FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the Commission’s intent to recharter the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Task Force for its third and final term, calling on the four working groups to examine the impact of connectivity in meeting the production and sustainability challenges facing agricultural and food systems. In addition, Chairwoman Rosenworcel called for representatives from diverse and historically underrepresented communities, including socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, to apply for membership to the Task Force and its working groups. The Task Force, established under the 2018 Farm Bill to provide advice to the FCC, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), on how to deploy broadband service on unserved agricultural land to promote precision agriculture, is set to conclude its work in January 2025.
“Today’s farmers and ranchers rely on high-speed internet to make the best use of connected tools to efficiently run their businesses and meet the demand for food to sustain our communities,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “I am calling on the Task Force to look closely at the link between connectivity and agricultural sustainability, to see how best to leverage innovation to improve food production for the future. We thank our federal partners at USDA for their commitment to this work and look forward to a productive next term.”
“Access to high-speed internet is critical to advancing modern farming techniques to help American farmers improve the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of their land,” said USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities Service Administrator Andrew Berke. “Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA has been proud to partner with the FCC in the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Task Force, because we know reliable, high-speed internet access has the power to transform the lives of agricultural producers across this nation.”
The Task Force was established under the 2018 Farm Bill to provide advice to the FCC, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), on how to deploy broadband service on unserved agricultural land to promote precision agriculture. The four Task Force working groups are focused on the following activities: (1) Mapping and Analyzing Connectivity on Agricultural Lands; (2) Examining Current and Future Connectivity Demand for Precision Agriculture; (3) Encouraging Adoption of Precision Agriculture and Availability of High-Quality Jobs on Connected Farms; and (4) Accelerating Broadband Deployment on Unserved Agricultural Lands.
The Commission’s federal advisory committees strive for a membership that reflects the diversity of the American people. For that reason, the Commission is strongly encouraging applications for task force membership from socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, as that term is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Interested parties are encouraged to submit nominations as soon as possible, but no later than September 20, 2023. Nominations can be submitted to PrecisionAgTF@fcc.gov.