b'Moving Ag Transportation Into The 21st Centuryby Kam Quarles, NPC Executive Vice President and CEOAs we roll into the first quarter of 2020, bridges and roadways. As it impacts theNPC and our Potato D.C. Fly-In atten- ag transportation sector, highways anddees are taking our priority issues up to bridgesthatsupportheaviervehiclesCapitol Hill with the goal of creating a couldleadtolargertrucksthatmorebetterworkingenvironmentforour efficientlyhaulperishablegoodsawayindustrymembers.Onetopictaking fromfarmsandpackingshedsandtocenterstageisoursupportforregula- their customers. The industrys supporttions and policies that move ag trans- ofincreasedtruckweightsiswellport into the 21st Century.known.Largertruckswithmoreaxleswould be safer, reduce the overall num-Unfortunately, like many industries, the beroftrucksonourroadsandhigh-U.S.transportationsectoroperates ways, and allow for the faster delivery ofunder a set of rules that are sometimes goods. decades old and do not reflect modernNPCrealities.Forexample,asCongress AnotherpolicypriorityfortheFly-Inwrites a new Highway Bill this session, and beyond is the industrys support forwere reminded the bills funding mech- apermanentHoursofService(HOS)anism is based on a gas tax that hasnt exemption for ag transporters. Since theMessagebeenmodifiedinroughly20years. newHOSrecord-keepingruleswereHowever, much has changed in the last implemented, the challenges of the ag20 years in terms of vehicle usage of our transport sector have only grown morehighways.Withelectricandhybrid acute. Trucking shortages due to weath-vehiclesnowcommonplace,shouldnt er related events, challenges getting newtheHighwayBillsfundingstream driverstocomeintothesystem,andevolve to include all vehicles that use overall capacity issues have all focused aournationsroadsandhighways,not spotlight on HOS rules and some theirjustgasanddiesel-poweredvehicles? offshoot issues, including a new man-NPC and our partners believe it should datethatHOSlogsarekeptthroughand we are urging Congress to consider ElectronicLoggingDevices,orELDs,fundingstreamsthatbetterreflect which are somewhat like the black boxtodays reality.found in airplanes. Changes to how we fund the Highway That focus on HOS as it pertains to agri-Billcouldalsoleadtoadditional culturehasledsometoquestionimprovementstoournationsaging whether or not the flexibilities within12 POTATO GROWER FEBRUARY 2020'