The Ag Census is done every 5 years. In 2002, it indicated that half of the 2.2 million farms surveyed had some sort of Internet access. In 2007 that number has increased to a whopping 56.5 percent; 33 percent had broadband.
That surprises me – a lot. I would have thought that number would have been so much higher. I can’t imagine running a business without broadband, never mind Internet access.
The Midwest fares a little better than the average with 33.4 percent of farms with “fast Internet access”.
Here are the stats from Minnesota:
- Number of farms: 80,915
- Percent with “fast internet”: 37.1 percent
The Census also shows that farms in urban counties were more likely to have broadband access than rural and exurban counties – so I’m sure that the Twin Cities are skewing the statewide results. In fact the county with the best percentage has 81.1 percent broadband; while the lowest percent in a county has 31.8 percent. (The surveys asked: Did the farm operator at any time in 2007 have internet access? And, did the farm operator have a high speed Internet connection? The Census did not ask about price or the kind of connection the operator purchased — DSL, cable, satellite.)