locally grown foods increases, more and more farm families travel to local and state markets to meet the demands of the consumer. A strong transportation system is imperative to expanding the reach of our farms and commodities to Kentuckians and consumers in the region. It is an essential component that allows us to fulfill the part of our mission statement which reads “achieve better economic opportunities and enhance the quality of life for all.”

Whether at the U.S. Capitol advocating for rural communities, in Frankfort protecting our priority issues, or at the county courthouse, farm families across the Commonwealth agree that one principle never fails: when we work together, and expand our network with others, we can accomplish far more than if we do it alone. There is great value in speaking with a united voice to accomplish a common goal.

Kentucky Farm Bureau is a great example of how this works. Through the decades we have partnered with a variety of organizations, including Kentuckians for Better Transportation and the Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition, to address issues and reach desired objectives that may not have been feasible without the collective effort of all those involved.

As we begin a new year, I feel certain that we can protect and enhance our transportation infrastructure through diligence, education, teamwork, and effective advocacy efforts.

David Beck is Executive Vice President of Kentucky Farm Bureau.

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