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Investing in Rural Infrastructure

We are seeing many states invest in rural development—and we are certainly seeing it right here in South Carolina. In early November, USDA Rural Development South Carolina State Director, Dr. Saundra Glover announced more than $171 million in investments across South Carolina. It’s interesting to look at the projected impact this will make in rural communities.

Perhaps the biggest impact it will make is upgrading the infrastructure in these communities including clean water and fuel and reliable electricity, but along with that it will also bring new jobs.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas.

This funding is part of the recent $5 billion announcement by President Biden leading his Administration’s Investing in Rural America Event Series. President Biden is announcing more than $5 billion in new investments from his Investing in America agenda. This includes the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to advance rural prosperity, economic development, competition, and sustainability.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s investments is said to bring new revenue to many farms, increased economic development in rural towns and communities, and more opportunity throughout the entire country.

Here in South Carolina, it is estimated that roughly of $171 million is being invested in rural infrastructure. This includes grants to create infrastructure to expand the sales and use of renewable fuels, a loan to finance the construction of 71 miles of transmission line, funding for an elevated water storage tank and a booster pump station plus position a network of waterlines throughout the densely populated eastern side of Saluda County, a grant to purchase and install a 126 kilowatt solar array, and more.

These announcements build on billions of dollars in investments the Biden-Harris Administration has already made to support rural America, including through expanding access to markets and increasing competition for farmers and producers.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA has committed $1 billion to expand independent meat and poultry processing capacity to give farmers more market options and fairer prices. USDA has also made available $900 million to spur the production of independent, American-made fertilizer, create jobs in rural America, and give farmers more options.

The goal here is to ensure rural Americans do not have to leave their hometowns to find opportunity. We are in the beginning stages of this right here in South Carolina—and it is certainly something to continue to watch in the days ahead. It’s time to invest infrastructure. Where is your hometown?

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