Unfortunately, the infrastructure that supports agriculture, especially in rural areas, has experienced extreme wear and tear, and the available maintenance budget is shrinking.
Chris Scheffner of CoBank discusses how the perception of rural infrastructure has expanded in recent years, especially for investors, to more than just a transportation perspective.
Agriculture companies and industry associations are committed to finding innovative solutions for infrastructure development and funding.
We look for different ways to finance projects, engaging the government and working with private parties who have the need for fixed returns," explains Andrew Jacob, CoBank's chief regulatory, legislative, and compliance officer. "There are challenges, but there are a lot of opportunities in that intersection of working with the USDA on a colending opportunity or bringing in an external investor.
Dedicating state and federal dollars to infrastructure will remain a key part of the funding puzzle. This means that elected officials need to understand the importance of infrastructure to agriculture, rural communities, and the country.