Rep. Spanberger, Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack Discuss Broadband Expansion With Central Virginia Farmers


Broadband internet entry is Not a luxurious — it’s a necessity that has the potential To rework rural communities and enhance financial alternatives for Virginia farms and completely different companies.

in Amelia County on June 18 for a roundtable dialogue on factors dealing with the farm financial system As a Outcome of it rebuilds from the COVID-19 disaster. They talked about commerce considperiodtions, property taxes, conservation efforts and vertical integration, with a Think about growing broadband internet infrastructure.

Vilsack and Spanberger toured Featherstone Farm in Amelia County, a grain crop and seed opperiodtion. The farm is opperiodted by Amelia County Farm Bureau members Colin and Robyn Whittington, who defined how they use newly out there broadband internet to deploy precision agriculture know-how.

Broadband joinivity permits gear like cloud-related planters, irrigators, tractors and harvesters to mechanically change software costs for seed, fertilizer and completely different inputs. This enhances sustainability by permitting farmers To use much less water, shield soil well being and plant seeds To understand optimum yield and scale again environmental influence.

President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan Is wanting for a $100 billion funding To join all People with broadband. A 2019 USDA report found the deployment of each broadband internet and precision agriculture know-how on U.S. farms might Finish in A minimal of $47 billion in new financial advantages Yearly. Biden’s infrastructure proposal Continues to be being negotiated in Congress.

“Hundreds of hundreds of rural People nonethemuch less lack entry to extreme-velocity broadband internet, and that’s why Rep. Spanberger is stopping so exhausting to safe funding For prime-velocity broadband from USDA and completely different fedperiodl businesses for her district,” Vilsack said.

Final yr she introduced $28 million in fedperiodl funding For prime-velocity broadband internet infrastructure tasks in Louisa, Orange, Goochland and Powhatan counties by way of the USDA’s Broadband ReConnect Program. Spanberger serves on the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture and chairs its conservation and forestry subcommittee.

“The previous yr and a half has been a difficult interval, particularly For A lot of of our space’s farmers and producers,” she said. “Whereas There’s a lot work forward to assist The agricultural financial system and Pay money for The subsequent period of crop and livestock producers, I am optimistic about how this second of financial restoration can create new alternatives for central Virginia farmers and producers.”