Why Internet is Essential to America’s Agriculture

agriculture aviation

While many might associate business and technology with large urban hubs like Silicon Valley, small towns across the U.S. are showing that there are plenty of opportunities to be found in rural America. The availability of gigabit internet speeds is one method that is proving to transform rural areas. As America's cable operators continue to build out robust networks that deliver these gigabit internet speeds, everyone from entrepreneurs to small business owners to farmers are getting the chance to revitalize their communities in the best ways possible. 

In NCTA's video series, Connecting Rural America, that looks at the partnership between Eagle Communications and the small town of St. Francis, Kansas, the residents of the town share stories about how gigabit internet speeds have transformed their quality of life for the better. The third video installment below particularly hones in on the agricultural community of St. Francis--an industry that is essential to America--and on why ultra-fast connectivity is not only needed to help the region thrive, but also to contribute to the nation's leadership as a top food producer in the world.
Robert Grace, an owner of an aviation company in St. Francis, explained that agriculture aviation is "big business" in the town. "Some of the farmers in this county have millions of dollars worth of equipment, and most of it is automated," he explained. "We might be downloading [aviation] data on two or three tablets and on two or three airplanes." Grace's job involves flying an airplane over farmland to spray the pesticides needed to protect farmers' crops. As he mentioned, behind the scenes the company downloads tons of data for its aviation charts, connects regularly with remote weather stations, and hosts a website--all of which require a strong, fast and reliable broadband network.  

"The whole community is tied to agriculture, pretty big," added Mike Bandel, general manager of the St. Francis Mercantile Equity Exchange. "When things are good, things are good for the rest of business in town."

As the cable industry also prepares to deliver 10G in the near future, rural communities like St. Francis and business owners like Grace will only continue to benefit from the new possibilities that gigabit broadband networks will unleash. 

Read more from NCTA’s series about Eagle's partnership with St. Francis.