President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to announce legislation Wednesday aimed at boosting rural, farm-focused jobs in the agriculture industry.
The plan is expected by the Agriculture Department to address “economic opportunity” issues and rural jobs, according to a report from The Associated Press.
Trump’s farm-heavy agenda was a top priority for rural areas during his 2016 campaign, which included building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to curb illegal immigration and building a border wall to keep out illegal immigrants.
In December, the Trump administration unveiled a $1.6 trillion plan to boost rural jobs in its 2018 farm bill, including $200 billion in job creation from agricultural programs.
That bill passed the House and Senate in April, but stalled in the Senate due to a lack of support from rural Democrats.
That failed to placate rural Democrats, who argued that the plan did not go far enough to address their concerns.
In April, Trump signed an executive order creating the Rural Jobs Coalition, which has been pushing for rural jobs for decades.
“We have a responsibility to help grow our rural economy, and this is a way for us to do that,” Farm Bureau President and CEO Mike Johnson said in April.
“There are millions of jobs in rural America that would be lost if our rural communities were not growing.
That’s a concern of mine.”
The Rural Jobs coalition has also pushed for more funding for research, infrastructure, and workforce training.
The Trump administration also announced Wednesday that it will boost the maximum number of federal farm-related research grants from $10 million to $25 million.
The Department of Agriculture said the move would allow the agency to fund research programs that address “unmet rural need.”
“Farmers and rural Americans are working together to address the challenges that rural communities face in terms of food security, rural health, and rural economic development,” the Agriculture Secretary said in a statement.
“The Rural Jobs Council, led by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, has worked tirelessly over the last two years to help address these challenges, and today we are proud to announce this $25M grant.
This $25 Million grant will help support research, support and technical assistance for rural food security programs, such as the Rural Food Bank, to promote economic opportunity in rural communities.”