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Bob Larson Ag Transportation Studay WSU Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: August 07, 2019

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I’m Bob Larson. America’s transportation infrastructure was once the model other nations looked to emulate, but as the rest of the world catches up, a new study at WSU’s Freight Policy Transportation Institute is looking at ways to improve how we prioritize projects to update and improve our system.

The study’s lead, associate research professor Eric Jessup says it’s decades old, crumbling and inefficient for both regional agriculture AND the national economy …

JESSUP … “Well, I mean, the U.S. farmer has always kind of led the world in adopting advanced technology in the production side which has really helped in terms of like lowering their costs, but we also always had at least, if you went back to the 50s-60s-70s, we also had like a very resilient and robust transportation system and that, I would say, our funding of that system hasn’t kept pace with our utilization of that system. And that’s why you see the American Society of Civil Engineers giving such low score cards.”

Jessup says there’s a lot at stake …

JESSUP … “It’s just that I think this is something that’s very important to USDA and our goal here at the Freight Policy Transportation Institute was to try and help them do a better job of prioritizing investments. And, the primary work was just about how to improve the science about prioritizing a list of projects and I think that we’ve offered a kind of innovative idea and hopefully, down the road, there’ll be different agencies that will adopt it.”

Jessup says the study is intended to improve the flow of crops and help farmers compete globally.

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