Biden launches ‘Investing in Rural America’ push with cabinet officials

Farm Machinery or combine or tractor or wheat field or harvest or farm crop or corn
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(Missouri Independent) – President Joe Biden and administration officials are launching the “Investing in Rural America” event series, beginning with a visit to a Minnesota farm on Wednesday to unveil nearly $5 billion in funding for conservation, economic development, and “climate-smart” agriculture initiatives.

As Biden prepares for his 2024 reelection bid, he has been emphasizing the administration’s economic strategies, commonly referred to as “Bidenomics,” amid the intensifying presidential campaign season. Despite this, many Americans reportedly remain skeptical about the economic outlook, as per recent polling, challenging the optimistic narrative from the White House.

Over the coming two weeks, cabinet secretaries and senior officials are set to tour the nation, with the White House detailing planned visits to Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The administration also plans to showcase significant investments in high-speed internet and renewable energy projects for rural communities.

These initiatives are supported by funds allocated through the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the 2021 American Rescue Plan—legislation that Biden cites as key achievements of his term.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack expressed enthusiasm about the upcoming events, stating on a press call on Tuesday, “This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate the importance of rural America and to reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s deep commitment to investing in improving life and opportunity in rural areas.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to allocate funding across several program areas:

  • $2 billion for 99 rural economic development projects in nine states and Puerto Rico
  • $1.7 billion for climate change mitigation and 81 conservation projects
  • $1.1 billion in over 100 loans and grants for infrastructure improvements
  • $274 million for high-speed internet expansion
  • $145 million for renewable energy projects in rural areas

Biden and Vilsack will give afternoon speeches at Dutch Creek Farms in Northfield, Minnesota. The family-owned farm specializes in growing corn and soybeans, as well as pig farming.

The owners of Dutch Creek have implemented a variety of climate-smart agricultural practices aimed at enhancing sustainability. These practices include cultivating crops that naturally capture carbon and improve soil health, adopting minimal tillage techniques to reduce soil disturbance, and establishing riparian buffers to shield local water sources from pollution, as outlined by the White House.

Later in the evening, Biden is set to attend a campaign reception in Minneapolis, per the official White House schedule.

 (Photo by Loren King on Unsplash)

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Ashley Murray

Ashley Murray covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include domestic policy and appropriations.