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From city to suburb, many of Georgia’s businesses and residents enjoy access to broadband services while the state’s agricultural communities lag behind.  In rural Georgia, agriculture is the key economic driver and this land accounts for roughly one-third of the entire state, however, lower population densities and uneconomical deployment costs hinder innovation.  For years Georgia’s farmers and ranchers have demanded action from private industry, legislators and regulatory bodies in closing the digital-divide between urban and agricultural lands for the betterment of agribusiness and Georgia residents as a whole – enabling precision ag to modernize crop yields and food production, livestock health, supply chain efficiencies and better resource management to name a few.  Moreover, COVID-19 further highlights the negative impacts lack of connectivity has in rural Georgia from K-12 digital learning to telehealth.

This event will focus on our current state, methods for funding and deploying broadband to Georgia’s agricultural lands, current and future offerings by various service providers, AgTech innovation (from premise to the cloud) and why it’s important, perspectives on demand and use cases from our state’s farmers and ranchers, public-private partnership scenarios at the local level, and recent legislative and regulatory efforts – including funding, permitting and new RF spectrum.

Panel Discussions:

Identifying the Gaps: Connecting Unserved Georgia Farms to Broadband

•    Steven Strickland, Executive Director, Strategic Verticals, ExteNet Systems (moderator)
•    Josh Seidemann, Vice President of Policy, NTCA Rural Broadband Association
•    Kevin Curtin, Assistant Vice President, AT&T
•    Bill Price, Strategist, Georgia Technology Authority
•    Paul Belk, President and CEO, NGN

Precision Agriculture Innovation, Trends and Use Cases

•    Corina Ardelean, Manager of Product Management, Data Integration & Logistic Management, Global Fuse , AGCO (moderator)
•    Craig Ganssle, Founder and CEO, Farmwave
•    Dr. Ranveer Chandra, Chief Scientist, Microsoft Azure
•    George Woodward, President and CEO, Trilogy Networks
•    Prashant Doshi, Professor of Computer Science, UGA

Farmer’s Perspective on Technology Adoption and Workforce Gaps

•    Adam Hammond, Development Director, Georgia 4-H Foundation  (Moderator)
•    Georgia Agricultural Commissioner Gary Black
•    Chris Rhodes, Director of Industry Partnerships, UGA
•    Dr. Wes Porter, Associate Professor Crop & Soil Sciences, UGA
•    Brian Carroll, Director of Operations, Emerging Prairie
•    Jean Rice, Smart Cities and Communities, US Department of Commerce, NTIA

Funding Options at the State and Federal Level

•    Laurie Caruso, CEO, Safe-Fi (Moderator)
•    Joyce White, Georgia Rural Development State Director, USDA
•    Oscar Bode, CEO and Founder, Smart City Capital
•    Chris Chammoun, Division Director, Rural Georgia Initiatives, Georgia Department of Economic Development

AgTech Policy / Legislation Updates  

•    Jennifer Manner, SVP Counsel, ECHOSTAR (moderator)
•    Jesse Jachman, Legal Advisor, Office of the Bureau Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau and Designated Federal Officer, Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States, FCC
•    Mike Hill, Assistant General Counsel, Regulatory Affairs, ExteNet Systems
•    Other panelists to be added

December 10, 2020

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


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