By now, most are accustomed to having access to high-speed internet anytime, anywhere. Believe it or not, the situation doesn’t hold in all cases, and among the most vexing examples can be found in not so far away locations. Many Illinois farmers are handicapped by the lack of high-speed internet in the rural areas where they perform their livelihood. This compromises an advantage long held, as the state is in the center of the breadbasket of the world, which supplies food for the masses. “How can farmers run their small businesses without high-speed internet?” asked Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan, as he spoke at a legislative breakfast hosted by the Kankakee County Farm Bureau and Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce on Friday. To eliminate the problem, a bill has been passed in Springfield. Known as Connect Illinois, it earmarks $420 million for broadband expansion throughout the state. That’s a lot of money, especially for a cash-strapped state such as Illinois. But it is also an imperative investment that could come with a handsome return if it enhances the ability of farmers to grow and sell their crops. We already find ourselves in an unenviable situation because of an unhealthy financial state. Among our greatest remaining strengths is our agriculture productivity. We need to do everything possible to maintain it, and Connect Illinois is a key element to providing stability. Let’s get it implemented at the speed of a Google search on a high-powered computer.

By now, most are accustomed to having access to high-speed internet anytime, anywhere.

Believe it or not, the situation doesn’t hold in all cases, and among the most vexing examples can be found in not so far away locations.

Many Illinois farmers are handicapped by the lack of high-speed internet in the rural areas where they perform their livelihood. This compromises an advantage long held, as the state is in the center of the breadbasket of the world, which supplies food for the masses.

“How can farmers run their small businesses without high-speed internet?” asked Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan, as he spoke at a legislative breakfast hosted by the Kankakee County Farm Bureau and Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

To eliminate the problem, a bill has been passed in Springfield. Known as Connect Illinois, it earmarks $420 million for broadband expansion throughout the state.

That’s a lot of money, especially for a cash-strapped state such as Illinois. But it is also an imperative investment that could come with a handsome return if it enhances the ability of farmers to grow and sell their crops.

We already find ourselves in an unenviable situation because of an unhealthy financial state. Among our greatest remaining strengths is our agriculture productivity. We need to do everything possible to maintain it, and Connect Illinois is a key element to providing stability. Let’s get it implemented at the speed of a Google search on a high-powered computer.

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