A farm is an area of land where animals (like cattle) and crops are raised to be used as food. People who own or operate farms are called farmers.
Getting started as a farmer requires a lot of work. It also involves a large investment of money to grow your business.
That’s one of the many bills that could be rolled together into the approximately $1.4 trillion omnibus Farm Bill.
That money will fund and set guidelines around federal subsidies for causes ranging from rural energy, crop insurance and, above all, nutrition.
Read more from The Hill’s special coverage on the future of broadband here.
Since 2018, high-speed internet — once seen as a luxury — has been discussed in the same vital terms as issues like disaster funding for drought.
The Farm Bill package passed in that year included funding for the Reconnect program, which subsidizes broadband providers to bring high-speed internet to rural areas that lack it.
a 2022 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) moved the target up to 25 Mbps download and 3 MBs upload.
in a 2021 report.
requires broadband, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) told Morning Ag Clips in April.
Warnock that month introduced a bill with Thune — the Promoting Precision Agriculture Act — that would create a federal task force to create connections standards to allow all precision farm equipment and sensors to talk to each other — “Like we have for cell phones,” he said.
“You’ve got to have good rural broadband connection for this equipment to work at its optimum capability,” Warnock added. “This will not only help farmers but will also help rural communities in general.”
Those communities also want access to the same opportunities that have become ubiquitous for urban residents.
That means access to services “from online business startups to digital learning and telemedicine,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said in a statement introducing the Rural Broadband Protection Act.
That is a bill Capito introduced in February with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that would require applicants who get federal funding to deliver broadband actually can deliver it.
“In 2023, we should be able to bring high-speed internet to every community in our country, regardless of their ZIP code,” Klobuchar said in a statement about the bill.
This push for added scrutiny up front suggests something of the wrangling to come. While everyone agrees more broadband is better, the peculiarities of what that will look like are thornier — both around speeds and who gets priority for federal funding.
Thune, who represents sparsely populated South Dakota, wants funding to target areas where 90 percent of households don’t have broadband — which means in essence that federal funders would be starting with the hardest problems first.
In a February hearing, Sen. Corey Booker (D-N.J.) argued that any definition of “rural” for broadband purposes couldn’t use definitions made for the West — but also had to consider the very different dynamics of the rural Northeast.
In states like New Jersey, tiny, remote hamlets and farmer’s fields might sit just a few miles outside of nearby cities — but be just as cut off from broadband networks as any farmhouse in the Nebraska Sandhills.
Pakistan’s ex-PM Imran Khan arrested, sparking violence Why Russia’s Victory Day parade was a pared-down affair
Agricultural state senators, meanwhile, are facing immense pressure from their constituents to take what worked from the 2018 Farm Bill and roll it out across the country.
“It seems like every rural development hearing we have turns into a broadband hearing,” one House Agriculture Committee staffer told the National Association of Counties.
“So I think we’re going to be particularly focused on that.”