FCC Chairman Pai Commences Precision Agriculture Task Force

  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the membership and first meeting date of the new task force assigned to explore ways to enhance the productivity and efficiency of the nation’s farms and ranches through broadband-based technologies—a concept known as “precision agriculture.”

Planned in close consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the first meeting of the Task Force for Reviewing Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture is set for Monday, December 9, at 9:30 a.m. in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters. Chairman Pai has designated Teddy Bekele, Land O’Lakes senior vice president and chief technology officer, to serve as chair of the Task Force, and Catherine Moyer, Pioneer Communications CEO and general manager, to serve as vice chair.

A full list of Task Force members appointed by the Chairman in consultation with the Department of Agriculture is available at DA-19-1187A1.pdf.

Broadband Demand from Farmers and Ranchers

“There is an urgent and growing demand for broadband from America’s farmers and ranchers,” said Chairman Pai. “As I’ve seen for myself in places like Rifle, Colorado, King Hill, Idaho, and Charles City, Virginia, farmers and ranchers are using connected technologies to collect real-time data in the field, make the most efficient use of resources like water, fuel, and seed, and increase yields, all to the benefit of American consumers. Making modern networks available from coast to coast is the FCC’s top priority. The Task Force’s recommendations and reports will enable us to help America’s food producers deliver more, better, and cheaper goods to the table.”

Chairman Pai also announced four working groups for the Task Force and solicited nominations for them.  For more information on the working groups and how to submit nominations, see DA-19-1188A1.pdf.

The Task Force is a federal advisory committee and was created by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which includes provisions directing the FCC to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop policy recommendations to promote the rapid, expanded deployment of broadband Internet access service on agricultural land where service is not available. Federal advisory committees were established by Congress to provide federal agencies with outside, expert advice on policy matters.

 

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