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Railroads and the Food Industry
Happy New Year! I’ve promised myself and our marketing department that 2012 will a year of blogging. And that the blogging will reflect much more of my focus on the food industry generally, and not a bunch of legalese or lawyer tales. So, with that, I wanted to share my thoughts on a presentation I heard while attending the December Michigan Agriculture Commission meeting.
Jim Byrum, the President of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, discussed the importance of Michigan’s rail infrastructure to our the growth of our food industry. His presentation can be found here. The insights he provided were best illustrated through a case study of the Thumb area (Huron, Tuscola, and Sanilac counties). According to his presentation, the loss of rail in the Thumb would results in approximately 9,200 more trucks on the road hauling wheat, 46,000 more trucks hauling soybeans, 3,700 more trucks hauling dry beans, and 160,000 more trucks hauling corn. I’m not against our trucking industry, but I’m not sure there are enough trucks or roads to withstand those sorts of demands.
Rail infrastructure is an interesting read and a topic not typically thought about – until you realize that the loss of it would put us at a significant competitive disadvantage.