IFB leaders discuss supply chain issues with FMCSA

By Daniel Grant

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr, Vice President Brian Duncan and IFB staff met with leaders of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) last week.

The meeting helped IFB maintain a critical relationship with the administration and provided an opportunity to discuss ongoing supply chain issues amid the pandemic.

“It was an opportunity for us to continue an important relationship with the agency regarding the regulatory side of transportation issues,” Mark Gebhards, IFB executive director of governmental affairs and commodities, told FarmWeek.

A key issue of importance involves additions to entry level CDL driver training requirements.

“We’re already struggling with supply chain issues. We see (additional CDL training requirements) as another impediment to get more (truck) drivers,” Gebhards said. “We wanted to talk about how that will work.

“We also wanted to thank them for the flexibility they’ve had during the pandemic,” Gebhards said.

In particular, FMSCA issued an exemption from hours of service requested for livestock haulers back on March 13, 2020. The request, supported by IFB among other ag groups, provides flexibility for the well-being of livestock during hauls and helped the industry keep grocery stores stocked during COVID disruptions.

This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.