WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo, MD (CO-08), Ranking Member on the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Commodities, and Rural Development, today questioned witnesses at her first House Agriculture hearing as a freshman Member.
In the hearing on “Uncertainty, Inflation, Regulations: Challenges for American Agriculture,” Caraveo focused on the importance of broadband development in rural areas, especially for farmers and ranchers. Caraveo asked Rob Larew, President of the National Farmers Union and Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation to testify on the importance of reliable high-speed internet for the work and everyday life of farmers in Colorado and across the country.
“I represent three of the largest ag-producing counties in Colorado, including Weld County, which is actually the largest ag-producing county outside of California. My ongoing conversations with farmers and ranchers reflect the real concern heard here today on high costs, weather, and climate uncertainties,” said Caraveo. “I know that in my family when we’re repairing things, what my niece always tells my dad is ‘Abuelo, just google it.’ And that requires broadband access – something I know that in parts of Colorado is very difficult, especially for beginning and small family farmers and ranchers who have to take on the cost of broadband on top of inflation.”
“When I’m at the farm, […] if I want to be able to have a simple Zoom call with somebody, I have to drive 25 minutes to the truck stop, sit in the parking lot and have that conversation, and then get back to the farm. That’s not efficient and it’s not a way to move things forward,” said Rob Larew, President of the National Farmers Union.
“Our rural communities are drying up and going away. And our young people go to college where they have great internet and they learn all these wonderful things. We’re moving towards a society where more people are working from home. We want those young people to go home and work from home. But they’re not going to be able to do it without good broadband service,” said Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation.