It's time to rebuild rural infrastructure

Supporting rural infrastructure providers is a critical component of how Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture. American agriculture not only feeds the world, it also creates millions of jobs for U.S. workers. Our nation's ability to produce food and fiber and transport it efficiently across the globe is crucial to our nation's competitiveness internationally. Deteriorating infrastructure threatens our ability to compete. It negatively impacts the ability of rural Americans to do their jobs. 

Rural America's future viability depends on access to basic and critical investments to transportation, energy, water, healthcare and other rural facilities to attract businesses and people. Farm Credit supports rural electric cooperatives, water and wastewater facilities, healthcare entities and rural communications providers. And the need for upgrading and expanding these vital services is staggering. 

Past initiatives often focused on urban and suburban areas while not adequately addressing the unique structural needs of rural areas. Rural communities have seen their infrastructure deteriorate, jeopardizing their jobs, their families' health and well-being and their competitiveness in both agricultural and other industries important to rural America. 

Rural communities play an important role in our nation’s economy. They are home to a majority of U.S. manufacturing and our agricultural production. American agriculture provides the food and fiber for our country and the world, creating jobs for millions of Americans. Our farmers and ranchers are the most efficient producers in the world. The supply chain enabling that efficiency has kept food stocked at grocery stores and markets across the country. But the ability to meet these demands depends on robust and reliable transportation infrastructure including roads, inland waterways, ports, and railways and support for the local people and institutions that will ensure this infrastructure is able to meet 21st Century realities. Deteriorating rural infrastructure, however, threatens the competitive leadership of American agriculture.

To advocate for rural infrastructure, Farm Credit helped establish the Rebuild Rural Coalition. This group of more than 250 local, state and national organizations from across the country that collectively represent U.S. agricultural producers, cooperatives, rural businesses, rural communities and rural families. We live and work every day in rural America and deeply understand the realities these communities face in order to remain prosperous and vibrant. We also understand that rural communities’ needs are unique, oftentimes differing greatly from the realities of our urban counterparts, such as geographic isolation, low-population density, limited institutional capacity and, in some regions, persistent poverty. Rebuild Rural advocates for meaningful investments for rural America and understands that rural America’s infrastructure needs are fundamentally different.

Specifically, we believe it is critical to ensure that our rural communities have access to: clean and safe drinking water and wastewater facilities, secure and dependable surface transportation, reliable and affordable power, healthcare, housing, and broadband and research institutions with state-of-the-art facilities, in order to thrive and attract future generations.

Learn more about our involvement in advocating for policies and programs that help rebuild rural American infrastructure. And watch the video below to learn more about Farm Credit's commitment to rebuilding rural America's infrastructure.