Innovating Tennessee Farms with Broadband Connections

Posted: March 2, 2023
Sign on a farm that reads, "This is a Century Farm. 100 Years of Continuous Agricultural Production. State of Tennesee Department of Agriculture"
Carrie Huckeby’s Century Farm
Carrie Huckeby, Executive Director

As we prepare to celebrate National Agriculture Week in March, I’m reminded of my own rural roots.

I grew up on land my grandfather bought from his family in 1921, and that plot grew after my dad bought 40 acres of the original farm and added acreage. My husband and I now inhabit a portion of the land, which is part of the Tennessee Century Farms Program, and we can’t imagine living anywhere else.

When I was younger, there was livestock and lots of chores. We saw crops and hay cultivated and harvested, and that work took place without today’s innovations. Before farm-to-table was a marketing term, we picked green beans and dug potatoes to eat. It was not — and still isn’t — the life for everyone, but according to the Tennessee Farm Bureau, there are today over 69,000 farms in the state, and farmland makes up 40% of Tennessee’s landmass. And now, more than ever, the agriculture sector counts on a robust broadband network.

The latest technologies rely on broadband connectivity for informed decisions and efficiency. Quality connection helps with everything from monitoring during lambing season to optimal fertilization of crops. March 21 marks National Agriculture Day, and we’ll celebrate the abundance Tennessee farmers provide. March is also Women in Construction month, so we’re recognizing these crucial members of that industry, as well.

As I reflect on contributions from these two crucial industries, I can’t help but also consider the importance of the work our association and broadband providers do to ensure all Tennesseans are connected. From farms to building sites to individual homes, connection is key for work, learning and play!