Clements: Farmers and ranchers need quality connections to broadband internet, but those connections are hard to find in the countryside. To the delight of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn, the Trump administration is working to improve broadband access in rural areas. Chinn met with President Trump recently and says the administration is working to make broadband more affordable, one of the biggest factors in rural America’s weak connection.
Chinn: This administration has really brought light to one of the biggest challenges that we face in rural America today, and that is access to high-speed broadband that’s affordable. If it’s there, it’s out of reach for families to be able to afford it to bring it back home to that family farm.
Clements: Chinn says cellphone coverage, which requires broadband access, is lacking in rural parts of the nation.
Chinn: Even having the access to a cellphone that works on every part of your farm is a challenge. So much information is out there for farmers today, manuals for equipment, repair parts, everything is out on the web. But, if you can’t access it to get that information, it makes your job that much harder.
Clements: She says the Trump administration is helping to connect rural Americans in her home state and across the nation.
Chinn: President Trump has done a lot through grants through the USDA to help make this a reality for more families. And so, we were able to thank him for that. The FCC Reverse Connect America Fund Auction, Missouri was the winner of $254 million of that. And so, it’s going to connect 95,000 homes. For my home state of Missouri, 60 percent of rural Missourians don’t have access to high-speed internet.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.