Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation says now is the time to show support for the bipartisan Broadband Data Improvement Act. The legislation would improve the accuracy of broadband coverage maps and better direct federal funds for broadband buildout. Cody Lyon, AFBF managing director of advocacy and political affairs, says the need for rural broadband is strong.
Lyon: Broadband is a critical pathway to help farmers and ranchers achieve many of the essential modern agricultural needs. Having appropriate and adequate access to broadband helps them be more efficient, helps them be more economical, helps them be more responsible to the environment, just helps them be better at their job.
Clements: Lyons says the bill would change the mapping of rural areas to more adequately show the lack of rural broadband.
Lyon: It helps with the mapping of where broadband is needed. It helps make sure that that critical infrastructure is in place to help farmers and ranchers. It’s essential to make sure rural America has access to tools that help the businesses of farming and ranching, but also helps the community of which farmers and ranchers live.
Clements: Farmers and ranchers can tell lawmakers how critical improved broadband coverage is at fb.org/advocacy.
Lyon: Farmers and ranchers can send a message to their representative by going to the fb.org website under the advocacy tab. It’s also key right now while members of Congress are back in the district that farmers and ranchers have conversations with them about the importance and need for broadband in rural areas. Members of Congress are going to listen, they want to be able to help, and this is a good issue in which members of Congress can have a key impact on rural Americans.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.