State ag director: High-speed internet to drive future of farming

High-speed internet connectivity in rural areas is key to helping Missouri attract its next generation of farmers, the director of the state’s agriculture department said in an interview this week.

Chris Chinn, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, said rural internet access is an issue where workforce development and infrastructure — two of Gov. Mike Parson’s top priorities — intersect.

“We need to make sure that they (next-generation farmers) have the tools and the skills that they need to come back to the farm prepared and ready,” Chinn said. “The infrastructure is all about, you know, the high-speed internet.”

She said her department is working closely with Parson to bring broadband internet access to rural parts of the state.

To the same end, lawmakers approved a bill this year that allows rural electric cooperatives to make unused capacity available for residential and commercial purposes.

Read more: Missourinet

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