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Farm Bureau: Access To AM Radio ‘Critically Important.’

The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act (H.R. 3413), which has steadily gained support in the House and Senate, has as its principal focus America’s rural communities, where AM radio serves as a greater lifeline in weather-related and other emergencies.

In a recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting interview, the director of government affairs for the American Farm Bureau Federation — a national advocate for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities — stressed the importance of the bill and keeping AM radio in all U.S.-made automobiles.

“AM radio is important for rural America because farmers, ranchers, and rural residents rely on it as a source of weather, commodity, and national farm policy updates,” said Emily Buckman. “Access to radio is critically important for America’s producers, especially in times of emergency. For those who work mostly in the open, often miles from home, response time is critical. Members need a reliable form of communication to access critical information during those times.”

As several major car manufacturers have recently backpedaled from their initial intent to eliminate AM from all cars, Buckman notes that things are at least moving in the right direction. “Several automakers [had] announced they have removed or planned to remove broadcast AM radio receivers from EVs due to interference generated by electric batteries, [and while] Ford Motor Company even went so far as to claim they are removing AM radio from all vehicles, they later reversed that decision.”

Local communities and the politicians representing them need to do more to keep AM radio in cars, Buckman says. “If farmers and ranchers want to ensure AM radio remains available in their vehicles, I would encourage everyone to reach out to their lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate to urge support for the AM Radio in Every Vehicle Act.”

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