Fall is a special time in rural communities across the country. Harvest is underway on millions of acres of farmland which brings neighbors together for a shared purpose. Many farmers work nearly around-the-clock, relying on friends, family, and their broader community to finish the job. It is clear Congress could learn from this example. 

Our daily news feeds are filled with reports of political jockeying on both sides of the aisle. In the meantime, critical policy priorities fall by the wayside. Consider the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a vital $1.2 trillion piece of legislation that will have a long-lasting impact on communities for decades to come.

Congress needs to act quickly to pass the legislation. Each day they delay, farmers and rural communities miss out on critical benefits the bill would provide. The bill includes over $100 billion to repair aging infrastructure; $65 billion to support deployment of broadband internet in underserved and rural areas; and $10 million to enhance protection for pollinators that play a critical role in our environment and food supply.

As an agricultural solutions company, BASF is proud to stand alongside farmers as they tackle the biggest job on earth: feeding the world. We are committed to helping farmers increase their yield, while lessening the impact on the environment. But the agriculture industry cannot do it alone. 

Consider the issue of rural broadband. The FCC reports that 22.3% of Americans in rural communities lack access to high-speed internet, effectively shutting them out of educational opportunities, improved health care, and business growth. Furthermore, without high-speed internet, farmers will not be able to reap the full benefits of precision agriculture technology. BASF and our industry peers are working hard to develop new tools and equipment that will optimize available resources. Yet these efforts will not reach full potential unless agricultural producers in rural areas can access data quickly and reliably.   

To feed an estimated global population of 9.73 billion people by 2050 – about 2 billion more people than today - experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations think food production will need to increase by about 60%.

Congress’ passage of the infrastructure bill will better equip our friends and neighbors who farm as they continue to tackle the biggest job on earth.

You can do your part to help make sure farmers win. Write, call, or email your representatives, urging them to vote in favor of this important piece of legislation.

After all … when farmers win, we all win.

Paul Rea is Senior Vice President of BASF Agricultural Solutions North America in Research Triangle Park, N.C. As an industry leader, BASF’s broad portfolio of agricultural solutions is designed to help farmers increase yield potential and crop quality, while lessening the impact on the environment. Rea and BASF consistently take a proactive approach in supporting farmers in their daily execution of the biggest job on earth.

For more opinions and ag news, go to: www.agri-pulse.com.