Grassley Warns That Connecting Broadband To Infrastructure Bill is “Risky”

Congressional Democrats are connecting Ag infrastructure issues, such as broadband, to the very larg, and politically risky, Biden infrastructure effort. House Ag Chair David Scott recently called his panel into session to vote out a $50 billion broadband bill, which is expected to become part of the trillion-dollar-plus Biden infrastructure deal with some Republicans. But […]

Interagency Agreement to Coordinate Broadband Funding Deployment

Late last week, the Department of Agriculture and other Federal Agencies announced an interagency agreement to coordinate the distribution of broadband deployment funds. USDA, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration signed the agreement. Each federal agency partner agrees to share information about existing or planned projects that receive funding from […]

Brown Calls On Lawmakers To Provide More Funding To Expand Broadband Access

Last week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown went before the Joint Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development, urging lawmakers to support her call for investments to expand broadband access statewide. Brown has proposed an $118 million investment, with a focus on providing broadband access to underserved communities that, she says, have been disproportionately impacted during the […]

Robinson: Many Americans Lack Needed On-line Skills

The push is on to get every business and home in rural America connected to the Internet with high speed broadband. However, according to Vickie Robinson, General Manager of Microsoft’s Global Airband Initiative, connectivity alone is not enough to bring people online. She recently told House Ag leaders, for many people, impediments to be able to […]

Several Ag Related Projects Included In Washington Capital Budget

Over the weekend, Washington lawmakers approved a two-year state capital budget, House Bill 1080. Several farm focused projects across the state will get funding in the upcoming biennium, including: $4.2 million for Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District $300,000 for the Selah-Moxee Irrigation District $235,000 for the Yakima Valley Fair in Grandview $5 Million in Funding for […]

Work Continues To Map Broadband Needs

Estimates vary on what it will cost to bring high speed Internet access to every home in rural America. Vickie Robinson with Microsoft Global Airband Initiative, recently told a House Ag Committee it could cost between $60-$80 billion to fill the many gaps that exist in broadband service. “I submit, however, that it’s hard to […]

Schrier: Broadband Is Vital For Rural Washington

On Tuesday, Washington Representative Kim Schrier participated in a House Ag Committee hearing focused on rural broadband. Lawmakers focused not only on internet connectivity needs, but also opportunities that exist in rural America. Schrier said a lack of broadband access in rural Washington holds the farming community back in a variety of ways. “Limited rural […]

FCC Looks to Consumers to Find Broadband Gaps

The Federal Communications Commission wants consumers to test broadband speeds to help find broadband gaps. As part of the Commission’s Broadband Data Collection effort, the FCC is encouraging the public to download the FCC’s Speed Test app, which is currently used to collect speed test data as part of the FCC’s Measuring Broadband America program. […]

Vilsack: Rural America Will Benefit from American Rescue Plan

Last week, Congress approved the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, in an effort to help the American economy move past the pandemic. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was excited when President Biden signed the Plan into law. He recently pointed out that the farming community will benefit in a variety of ways. “That plan also provides […]

Baldwin Lays Out Ag Appropriation Priorities

Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin will serve as the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture during this Congress. She said one of her top goals is helping the farming community recover from COVID-19. “There were a lot of underlying challenges to dairy and agriculture prior to the pandemic but the pandemic, as we know, wreaks […]