Did you know more than 20 million Americans don’t have high-speed broadband connectivity? That’s why a grant from USDA is helping Minnesota farmers and ranchers stay connected. “They are innovators, creators and entrepreneurs,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during a virtual announcement. “Many farmers are doing direct marketing across the world. If they don’t have connectivity, they are cut off from many market places.” This investment is part of $550 million allocated by Congress in the second round of the ReConnect Program. Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC) will use $3 million of that funding for high-speed broadband services to over 800 people and two-dozen farms in central Minnesota’s Morrison County. “With farms having access to gigabyte connection, they’ll be able to utilize precision ag tools and quantify the progress of each crop,” said Kristi Westbrock, CEO and general manager, CTC. Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Paap echoes Westbrock’s comments, saying sustainability is a top priority for farmers and ranchers. “Precision agriculture helps increase that sustainability by using GPS, yield monitors and autosteer. Not only do we need it (broadband) at our kitchen tables, but we also need it out in the field.” Listen to the story.