Although a used tractor may have been a mode of transport for many farmers, other means of transportation also play a key role in the rural economy.
As a result, the U.S. Department of Agriculture commissioned a study of the various types of transportation that may affect farmers and ranchers. The Study of Rural Transportation Issues looked at four main types of transportation: barge; rail; truck and ocean vessels.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack noted that the industry is the largest user of freight transportation in the country and accounted for 31 percent of ton-miles covered in 2007.
"This report provides policy makers the vital information needed to make strategic infrastructure and policy decisions to meet rural America's transportation needs, now and in the future," Vilsack said.
One highlight of the report was the fact that the country's current way of dealing with transportation issues focuses on particular modes without taking an account of how they work together.
While the USDA and other branches of government look at transportation, an initiative from the Obama administration has the goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years. To do so, officials in Washington will most certainly have to look at transportation issues facing the country.
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