Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer,
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) thanks you for your continued bipartisan support of critical waterways infrastructure funding. We write in support of the “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018” on behalf of the secretaries, commissioners and directors of agriculture and urge Members of the Senate secure the passage of the bill and send a final version to the President as soon as possible.
NASDA represents the Commissioners, Secretaries, and Directors of the state departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. State departments of agriculture are responsible for a wide range of programs including food safety, conservation, and fostering the economic vitality of our rural communities.
Access to modern and efficient inland waterways and ports is vital to the production, marketing and shipment of agricultural products in international commerce. U.S. inland waterways provide a low-cost, economically sustainable and environmentally friendly way to move grain and other agricultural products while supporting more than 540,000 jobs. Every $1 billion in agricultural exports shipped through U.S. ports creates 15,000 jobs. In addition to support for this crucial infrastructure, NASDA strongly supports the reauthorization of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. The strong bipartisan support for this bill and the critical resources it provides more than make the case for renewed commitment and investment in our waterways and port infrastructure.
Thank you for supporting a reliable and safe water source and infrastructure for our rural communities as well as working to enhance our current infrastructure to keep our agricultural industry competitive in the global market place.
Barbara P. Glenn, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer