Planting season is almost here. Across our state, farmers have prepared all winter to begin the hard work of growing the food that feeds the world. In Ohio, agriculture supports one in every eight jobs. And over the past two years, Ohio farmers and producers have faced and overcome unprecedented challenges. The pandemic combined with years of chaotic policy in agriculture made it harder for farmers to do what they do best – produce high-quality food and get it to market.

What farmers need is stability, certainty, and smart investments – and that’s what we passed in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which was later signed into law.

Upgraded roads and bridges will mean farmers can export their goods faster – enabling them to save and make more money. When bridges fail, it disrupts the whole local economy, affecting everyone – especially in rural areas where alternate routes are limited.

Investments in dams and flood prevention projects will mean more protections against extreme weather events that are only getting more common due to climate change – so our farmers can be more resilient and have a competitive edge in the global market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already announced the first round of these projects. In Athens County, we are going to begin work to improve Meeks Lake Dam and Fox Lake Dam to better protect communities from flooding. In Lancaster, they can start planning a new flood control structure at Upper Hocking, to protect local farmland.

And there’s many more projects to come. We want to make sure Ohio farmers and Ohio rural communities get their fair share of this investment.

The investments made from the bipartisan infrastructure law will support Ohio’s rural economies, and allow farmers to have more economic security and better compete around the country and the world.

Editor’s Note: The Paulding Progress welcomes opinion pieces from any elected official wanting to communicate directly with their constituents. Despite the paper reaching out to all of Paulding County’s legislative officials at both the state and federal level, Senator Brown has been the only official thus far who has submitted material for publication.