SouthernMinn’s take on the Farm Foundation Broadband Listening Session

The Faribault Daily News (part of the SouthernMinn family of newspapers) reports on the broadband listening session I attended earlier this week…

Jannine Miller, the senior advisor for Rural Infrastructure for the USDA, was the Trump Administration representative. She spoke on behalf of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

Cullman said Miller first brought the idea of talking about e-connectivity and broadband to the Farm Foundation.

“The upper Midwest and Minnesota was the first place they wanted to come,” she said.

Besides making Minnesota a priority, Miller said Perdue has made rural broadband a priority in general. She hoped to get on-the-ground feedback from farmers, business owners and residents alike.

“It’s exciting to be out amongst real folks,” she said. “It’s important to understand aspects on the ground that we don’t see inside the beltway.”

Broadband became a priority because it was integral to other priorities…

While rural broadband became a priority, Miller said it wasn’t the initial focus. Instead, Perdue sought his “Rural Prosperity” plan of strengthening workforce, innovation and quality of life in rural areas.

Broadband just happened to touch all three.

Whether it’s kids being able to access schoolwork, telemedicine, running a business or precision agriculture, Miller saw a great deal of utility in broadband internet expansion in places like Minnesota, but saw one major failure in the industry.

This entry was posted in Conferences, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

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

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