Obama, Lender Create $10 Billion Fund for Rural Projects

The Obama administration and a Colorado-based farm lender are creating a $10 billion fund to help create jobs in rural areas, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

The fund, managed by Capitol Peak Asset Management, will help ease access to rural projects for pension funds, endowments, foundations, and other institutional investors, according to a statement today. CoBank, a Greenwood Village, Colorado-based co-operative bank serving rural communities, is the initial investor.

“Many major investors in urban centers aren’t always aware of the significant investment opportunities in rural communities,” Vilsack, chairman of the White House Rural Council, said in a statement. “This fund represents a new approach to our support for job-creating projects across the country.”

The fund will be unveiled at a rural opportunity conference held in Washington today that will help match potential investors and provide government expertise in rural development, part of President Barack Obama’s outreach to the business community.

Projects may be funded privately or through public-private partnerships.

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