NTIA Helps Facilitate Smart Ag and Rural Workshop

Wed, September 19, 2018

On September 6 and 7, NTIA and BroadbandUSA participated in a workshop that focused on deploying rural broadband and using technology in agriculture (also known as “smart ag”) at Purdue University, Indiana. Participants shared ideas for wireless test beds for smart ag and rural broadband connectivity, smart technology to support regional food sheds, business accelerators for smart farming and advanced manufacturing “wearables” for diabetes control, platforms for opioid response, and blockchain for telehealth credentialing. More than just talk, the workshop generated “action clusters” to develop “blueprints” for best practices to advance rural agriculture for the future. NTIA, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) facilitated an advisory group that will assist all working groups in including cybersecurity and privacy in these blueprints.

Over 80 workshop participants represented various universities, research organizations such as MITRE, broadband providers, technology companies such as Intel and Dell, state broadband and agricultural departments, federal agencies, and local governments. This “Smart Ag and Rural SuperCluster Workshop” included panels on rural issues and funding rural innovation, presentations on cutting edge projects, and sessions for collaborating in the areas of smart ag, rural connectivity, and telehealth. Participants were also treated to a tour of Purdue’s Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE) project.

The results from these ongoing collaborations will explore ways for using broadband to increase the efficiency and production of farms, improve the distribution of farm products and strengthen the health of rural residents.

And that’s a pretty smart use of broadband.

Videos of Rural & Agriculture Supercluster National Workshop