BY John Rowland, Sr. Manager of Field Services at United Communications
For centuries, Tennessee’s farmers have provided the food we eat and played an essential role in our state and local economies. While they still rely on timeless agricultural principles to grow their crops, the tools they use today look very different from the traditional plows and harvesters you might remember from childhood. Today, high-speed broadband internet is revolutionizing how Tennessee farmers do business.
When United Communications was founded 75 years ago, one of our primary focus areas was providing farmers with the telecommunication resources they needed to operate. We still hold that same commitment today. As a Smart Rural Community Internet Provider, we’re proud of the role we get to play in equipping farmers and rural communities across Middle Tennessee with high-speed broadband internet access.
Lee Maddox, Director of Communication at Tennessee Farm Bureau, described the company’s commitment to equipping Tennessee farmers with broadband access by saying:
“Broadband expansion for our farmers and into our rural areas has been a priority for Farm Bureau in Tennessee and across the country. The advanced machinery and computers farmers use today are phenomenal and having access to that growing technology is imperative to allow the continued success of our most important industry. Current and future generations of rural Tennesseans will be left behind without affordable broadband service that gives them access to health care and education services, government agency resources and new business opportunities. Broadband expansion to our rural areas is no longer a luxury, its essential for modern agriculture, allowing our farmers to grow our food, fiber and fuel more efficiently while better protecting our natural resources.”
4 Ways Broadband Internet is Shaping the Future of Farming in Tennessee
In my role at United, I have the opportunity to connect with farming customers across our service area. I love seeing how United helps provide these farmers a pathway to sell their products like never before. It’s amazing how access to high-speed internet can transform a farmer’s life and even help protect an entire industry for future generations. Let’s take a look at some of the ways broadband internet is helping farmers incorporate more efficient and productive farming practices:
1. Monitoring crops and livestock remotely.
Farmers can now utilize broadband to install sensors on their crops and livestock to monitor their health and condition in real-time. These tools can be controlled remotely, allowing farmers to adjust without needing constant on-site presence.
For example, farmers can use sensors to monitor soil moisture levels and adjust irrigation systems accordingly, or they can use sensors to track the movement of livestock and ensure they are getting enough food and water. This saves significant time and resources for farmers across our service area.
2. Implementing precision agriculture techniques.
Farmers are also using fixed wireless broadband to collect and analyze data from various sources, such as weather sensors, soil sensors, and yield monitors. This data can be used to create precision agriculture maps showing the exact amount of fertilizer, water, and pesticides each field needs. By inputting the proper amount of resources needed for each plant, farmers can grow healthier crops while saving time and resources during the germination and growth process.
3. Automating irrigation systems.
Another opportunity that broadband creates is the ability to control irrigation systems remotely. This allows farmers to water their crops when needed without being on-site. The ability to automate irrigation not only saves time and water but it can also help to reduce the risk of overwatering or underwatering crops.
4. Connecting with additional community resources and solutions.
For many farmers, broadband is not an end in and of itself. Instead, the transformative power of broadband lies in its ability to connect farmers with other helpful solutions for their daily needs. This includes accessing remote training, telemedicine, and social media connections to nearby communities without leaving the farm.
A Leading Internet Provider for Rural Areas & Suburban Communities
As high-speed broadband continues to expand in Tennessee, it will profoundly impact the state’s agricultural industry and its rural communities. Farmers will be able to use the Internet to become more efficient and productive, and rural communities will benefit. This is a win-win for everyone involved.
United Communications is proud to lead the way in our effort to ensure every Middle Tennessean has access to high-speed internet. Whether it’s by offering advanced fixed wireless broadband to farmers in rural communities or expanding our fiber network, we’re committed to improving the quality of life for residents across our community.
Sr. Manager of Field Services at United Communications
As Senior Manager of Field Services, John Rowland plays an important role in our ability to deliver an exceptional customer experience. He joined us in 2017 after United Communications acquired Athena Broadband. John has gained valuable business development and networking experience in a variety of sectors throughout his career. In his current role, John leads our Installation and repair team while spearheading all field Service and wireless operations. He also helps guide the company’s roadmap and strategic planning process for the future of accessible Internet for all. John has achieved several certifications during his career, including Ubiquiti’s Broadband Wireless Specialist, PMP® Certification Training Course, Network Specialist – Computer Information Technology, and Google’s CBRS Certified Professional Installer. John is also a Tennessee State Coordinator for WISPA, Curriculum Adviser for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Shelbyville, and Patriotic Employer Award-winner.