WASHINGTON — RFD-TV, a national rural affairs network, will host expert panelists at its American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) studio location during a “national conversation on the Digital Divide.” This free event, produced by national nonprofit Connected Nation, will take place across the country on Wednesday, November 17.
“All of us at RFD-TV are committed to covering the stories and providing information that is critical to our nation’s rural and agricultural communities,” said Katie Farritor, News Director, RFD-TV. “We are very much aware that farmers, ranchers, and families living in our small towns need better internet access to take part in everything from remote learning to precision ag. That’s why we wanted to support this important day and event.”
The event is titled “20 years of connecting the nation: a national conversation on the Digital Divide” and will feature live, in-studio expert panel discussions from three US cities: Washington, DC; Sugar Land, Texas; and Portland, Oregon as well as stories from across the country profiling how individuals, families, and communities are directly impacted by the Digital Divide.
“Broadband is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Technology on the farm continues to advance, allowing farmers to more efficiently grow crops and meet sustainability goals through targeted use of seeds, water and fertilizer, but a quarter of U.S. farms still have no access to the internet. We must make connecting rural America a priority and this event will help highlight the pressing needs of America’s farmers and ranchers.”
In addition, Duvall met with a Connected Nation video crew on his farm to provide an interview and guidance on the challenges of the digital divide in rural communities.
RFD-TV’s Washington News Bureau Chief, Emily Buck, will moderate three important panels of the day: “Infrastructure and emerging technology,” “Leadership at CN through the year,” and “Beyond our borders.” These panels will include, among many others, representatives from OneWeb, Intel, and USDA Rural Development with a focus on what’s been done for rural communities and discussion on the work that’s’ still needed.
“When we were first planning this event, RFD-TV and Farm Bureau were among the first organizations mentioned as potential partners,” said Jessica Denson, Communications Director, Connected Nation. “Many of Connected Nation’s staff members work in rural communities and with local stakeholders and have witnessed the good work RFD-TV does in keeping rural communities informed and AFBF does in connecting with and supporting farmers and ranchers. The need for better broadband access disproportionately impacts rural communities so, putting two-and-two together, we knew these would be great partnerships for the national event.”
This virtual event will also feature live panels hosted by KGW8-TV, an NBC affiliate in Portland, Oregon, and Fort Bend ISD in Sugar Land, Texas, which will be the only student-run location for the event.
You can find more details about the panels and can register for free for the event at cn20.org.
About Connected Nation: The national nonprofit, based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is celebrating 20 years of service in 2021. Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and increase the adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies for all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. To learn more head to www.connectednation.org.