Minnesota Farmers Union finds rural frustrations with broadband and healthcare

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports…

Many rural Minnesotans feel left behind or ignored when it comes to challenges in everyday living.

Excessive health care costs, limited high-speed internet service and long-delayed road and bridge projects are some of the top problems that frustrate those who live in smaller communities, and many do not believe that their voices are being heard by policymakers.

The concerns are identified in a new report by the Minnesota Farmers Union, a grass-roots family farm organization that held 14 discussion sessions across the state in 2017 and another seven this year that drew more than 800 farmers and other members of the public.

And what they found in terms of broadband…

Also on people’s minds was access to internet service.

“Lots of rural areas don’t have broadband,” said Wertish. “It should be viewed as a public utility because it’s important for farmers or public schools or small businesses if they’re going to compete.”

University of Minnesota Extension Dean Bev Durgan said that the problems presented in the report are valid for most rural residents, not just farmers — and in some cases for urban Minnesotans as well.

This entry was posted in economic development, MN, Research, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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