WASHINGTON, January 9, 2020 – The lack of broadband access remains a significant obstacle for farmers seeking to use digital technology to grow their agricultural operations, witnesses told a Small Business subcommittee hearing on Thursday.
In the shift to engage with the digital age, farmers without broadband are left behind, said subcommittee Chairman Jason Crow, D-Colorado.
David Potere, president of Geo Innovation and Indigo Agriculture, said that no sector has a higher percentage of small business ventures than agriculture. Unfortunately, the lack of broadband access greatly affects farmers’ ability to engage with innovative agriculture technology.
Rep. Troy Balderson, R-Ohio, asked how broadband access affects technology for rural farmers. Potere said that lack of broadband means his company, Indigo, has to build apps resilient against the lack of internet access. However, this approach has limitations.
Roberto Meza, a co-founder of Emerald Gardens, brought his microgreen farming experience. He said Emerald Gardens communicates with buyers and the community through broadband. But Meza also uses broadband to run technology that sensors and alleviates energy waste.
Kevin France, president of SWIIM System, said that because broadband costs money, sometimes farmers go without it. He often works in areas that do not have broadband access.
Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Oklahoma, asked what Congress can do to improve the regulatory environment to facilitate small-business growth. Meza emphasized the need for direct, on-the-ground collaboration with actual farmers.
Douglas Jackson-Smith, a professor at Ohio State University, suggested balancing regulations that incentivizes broadband and a recognition that some barriers prevent the deployment of innovative technology, such as genetic engineering.
Additional examples of agriculture technology include sensors and precision farming data, tracking products, innovative machinery, and food safety technology.
Meza expressed excitement at his community’s desire to consume locally grown food. Asked by Crow to identify barriers for young people to farm, Meza said access to capital a challenge. Specifically, student loans have been a factor in preventing progression.
- At State of the Net Event, Government Officials Stress Importance of 5G Win for Democracy
- FCC Approves Radio Frequency Traffic Cops, Including Google and Sony, Bringing Commerce to 3.5 GHz Spectrum
- Broadband Roundup: Britain and Huawei, EPIC Fights Against Facial Recognition, E-Rate Fiber
- Panelists Debate Federal Role in Digital Privacy, But Agree Upon Need to Minimize Algorithmic Bias
- FCC ‘Coloring Outside the Lines’ on Broadband Mapping, Say Critics at Next Century Cities Event
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Broadband Data8 months ago
Pennsylvania Broadband Speeds Worse Than Previously Believed, According to State Report
Broadband Data7 months ago
California Report: Income Most Significant Factor in Low Broadband Adoption
Intellectual Property6 months ago
In Congressional Oversight Hearing, Register of Copyrights Says Office Is Responding to Online Users
Privacy and Security5 months ago
Comparing Privacy Policies for Wearable Fitness Trackers: Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi and Under Armour
FCC10 years ago
Telecom Companies Are Using Fight Interrupting Oscar Ceremony Broadcast To Manipulate Public and FCC, Argue Broadcasters
Antitrust5 months ago
Addressing the Impact of Big Data Upon Antitrust is More Complicated Than a Big Tech Breakup
Expert Opinion6 months ago
Geoff Mulligan: A ‘Dumb’ Way to Build Smart Cities
Broadband's Impact10 years ago
Make No Mistake: Internet Content Subscription Models will come!