Comment Column with Eddie Melton | Toward a More Complete SolutionPosted on Aug 12, 2022
Having been on the farm all of my life, I’ve seen the many positive innovations that have developed over the years, including the technological advances that have become a part of the normal operations associated with agriculture.
Whether it is the use of GPS to map fields or check soil conditions, the advanced yield monitoring equipment that tells us valuable crop yield information in real-time, or even the weather radar access we have to watch changing conditions directly from the field.
We have grown to depend on this technology that allows us to produce more with fewer inputs, more accurately, and with less stress on our valuable natural resources.
But a hindrance to the use of this kind of technology has been the dependence on solid broadband connectivity, something many of our rural areas simply have not had.
Kentucky Farm Bureau has made the issue of getting this type of service to underserved and unserved areas a priority for many years.
While it hasn’t been the easiest of hills to climb, we have made great progress thanks to the many partnering organizations that have joined the cause and General Assembly members who have recognized the need and enacted legislation to help bring this necessary service to all Kentuckians.
The recent announcement of grant dollars being allocated from the state’s Broadband Deployment Fund is the next step in achieving our goals and making adequate broadband service a reality instead of a wish.
This important step brings us closer than we’ve ever been to truly connecting our farms and rural communities to a world of possibilities.
If we are to continue producing the world’s food supply at the capacity we are seeing now and, in the future, having adequate broadband service enables us to use advanced technology tools required to make these production needs a reality.
Because of the efforts, our volunteer members throughout the state have made, and the legislative leaders who have worked tirelessly on this issue, at all levels, we are clearly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
As we come to this point in bringing broadband to the last mile, we see proof that when we all work together to accomplish a common goal, there is nothing we can’t achieve.
This entire process, from the first time KFB set this issue as a priority, to the first dollars being awarded to bring broadband to all, should serve as an example as we move forward on this and other initiatives aimed at making our farms more productive, giving our students enhanced learning opportunities, and making our communities better places to live.
There is still work to be done as we draw closer to having broadband services available across this state. But, with this current total investment of $203 million, we certainly move toward a more complete solution.
Eddie Melton, First Vice President
Kentucky Farm Bureau