Nov. 1 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden pledged more than $5 billion to sparsely populated areas of the United States on Wednesday to support new climate-smart agricultural techniques, infrastructure upgrades, high-speed internet and new jobs.
Biden, with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, announced the new initiative in Minnesota as part of his administration's two-week campaign across rural America. Some of the spending includes:
$1.7 billion to help farmers, ranchers and foresters develop new revenue streams with climate-smart agricultural techniques, including growing crops that naturally sequester carbon and improve soil quality, farming in a way that limits soil disturbance and creating riparian buffers to protect nearby waterways from pollutants.
$1.1 billion in loans and grants to upgrade infrastructure in rural communities to bring clean water and fuel and reliable electricity
$2 billion across 99 economic development projects to create jobs, increase access to affordable healthcare and housing and clean water and energy
$247 million to expand access to high-speed internet
$145 million to fund 700 loans and grants to help small businesses make energy-efficient improvements to their operations
During his speech, Biden said providing funding to rural America drives growth nationwide.
"When rural America does well, when Indian country does well, we all do well," he said.