Rural broadband could be a main focus for Hoosier farmers in the upcoming legislative session. Indiana Farm Bureau delegates compiled a list of issues they would like to see the organization address in the upcoming legislative session.
Due to the pandemic, farmers across the state called in for a virtual meeting last weekend to discuss what issues should be taken to the Indiana Statehouse.
President Randy Kron said this was the first time the delegate session has been held virtually and he was nervous of its success going in.
“This policy is the foundation of this organization and if we don’t have robust discussion, you don’t know if your policy is where you need it to be,” said Kron. “And that was my concern, but I have no concerns once we wrapped up.”
Hours of discussion included the role of township government, confined animal feeding operations known as CAFOs, and rural broadband.
Kron said internet access has become essential for agriculture, from technology used out in the fields to e-learning for children.
“Broadband is probably the one that comes to the top of the stack right now,” he said. “And a lot of concerns about rural areas which, you know, has been heightened because of COVID-19.”
Even with the state cutting the budget, Kron said now is the time to work towards fixing the problem and getting the state to at least develop a long-term plan.
He said an upcoming meeting of the board of directors will make the final decision on what will be the organization’s top priorities.