WASHINGTON – In a story July 24 about a new rural investment fund announced by the White House, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Colorado-based CoBank is donating $10 billion to a fund for rural investment projects. The bank is making the money available for loans.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Farm bank commits $10B in loans for rural projects
Farm bank commits $10B in loans for rural infrastructure projects, hopes to spur private investors
A bank that serves farmers and agribusiness is making $10 billion in capital available to spur private investment in rural America.
The White House was announcing the loan money Thursday as part of a rural conference it is holding this week. Colorado-based CoBank is part of a network of banks that provides financing to agribusiness and rural areas.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he hopes private investors will follow with additional dollars for the fund, which will be managed by private partners. The Agriculture Department will help identify needed projects such as rural health care and educational facilities, water and wastewater systems, energy projects, and broadband improvements.
Vilsack has made revitalizing rural America a priority as small towns have been losing population and political clout in recent years. He said leveraging private money is a new approach.
“USDA and other agencies invest in infrastructure through a variety of federal initiatives, but our resources are finite,” Vilsack said, adding that there was a backlog of projects in many parts of the economy.