Broadband investments in rural America remain a priority
The Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Ag Committee says investments in broadband are critical to the success of rural America. “We used to think in terms of the three R’s as in roads, railroads, and runways, and you can throw water into that,” Senator John Boozman of Arkansas tells Brownfield. “That’s how you developed an area. Now, if you don’t have broadband, though, you simply are not going to grow.”
He says there is bipartisan support for broadband infrastructure investments and while there is currently money in the pipeline for connectivity projects, it just needs to be allocated. “We’re going to do all we can in the Farm Bill,” he says. “We’re going to do all we can in every way possible to make sure that it is a priority. And very importantly, that the areas that are hard to reach are reached.”
Boozman says the investments in broadband also help farmers utilize technologies to operate more efficiently and sustainably. “Making sure that they’re using exactly the right amount of fertilizer, exactly the right amount of water,” he says. “This helps the bottom line and again it strengthens the soil and makes it such that overuse is not hurting the environment.”
Brownfield interviewed Boozman following a farm bill round table discussion at the University of Kentucky.