The Future of American Farming: Broadband Solutions for the Farm Office, Field, and Community

Written by Jordan Arnold

Innovation has long been a hallmark of American agriculture. American farmers have continuously adapted their operations to meet new demand and stay competitive in an increasingly globalized economy.

Today, broadband is a necessary tool to innovate farming practices, allowing for more targeted and efficient resource use. Farmers need connectivity in the farmhouse and farm office, in the field, and in the community. But evidence shows that a majority of American farmers lack the connectivity required.

How can we deliver the broadband that farmers need?

As the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society interviewed farmers, rural service providers, equipment manufacturers, and other agricultural leaders and experts, broad consensus arose around several key outcomes for rural broadband, such as the need for robust upload speeds, accurate network deployment data, and scalable technologies. Farmers know what they need for sustainable, data-driven agriculture that can keep pace with the world’s rising food demand. Now it’s time to hear them and deploy the broadband networks and adoption strategies they require to continue to innovate and feed the world.

We would like to extend special thanks to all those who made this work possible, who lent their special expertise, raised important questions and offered insightful recommendations, particularly our partners at the United Soybean Board (USB). This project, which offers key principles and highlights practical broadband deployment and adoption solutions, builds on USB’s work and goals: closing current broadband gaps to increase agriculture’s productivity and sustainability.