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Strain Statement on Meeting with White House Officials on Infrastructure

June 12, 2017


Baton Rouge, La. (June 12, 2017) – Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said it was a tremendous honor to represent the nation’s agricultural producers at a meeting Thursday, June 8 with White House officials including President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.


“We discussed infrastructure challenges and what it means to the rural community. While we are an economic super power, our infrastructure must keep up. Improving infrastructure improves commerce, the economy and it moves America forward,” said Strain.


Strain said infrastructure topics included: reducing permitting time to move projects along more quickly; increasing infrastructure spending while restoring accountability in how infrastructure funds are spent; and allowing state and local governments more flexibility to develop infrastructure free from federal impediment.


Strain also led the discussion on the need to invest in mechanisms to bring products to market such as waterways, railroads and highways. “Our inland waterways and ports are an essential lifeline which move eighty-five percent of grains destined for the global marketplace. We must work cooperatively to improve our dilapidated waterways system which is failing our food producers. Congress must prioritize funding for these critical infrastructure projects.”


Strain and White House officials also discussed the need for inter-connectivity in rural America so everyone has better access to technology.


Strain, who also serves as National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) President and South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers, Chair of NASDA’s Rural Development and Financial Security Committee, attended the White House Infrastructure Summit with numerous cabinet secretaries, governors, mayors, and other state, local, and tribal leaders.


The event, part of the White House Infrastructure Week, was an opportunity for state and federal leaders to lay the groundwork for cooperatively improving the nation’s infrastructure.