U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director Frank Frassetto announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $1.4 billion in projects in 21 states to build and improve rural electric infrastructure.
"Modern and reliable electric infrastructure is a cornerstone to rural prosperity,” Frassetto said. “The funding USDA is providing is essential to rural Wisconsin and reflects our commitment to invest in critical infrastructure needs in rural communities. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is providing financing through the Electric Loan Program. It will help build and improve 6,886 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. The loans include $255.8 million for investments in smart grid infrastructure that uses digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.
In Wisconsin, Jump River Electric Cooperative is receiving a $11 million loan to connect 461 customers and build and improve 133 miles of distribution line to enhance system resilience and reliability. This loan includes nearly $1.5 million for smart grid technologies. Jump River is headquartered in Ladysmith and serves more than 9,000 members with over 1,769 miles of energized line.
USDA announced investments today in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs 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 areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wi.