Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is headed to central New York to promote the government's new Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund.
Vilsack and Colorado-based Co-Bank CEO Bob Engel will meet Wednesday with leaders in Bridgeport, New York, to discuss the $10 billion private sector fund announced last week by the White House. They'll discuss how this fund can promote local infrastructure upgrades.
The Agriculture Department will help identify needed projects, such as rural health care and educational facilities and wastewater systems.
Vilsack says he hopes private investors will follow with additional dollars for the fund, which will be managed by private partners.
The secretary has made revitalizing rural America a priority as small towns have lost people and political clout in recent years. He says leveraging private money is a new approach.