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President Committed To Rural Investment in Washington State

Philip Eggman
Release Date

During the 2023 State of the Union address, President Biden mentioned how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to rebuild our economy and rural communities, minimize impacts of climate change, create good-paying jobs for American workers, and invest in our families. I want to share how this is happening through USDA Rural Development in Washington State, beginning with expanding opportunities for working families. We are committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, creating jobs, building the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.

Climate change is happening, and Washington’s rural communities are on the frontlines, facing threats such as wildfires and flooding. USDA is leading the way through climate-smart solutions that will improve the profitability and resilience of producers and foresters, open new market opportunities, and build wealth for generations to come. In Washington State, USDA Rural Development invested more than $57.94 million just last year to increase renewable energy production, and decrease utility bills for families and small businesses.

During the pandemic, we realized how vulnerable our food supply had become. As part of the Biden Administration’s Food System Transformation, USDA is renovating the nation’s food system creating a more diverse, and resilient meat and poultry supply chain. These broad actions touch food production, processing, aggregation, and distribution to consumers. For instance, here in Washington, USDA Rural Development supported local growers and processors by investing over $1 million under the new Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program and our Value Added Producer Grant Program to help rural businesses expand their operations, create new jobs and opportunities for people in Washington State. 

Finally, USDA Rural Development invested over $190.4 million last year to build or improve local health care facilities, fire, rescue and public safety access in rural areas across our state. Additionally, we invested $7.3 million through the American Rescue Plan’s Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to strengthen the safety net for nearly 200,000 people in rural Washington by supporting nine rural hospitals, several health care clinics and food banks across Washington State.

USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small said it best: “By championing the vision of rural leaders, we help drive the kind of economic security, innovation and prosperity that impacts our entire nation.” This exemplifies President Biden’s goal to rebuild infrastructure of our country, grow the economy, create good-paying jobs, and better position rural America to compete in a global economy.

Here in Washington State, USDA remains committed to supporting opportunities for rural people to build brighter futures, because we know when rural people thrive, America  thrives.

By Helen Price JohnsonWashington State Director, USDA Rural Development