OPINION As Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee continues work on the budget process, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is asking for support of a long-term solution for transportation. The dire need for local road aid must be a priority in the transportation-budget discussions.

The agricultural community is extremely dependent on a good infrastructure of roadways and bridges to move farm equipment. As the agricultural industry evolves so must the local road and bridge infrastructure that supports it. Roads, bridges and highways are an important foundation to Wisconsin’s $88 billion agricultural industry.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation believes that increased funding to towns and counties for infrastructure is crucial to keep our rural communities functioning. Maintaining and funding rural and local roads is desperately needed. We cannot lose sight of the importance of rural infrastructure for our farmers and rural residents.

Wisconsin needs to make a significant investment in rural infrastructure. Currently we cannot maintain the deteriorating road system we have with the current funding formulas. To continue supporting Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture industry, we must reinvest locally. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is asking the Joint Finance Committee to take a serious look at a solution to the ever-growing problem.

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Jim Holte is president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, a general farm organization representing farms of different sizes, commodities and management styles. Visit wfbf.com for more information.