Peterson Statement at Hearing to Review Big Data and Agriculture

Oct 29, 2015 Issues: Congressional Issues

“Thank you Mr. Chairman and welcome, today’s witnesses, to the Committee. I’m looking forward to your testimony.

“There are a lot of interesting things happening with big data and agriculture. These all have the potential to provide huge benefits to not just farmers, but consumers, and the economy as a whole. 

“Adopting new technologies can make farming more efficient, enabling farmers to make wise use of inputs, which helps to keep costs low. Technology can also help connect farmers with local businesses and consumers, opening up potential new business opportunities.

“Of course, there are concerns about these advances, particularly when it comes to privacy. This is something I think we’re going to need to keep an eye on. I am encouraged that commodity groups and agriculture technology providers have started a productive dialogue. I hope that relationship continues and that we can learn more about these efforts during today’s testimony.

“One final point I think we need to take a look at is rural broadband. All of this technology is great but it’s not going to do anyone any good if they don’t have reliable broadband. We have made a lot of progress but there are still large areas of the countryside that are without reliable service. I hope we can continue to work with USDA to continue our efforts in this area.

“So again, I think there are a lot of interesting points for us to discuss today. I thank our witnesses for appearing before the Committee and yield back.”