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$770M Boost for rural infrastructure
USAgNet - 02/22/2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a $772.6 million investment plan to revolutionize rural America's infrastructure.

Secretary Tom Vilsack and Neera Tanden announced the funding during a visit to Edgecombe County, N.C., highlighting the administration's commitment to enhancing rural quality of life. This massive injection of funds will support 216 projects across 45 states, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands, benefiting over 1 million residents.

The investments focus on delivering high-speed internet, ensuring access to clean and safe water, and upgrading infrastructure to spur economic growth in remote areas. These initiatives are part of the broader Investing in America agenda, leveraging funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to make significant strides in rural development.

Projects include expanding high-speed internet access through the Reconnect Program and the Broadband Technical Assistance Program, with specific awards helping rural and Tribal communities across 17 states. Additionally, efforts to improve rural drinking water and wastewater systems will receive a substantial portion of the funding, addressing urgent needs for clean water in underserved areas.

The announcement also covers the upcoming fifth round of ReConnect Program funding, aiming to connect more rural Americans to affordable high-speed internet. Furthermore, the Rural Partners Network will facilitate various projects to create job opportunities, enhance healthcare, and promote renewable energy in rural communities.

This comprehensive approach reflects the administration's dedication to building a more inclusive and prosperous future for rural America, emphasizing the importance of connectivity, sustainability, and economic resilience.

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