The new Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Bruce Kettler, has been on the job for a little over two weeks now. He says there have been a lot of people that he’s needed to meet since he started on January 8. “Making sure that I understand all of the missionaries of the department from Indiana Grown to Soil and Water to Economic Development and of course the legislative pieces as well. So spending a lot of time with staff, getting to know and understanding the Lieutenant Governor’s office.”
One of the issues Kettler considers to be important is providing rural broadband access. “So as a department we want do whatever we can to help our legislators here in Indiana understand the value of rural broadband. Governor Holcomb, Lieutenant Governor Crouch, and the administration certainly know and understand that this is a large undertaking for our industry.”
Kettler believes that not all legislators understand that farmers don’t just want access to Netflix or other entertainment. He says as the “Internet of Things” evolves it will be even more crucial to be able to provide this service to farmers. “Think about the information that our farm machinery has now, that connectivity, and what we can do to be able to download data and information. Whether it’s from a tractor, a combine, or whatever it might be. That will only become bigger because we’re going to get into more things like sensors that we can put out in the fields to know and understand soil moisture and what’s going on with growing crops.”
Kettler told over 260 farmers in attendance at the First Farmers Bank and Trust Agricultural Summit at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium to make sure you’re talking with your legislators and that they understand the business reasons for needing connectivity.