White House Rural Council announces $10 billion dollar investment fund for rural economic development

At the recent Rural Opportunity Investment Conference (ROI), the White House Rural Council announced a $10 billion dollar investment fund to promote rural economic development.

This fund will continue to grow the rural economy by increasing access to capital for rural infrastructure projects and speeding up the process of rural infrastructure improvements. The fund is immediately open for business and more investors can now add to the initial $10 billion in available capital.

“This fund represents a new approach to our support for job-creating projects across the country,” said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary and Chair of the White House Rural Council. “USDA and other agencies invest in infrastructure through a variety of federal initiatives, but our resources are finite and there are backlogs of projects in many parts of the economy. We know where investment opportunities exist, so we are in a position to help promote these projects among investors. With new efforts like this we can move beyond existing programs and help encourage substantial private investment in projects that grow the economy and improve quality of life for millions of Americans.”

The U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund represents a new approach to catalyzing private investment in infrastructure projects in rural America.

CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving rural America and a member of the Farm Credit System, is the fund’s anchor investor, committing $10 billion to get the fund off the ground. Capitol Peak Asset Management will manage the new fund and work to recruit more investors to add to CoBank’s initial commitment.

The Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund will allow America’s rural economy to continue its forward momentum by enhancing access to capital for rural infrastructure projects and speeding up the process of rural infrastructure improvements. The fund is immediately open for business and more investors can now add to the initial $10 billion in available capital.

The new fund will allow a wide variety of new participants, including pension funds, endowments, foundations, and other institutional investors that have not traditionally had access to these markets to invest in rural development. In some cases, projects may be funded entirely through private sector dollars. In others, private dollars may be leveraged with and extend critical government loan and grant programs.  USDA and other agencies will help to identify rural projects in need of financing through the new fund and through other such private sources and public-private partnerships.

Target investments will include rural community facilities (especially health care and educational facilities), rural water and wastewater systems, rural energy projects, rural broadband expansion efforts, local and regional food systems, and other rural infrastructure.

More information on this and other related initiatives is available here.

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