CIBO Farmer Advisory Network member Dustin Madison was recently featured on Politico in both a new article and on a Spotify episode. He is an agronomy consultant with operations in Virginia and has been a founding member of CIBO’s national network of farmers that collaborates on farmland innovations.
Spotify Episode: Want farmers to fight climate change? Give them internet
The president wants farmers to help fight climate change by joining carbon capture and sequestration programs. The problem? Most of the requirements for these programs are online, and thousands of farmers lack broadband access at their farms. Dustin Madison shared what he’s seeing with the internet barrier keeping farmers from helping fight climate change.
Time: 6:40 minutes
News Article: Broadband gaps roadblock Biden’s plan to enlist farmers in climate change fight
The article shared that a White House plan for boosting the role of farmers and ranchers in fighting climate change could hinge on the success of another part of President Joe Biden’s sweeping infrastructure initiative: expanding broadband access throughout the U.S.
The Biden administration faces a tall task in working out the logistics for an expansive market for agricultural carbon credits, but it will also need to ensure farmers can access it.
While the effort to get farmers and ranchers into the carbon marketplace is new, the need for rural broadband is not. Since 2017, more than $1.2 billion in federal money has been put toward broadband expansion.
For farmers like Dustin Madison, who grows corn and soybeans in Virginia, broadband access is becoming an essential tool for daily tasks.
Madison is an early adopter when it comes to climate-smart agriculture practices, having used them for the last 30 years, long before they were known as such. But even though his farm is only 90 miles from Capitol Hill, he has reliable internet service only before noon, which is just before too many people in his area try to get online.
“Your phone is great to scroll through Facebook, but it’s not great to try to understand something that is really as much of a spider web as the carbon programs,” said Madison, who is apprehensive about entering the market.