US: Minnesota turkey farmers say expanded rural broadband could help detect bird flu sooner
Innovation & Technology
Market & Price Trends
Published Nov 30, 2023
Many farms in Minnesota still lack high-speed internet, despite efforts to expand broadband infrastructure in the state. The lack of internet connectivity on farms has caused various problems, from inconvenience to limitations in monitoring and biosecurity. The cost of delivering high-speed internet to barns can be expensive, but as younger, more tech-savvy farmers take over family operations, there is a growing interest in utilizing existing networks to improve efficiency and work-life balance.
Disclaimer: The above summary was generated by a state-of-the-art LLM model and is intended for informational purposes only. It is recommended that readers refer to the original article for more context.
Automatic feed and water lines hum. A monitoring system—hooked up to a landline—alerts Sawatzke's phone when barn temperatures, normally kept above 90 degrees, drop precipitously. But there's one thing missing in these barns that could bring them into the 21st century: high-speed internet. Sawatzke, a sixth-generation farmer, can't adjust the temperature with a tap of her phone. She doesn't have cameras to livestream the turkeys—which could be a game-changer as the industry fights bird flu. And for the mother of two who runs between school, the post office and statewide meetings as the president for the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, that internet connection could afford her something equally rare—peace of mind. If her barns had high-speed internet, she might not feel so tethered to the farm. "You can maybe have a little more of a life off the farm," Sawatzke said. Despite political momentum for rural broadband buildouts, many Minnesota farms still lack the internet technology ...