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President Biden Announces Over $5 Billion to Support Rural Communities During Investing in Rural America Event Series

David Rush
Hilo, Hawaii
Release Date

USDA to Provide Over $77 Million for Hawaii/Western Pacific  

HILO, HAWAII November 8, 2023 Over the next two weeks, President Biden, Cabinet members, and Senior Administration Officials are barnstorming across the country as part of the Investing in Rural America Event Series to highlight how the Biden-Harris Administration’s investments are bringing new revenue to farms, increased economic development in rural towns and communities, and more opportunity throughout the country.

During the visit, President Biden will announce over $5 billion in new investments from his Investing in America agenda – including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act – to advance rural prosperity, economic development, competition, and sustainability. President Biden will also discuss how Bidenomics and his Investing in America agenda are ensuring rural Americans do not have to leave their hometowns to find opportunity.

Rural Development State Director for Hawaii and the Western Pacific Chris Kanazawa stated, “With the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments in rural communities, the rural economies of Hawaii and the Western Pacific are benefiting from building from the bottom-up and the middle-out.  Rural Development has invested in climate-smart agriculture, creating better and fairer markets, economic development, and rebuilding infrastructure in our local communities.”

The Hawaii Rural Development new investments include:

Climate-Smart Agriculture:

  • Waianae Community Re-development Corp. dba MA’O Farms - $896,000 grant with joint funding with EDA for a new packing facility for vocational training. 
  • Malama Kauai - $492,000 grant to support food hub project.

Rural America Infrastructure:

  • Pat’s at Punaluu - $2 million Water and Environmental Program (WEP) funding will be used to replace the wastewater treatment system at Pat's at Punalu'u, a residential 160-unit condominium community in Hau'ula on the northeast coast of Oahu.
  •  AOAO Poamoho Camp - $125,000 Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) grant is for the Association of Poamoho Camp that owns and operates a privately owned Public Consecutive Water System Pipeline from Alii Turf to Poamoho Camp which is the original water pipeline from the 1900's. 
  • AOAO Ono Vista - $498,000 WEP funding is for Ono Vista is a residential community situated in Waialua on the north coast of the island of Oahu. The Association of Apartment Owners is proposing to rehabilitate the residential community's aged wastewater effluent disposal system.
  • Kawaihae Village Association - $1,059,000 WEP loan and grant combination to fund a sewage treatment plant for the Association.
  • Majuro Water and Sewer Corp. - $10.8 million WEP grant for replacement of the Delp sewage outfall system.

Critical Rural High Speed Internet Infrastructure:

  • National Telecommunications Authority - $25 million investment to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises and fixed wireless network to provide high-speed internet in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
  • Palau National Communications Corporation is receiving $34,991,340 to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 7,855 households and three educational facilities to high-speed internet in Angaur, Babeldaob, Kayangel, Koro, Meyuns and Peleliu in Palau. Palau National Communications Corporation will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs. This project will serve socially vulnerable communities in Palau.

Renewable Energy and Lower Energy Cost for Rural Americans:

  • Hawaiian Island Trading Company, dba Kona Sea Salt Farm and Sea Salts of Hawaii - $70,987 REAP grant to purchase and install a 46.1 kWh photovoltaic energy system to produce 97% of their energy needs.
  • Hawi Renewable Development, LLC - $1 million REAP grant to retrofit 16 660 kW Vesta wind turbines at their wind power generation facility in Hawi, Hawaii.
  • Frontier Guam Corporation, dba JK Tile - $162,000 REAP grant to purchase and install a 128.76 kW photovoltaic solar system that will generate 105% of their energy needs.

Rural Development State Director for Hawaii and the Western Pacific Chris Kanazawa stated, “With the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments in rural communities, the rural economies of Hawaii and the Western Pacific are benefiting from building from the bottom-up and the middle-out.  Rural Development has invested in climate-smart agriculture, creating better and fairer markets, economic development, and rebuilding infrastructure in our local communities.”

To lead the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in Rural America Event Series, President Biden will announce over $5 billion in new investments in rural America, including:

$1.7 Billion in Investments in Climate-Smart Agriculture: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing nearly $1.7 billion in funding to support the adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices, which have direct climate mitigation benefits, advance a host of other environmental co-benefits, and offer farmers, ranchers and foresters new revenue streams. Dutch Creek Farms, where President Biden will visit today, is a family farm that grows corn and soybeans and raises hogs. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Dutch Creek Farms has used several climate-smart agriculture techniques to make their farm more sustainable, including growing crops that naturally sequester carbon and improve soil quality, farming in a way that limits soil disturbance, and creating riparian buffers to protect nearby waterways from pollutants.

The funding President Biden will announce includes an unprecedented $1.1 billion investment across 81 projects through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which takes a voluntary approach to expand the reach of conservation efforts and climate-smart agriculture through public-private partnerships.

The announcement also includes fiscal year 2023 investments from the Inflation Reduction Act that are helping farmers adopt climate-smart agriculture practices. Through the Inflation Reduction Act, USDA has enrolled more farmers and more acres in voluntary conservation programs than at any point in history, following a backlog that has existed for years. In 2023, USDA enrolled nearly 5,300 additional producers in conservation programs across all 50 states (above what otherwise would have been possible through Farm Bill and appropriations funding), which will provide significant climate mitigation benefits. Today’s announcement includes:

  • $100 million through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
  • $250 million through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and
  • $250 million through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

$1.1 Billion in Investments in Rural American Infrastructure: USDA is announcing $1.1 billion across 104 loan and grant awards to upgrade infrastructure in rural communities that will bring new jobs, clean water and fuel, and reliable electricity to people in nearly every state. This funding includes $5 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to further increase the availability of renewable, homegrown biofuels. The announcement is part of President Biden’s Investing in America efforts to rebuild the physical infrastructure of our country to grow the economy for decades to come, create good-paying jobs, and better position rural America to compete in a global economy.

$2 Billion in Investments to Partner with Rural Communities to Create Jobs and Support Rural-led Economic Development: USDA is announcing $2 billion across 99 economic development projects in Rural Partners Network (RPN) communities in nine states and Puerto Rico – funding that will create jobs and build infrastructure as well as increase access to quality health care, affordable housing, and clean water and energy. RPN is transforming the way the federal government partners with rural communities by putting federal employees on the ground to help rural communities access federal resources. Last year, the Biden-Harris Administration launched Rural.gov to help connect all rural communities to federal resources. Today, the Administration is announcing it is piloting a new resource clearinghouse function on Rural.gov with funding opportunities for rural communities to facilitate access to federal programs.

$274 Million to Expand Critical Rural High-Speed Internet Infrastructure: USDA is announcing nearly $274 million across 16 grant and loan awards to expand access to high-speed internet for people living and working across eight states. These investments include $260 million as part of the fourth round of the ReConnect Program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provided a total of $65 billion to ensure every American has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.

In total, the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $90 billion to deliver affordable high-speed internet to everyone in America, including in rural communities that often lack access to high-speed internet.

$145 Million to Expand Access to Renewable Energy and Lower Energy Costs for Rural Americans: USDA is announcing $145 million in funding for 700 loan and grant awards through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to help agricultural producers and rural small business owners make energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy investments to lower energy costs, generate new income, and strengthen the resiliency of their operations. This funding is made possible in part by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act – the nation’s largest-ever investment in combatting the climate crisis.

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, and reduce reliance on a small handful of large meat and poultry corporations.

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. These investments were funded in part by the President’s American Rescue Plan and USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation.

To learn more about the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments in rural America, visit the Fact Sheet.


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