Overview
American agriculture feeds the world, creates millions of jobs and help keep our economy strong. Our international competitiveness depends on our ability to produce our products, and get them to market. This means we need the right infrastructure in our rural communities. 

 

Background
Infrastructure – such as reliable rural broadband connections, competitive agricultural research facilities, and reliable highways, bridges, railways, locks and dams, harbors and port facilities – is critical to agriculture. Unfortunately, investment in rural communities and overall infrastructure has not always kept pace with need, especially as previous infrastructure spending and stimulus packages have left rural America in the dust.

 

Farm Bureau is part of a coalition called Rebuild Rural, which is a group of more than 220 organizations from across the country representing agricultural producers, cooperatives, rural businesses, rural communities and rural families. As part of the joint effort, we are working to elevate infrastructure issues impacting rural communities and are calling on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, especially those that would address some of the unique needs facing rural communities and agriculture.


Rural Broadband
Expanding broadband services to rural areas has been a chief concern of Farm Bureau. High-speed internet access allows individuals to reach health care and educational services, government agencies, and new business opportunities. In agriculture, for example, many of the latest, yield-maximizing farming techniques require broadband connections for data collection and analysis performed both on the farm and in remote data centers. Precision agriculture allows farmers to be more efficient, economical and environmentally friendly, but not all farmers who want to use precision tools have access to reliable broadband.


In Pennsylvania, roughly 18 percent of rural Pennsylvanians lack access to internet service, or only have low-speed options. Comparatively, only two percent of urban populations have similar connectivity issues. Nationwide, according to the FCC, 39 percent of rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps service, compared to only four percent of urban Americans. Nationwide, 29 percent of U.S. farms have no access to the internet according to USDA.


Legislative Request
Farm Bureau asks Congress to support:

  • Bipartisan legislation to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, and include solutions that would help address the challenges facing rural communities and agriculture.

  • Legislation and efforts which would focus on 1) improving rural access to modern, affordable broadband services, and 2) utilizing a combination of tax incentives, grants and/or regulation to increase the use of broadband access in rural areas.

  • Improvements to availability data for broadband, including a Congressional directive to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to augment the national broadband map with additional information and broadband availability gathered by states and third parties.


Infrastructure

Overview

American agriculture feeds the world, creates millions of jobs and help keep our economy strong. Our international competitiveness depends on our ability to produce our products, and get them to market. This means we need the right infrastructure in our rural communities.

Background

Infrastructure – such as reliable rural broadband connections, competitive agricultural research facilities, and reliable highways, bridges, railways, locks and dams, harbors and port facilities – is critical to agriculture. Unfortunately, investment in rural communities and overall infrastructure has not always kept pace with need, especially as previous infrastructure spending and stimulus packages have left rural America in the dust.

Farm Bureau is part of a coalition called Rebuild Rural, which is a group of more than 220 organizations from across the country representing agricultural producers, cooperatives, rural businesses, rural communities and rural families. As part of the joint effort, we are working to elevate infrastructure issues impacting rural communities and are calling on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, especially those that would address some of the unique needs facing rural communities and agriculture.

Rural Broadband

Expanding broadband services to rural areas has been a chief concern of Farm Bureau. High-speed internet access allows individuals to reach health care and educational services, government agencies, and new business opportunities. In agriculture, for example, many of the latest, yield-maximizing farming techniques require broadband connections for data collection and analysis performed both on the farm and in remote data centers. Precision agriculture allows farmers to be more efficient, economical and environmentally friendly, but not all farmers who want to use precision tools have access to reliable broadband.

In Pennsylvania, roughly 18 percent of rural Pennsylvanians lack access to internet service, or only have low-speed options. Comparatively, only two percent of urban populations have similar connectivity issues. Nationwide, according to the FCC, 39 percent of rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps service, compared to only four percent of urban Americans. Nationwide, 29 percent of U.S. farms have no access to the internet according to USDA.

Legislative Request

Farm Bureau asks Congress to support:

·        Bipartisan legislation to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, and include solutions that would help address the challenges facing rural communities and agriculture.

·        Legislation and efforts which would focus on 1) improving rural access to modern, affordable broadband services, and 2) utilizing a combination of tax incentives, grants and/or regulation to increase the use of broadband access in rural areas.

·        Improvements to availability data for broadband, including a Congressional directive to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to augment the national broadband map with additional information and broadband availability gathered by states and third parties.

Contact: Kristina Watson, Director, Federal Government Affairs, 717.731.3585, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.