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EDITORIAL Investing in Our Planet – and the People of Rural New Mexico

Ernie Watson
Albuquerque, N.M.
Release Date

Investing in Our Planet – and People in Rural New Mexico

By Patricia Dominguez, USDA Rural Development State Director

Growing up in Peñasco, New Mexico I learned at an early age how important it is to take care of our Earth because we depended on the earth to grow food for ourselves and our animals. Clean water was necessary for us, our animals, and the produce we grew.

Last week people all over the globe celebrated Earth Day and brought attention to the numerous ways we can all make our world a better place.

The theme for 2023 is “Invest in Our Planet.”

In New Mexico, we were thrilled to celebrate Earth Day this year and every year. Many may not realize that investing in our planet is something that we do at USDA Rural Development every single day, while creating good jobs for rural people across the country. For us, it’s our mission to invest in our planet – and people across rural America.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda, USDA Rural Development partners with rural and Tribal people to build brighter futures in rural America – by investing in our planet while creating good jobs for generations to come. We do this critical work in many ways all around the country.  USDA is doing this work by helping to:

  1. Expand access to safe drinking water, reliable wastewater infrastructure, and clean energy for rural people everywhere.
  2. Reduce energy costs and create jobs for rural Americans through the Inflation Reduction Act.
  3. Help people make the transition to biobased products across the nation.

The success of rural America is critical to the success of the rest of the country and the world. So, when we invest in projects that create good-paying jobs and advance modern infrastructure in rural communities, we create a ripple effect that impacts everyone. This is what President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is about – to strengthen communities that for too long were left out or left behind.

For example, I traveled to Belen, New Mexico to dedicate a new water treatment facility that is now removing arsenic from the water being delivered to that community. We also broke ground for a new water well for that community that will go online later this year.

Its projects like these that we are investing in our planet, which creates jobs for rural residents, and they ensure that the resources and wealth we build in New Mexico stay right here in New Mexico.

Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, USDA Rural Development is committed to ensuring that the people who live in rural areas have every opportunity to succeed – and that they can find those opportunities right at home in places like rural New Mexico.

USDA is proud to celebrate Earth Day to show how we are investing in locally driven solutions to expand access to safe water and reliable wastewater infrastructure, renewable energy and essential services that create jobs, build critical infrastructure, and create sustainable futures for rural America. We are committed to unleashing the potential of all rural and tribal communities to build a secure and successful future for all.

For more information and to contact your local USDA Rural Development office, please go to www.rd.usda.gov To learn more about biobased products, go to www.biopreferred.gov. To learn about USDA RD’s water programs, go to https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/water-environmental-programs