Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch toured farms in Fulton and Marshall Counties last week with representatives from Indiana Farm Bureau. Technology was on full display at Houin Farms in Bremen during the visit. Crouch said her biggest takeaway from the day was the necessity for high quality internet connectivity in rural Indiana. Charlie Houin, President of Marshall County Farm Bureau, said having that connectivity is imperative.
“You can make a lot of good decisions with good information. Let’s say you take a drone out and fly it, then you upload that information. And then you’re able to look at that information instantly to make a decision if you should use spray for fungicide, if you need to put more fertilizer on it, if you have a disease issue, or insect damage. Those are big, key decision points, and it all hinges upon connecting the farmer to the professional and the professional back to the farmer.”
Crouch says that’s why a new position was created in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. She said interviews are being scheduled for the Director of Broadband Opportunities, a position that will serve as a liaison between rural communities, universities, and her office. She says this person will be the “go-to person” in state government for everything broadband related.
“That person also is going to have to be very, very knowledgeable, and very connected with relationships at the federal level. President Trump has indicated infrastructure and broadband is going to be a priority for his administration. So, we believe that that means money is going to be put in the budget at some point in time, and we want to be sure that Indiana is getting our fair share.”
Crouch said that she expects to have someone in the position in the next month or two.