Aug 20, 2020
America’s farms contribute $133 billion each year to our national gross domestic product. However, an alarming 60 percent of farmers say they do not have enough connectivity to run their businesses, according to a recent soybean checkoff funded study. Through an Aug. 13 webinar hosted by Agri-Pulse and sponsored by the United Soybean Board (USB) and the American Soybean Association (ASA), USB’s Vice President of Sustainability Strategy Tim Venverloh and Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA The Rural Broadband Association led an in-depth discussion on the challenges related to rural broadband connectivity in the United States.
Venverloh provided more insights from the checkoff funded study, Rural Broadband and the American Farmer, and emphasized how the valuable precision ag technology available to farmers today, that could help them become more sustainable, may not work if they do not have consistent broadband access. Bloomfield provided more specifics behind what is causing the broadband connectivity challenges and pointed out how the current COVID-19 pandemic has placed even more emphasis on this issue as more people need to work from home and students are trying to attend classes online. She also provided details on proposed federal initiatives and NTCA’s advocacy work to establish more connectivity in rural America, and the challenges and costs faced by broadband providers who are considering expanding their networks. Click here to view the full webinar.
The webinar on rural broadband challenges was the first in a series of three educational webinars that USB and ASA are co-sponsoring with Agri-Pulse. Click here to register or view information on upcoming webinars on Trade and Market Development and Infrastructure Improvements for Shipping.