Industry leaders, Congress and the Administration agree on the need to improve the nation’s infrastructure. What federal funding might be designated, or specific projects that might be completed, remain unknown. Many individuals and organizations are working to ensure that the needs of rural America are not overlooked. A major hurdle is defining how federal and state policy makers, as well as private-sector leaders, begin to address such a massive undertaking. Challenges include:
- Determining categories of infrastructure to be considered–water and sewer systems, roads, bridges, waterways, rails, broadband, utilities.
- Parameters to assess the needs within and across categories to assure public safety, economic returns, environmental health and national security.
- Financing options, including public funding, private funding or a combination of both.
Farm Foundation works with public and private decision makers to assess the economic returns of investments in agriculture and rural infrastructure. This requires identifying what is known about the economic returns of infrastructure improvements, determining gaps in the knowledge base, developing informative analyses and assessing how public and private decision makers can use this information in future investment decision making.