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Rural Infrastructure Summit Addresses Challenges

A crowd of about 100 equipment manufacturers, elected officials, industry representatives and members of the agriculture community convened at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, to discuss the needs, challenges and opportunities for U.S. infrastructure as it relates to the future of the agriculture economy and rural communities.

Held a day in advance of the 2016 Farm Progress show, the summit was moderated by Agri-Pulse Communications President Sara Wyant and featured welcome remarks by Leif Magnusson, 2016 Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) chair and president of CLAAS Global Sales Americas Inc., and a keynote address by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

“Infrastructure is undoubtedly linked to agriculture and rural development. Collectively, we must begin to ask how the U.S. agriculture community plans on feeding the world in the year 2050 using our current infrastructure system,” said Magnusson. “This summit and the ideas shared today will play a big part in answering this critical question.”

The summit also featured two panel discussions with subject-matter experts. The first panel addressed the current challenges facing U.S. infrastructure and the impact on the agriculture economy, while the second panel offered perspectives on the latest innovations that could help solve these challenges.

“Bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, in one space, for half a day, to address the challenges and opportunities facing the agriculture industry is an important first step in developing a long-term, national plan for U.S. infrastructure,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “I am pleased that we could assemble such a diverse group from the broader agriculture community.”

The Rural Infrastructure Summit is part of AEM’s broader Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative, which is focused on crafting a vision for a long-term, national plan for U.S. infrastructure for how to move people, freight, and energy in the future.