A massive bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate is debating this week would make a historic $65 billion investment in expanding high-speed internet, but the bulk of the funding would be routed through states, and rural broadband advocates want to see the Agriculture Department play a bigger role in distributing the funding.
A recent broadband coverage map released by the White House further illustrates rural America is in dire need of faster internet speeds, but at least one rural state is doing better than most, thanks to a commitment by local providers.
President Biden is expected to sign his executive order today addressing concentration in agribusiness, transportation and other sectors. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to promote the White House initiative.
USDA’s 97th annual Ag Outlook Forum kicks off this morning, and for the first time the meeting will be held online. USDA’s new chief economist, Seth Meyer will provide the department’s annual forecast for crop and livestock production this year.