Sam Graves-Giving Voice to River Issues

April 09, 2024

Dear Friend,

Across North Missouri, our rivers impact much of our lives and livelihoods. They not only affect our ability to farm and live, but also our ability to get our goods to market and feed the world.

I was honored to speak with the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City last week to discuss ag and transportation policy and how it affects everything in our lives, including what happens along our rivers. It was also good to celebrate their 20th Anniversary as I’ve enjoyed working with their organization and members since the beginning. The ag businesses and farms they each individually represent have a huge impact on our economy, both in the Kansas City area and throughout Missouri.


In that part of North Missouri, it’s the Missouri River that looms large. We’ve got some dedicated folks who not only farm or work along the river, but also take time to influence the policies that govern what we do with it.

The Water Resources Development Act, which dictates how our inland waterways are managed, is currently being written in the Transportation Committee. As Chair of the Committee, it’s important to me that I hear directly from the folks who are most affected by what happens along our rivers.

That’s why I also held a listening session in Riverside with many of our Missouri River stakeholders. From farmers to port managers, to cities, counties and levee districts, these are the folks who are constantly thinking about the impacts of what happens or doesn’t happen along the river. That’s because they have to deal with the effects of it day in and day out.

Images of damaging flooding are constant reminders of the power of the river. That’s why our levees and flood control policies are always top of mind. We want those images to be far and few between. We want our fields, houses and businesses dry and unharmed.

Our rivers are so much more though. Our ports play a direct role in getting goods to market, as does a properly maintained navigation channel. There are innovative things happening along the river and that doesn’t get done without motivated people who recognize the power of water and harnessing it for good.

Ultimately, great conversations were had, and those ideas and feedback will go directly into the WRDA bill. I appreciate having such engaged and knowledgeable folks who will take the time to lend their voice to the process. It’s critical to putting together a bipartisan bill and I look forward to getting it done later this year.


Sam Graves