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Biden Announces $5 Billion Investment in Rural America, Criticizes Meat Processing Consolidation

USA 03.11.2023
Source: The DairyNews
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President Joe Biden visited a family farm in Minnesota and announced a $5 billion investment in rural America, emphasizing the challenges faced by farmers due to consolidation in meat processing and retail chains.
Biden Announces $5 Billion Investment in Rural America, Criticizes Meat Processing Consolidation

Biden stated that the concentration of market power in beef, pork, and poultry among four big companies has negatively impacted farmers and led to supply chain disruptions.

The investments, drawn from the Inflation Reduction Act, the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, and reprogramming of existing funds, include $1.7 billion for supporting climate-smart agriculture practices, $1.1 billion for clean water and infrastructure, and $2 billion for economic development projects in nine states and Puerto Rico. Additionally, funds will be allocated for expanding broadband access.

The visit to Dutch Creek Farms, a hog, soybean, and corn farm, marked the first stop in Biden's two-week "barnstorming" tour, which aims to highlight investments in rural communities across 15 states. The administration officials will showcase efforts to support rural Americans and address challenges such as consolidation in the agricultural sector.

Biden emphasized the importance of rural America's prosperity for the overall well-being of the nation and highlighted the administration's commitment to improving market competition, investing in internet and rural electrification, and supporting family farms.

The visit to Minnesota also provided an opportunity for Democratic officials from the state to express their support for Biden amid a recent primary challenge by Minnesota lawmaker Dean Phillips. The administration aims to engage with rural voters and build on the Democratic gains in rural areas observed in the 2022 elections.

Critics have raised concerns about Biden's handling of foreign policy issues, including his support for Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip. Protests against Biden's Israel policy were expected during his visit.

The $5 billion investment represents a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of rural America and supporting sustainable agriculture practices, climate resilience, and economic development in these communities.

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