USDA Invests Over $770 Million In Rural Infrastructure

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News in brief:
– The Biden-Harris Administration has allocated $772.6 million for 216 rural infrastructure projects across 45 states, focusing on high-speed internet, clean water, and economic growth.
– These investments aim to benefit over 1 million people in remote areas, bridging connectivity gaps and stimulating development in underserved rural communities nationwide.

The United States government has earmarked a substantial $772.6 million for 216 projects across 45 states, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands. This investment, announced by the USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden, aims to revitalise remote communities, enhance connectivity, and stimulate economic growth, aligning with President Biden’s overarching agenda of Investing in America.

The funding injection targets over 1 million individuals residing in remote regions, promising access to high-speed internet, clean water, and modernized infrastructure. These vital provisions not only enhance daily living standards but also extend crucial support to rural families, agricultural producers, and small businesses.

A significant portion of the investment, totaling $51.7 million, is allocated to expanding high-speed internet access through initiatives like the Reconnect Program and the Broadband Technical Assistance Program. These efforts, spanning 17 states, aim to bridge the digital divide and promote connectivity in underserved areas.

The impact of these initiatives is palpable on a local level. For instance, in Michigan’s Muskegon County, Merit Network Inc. is set to receive nearly $1 million to spearhead internet expansion across multiple communities. Similarly, HarvestBeam Inc. in North Carolina’s Pitt County will utilize a $199,000 award to bolster connectivity in 13 localities.

Beyond internet expansion, the investment extends to various sectors, including rural energy, healthcare, and infrastructure development. Projects like Northampton County’s courthouse expansion in North Carolina and Brunetti’s Italian Bakery’s solar array installation in Wayne County, West Virginia, exemplify the breadth of the initiative.

In a bid to sustain momentum, Secretary Vilsack announced the commencement of applications for the fifth round of funding under the ReConnect Program. These ongoing efforts underscore a commitment to bridging infrastructure gaps and fostering equitable development in rural America.

Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Gift Ohabughiro has a background in English and Literary Studies from Imo State University. She brings a fresh perspective to the world of agriculture writing. When she's not penning compelling content, she's likely lost in the pages of a thrilling mystery or treating herself to the sinful delight of chocolate.


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