Michael Adelaine, vice president for technology and security at South Dakota State University, has been named to a federal task force to look at the technology needs of precision agriculture.

Adelaine, who was selected by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, will be in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9 for the first meeting of the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States.

Chairman Pai, in consultation with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, has identified four working groups that will assist the group in carrying out:

  • Mapping and Analyzing Connectivity on Agricultural Lands;
  • Examining Current and Future Connectivity Demand for Precision Agriculture;
  • Encouraging Adoption of Precision Agriculture and Availability of High-Quality Jobs on Connected Farms; and
  • Accelerating Broadband Deployment on Unserved Agricultural Lands.

“It’s an honor, and the implications and scope of this are huge,” said Adelaine, who was one of several individuals who presented information to Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) about the intersection of technology and rural America in September. “It’s important for South Dakota so the need to do a good job is really critical. I think one result of the committee will be empowering our rural communities.

“I’ve traveled the state of South Dakota and know what connectivity looks like and what folks have for bandwidth,” he continued. “When you combine that information with being on campus and working with our researchers and SDSU Extension individuals on precision agriculture, I know what’s going to be needed. It’s all about big data and the need to move it for analysis.”

Adelaine said policy generation will be critical for the task force.

“From the data we gather related to mapping, we need to determine what policies are needed to drive the implementation of connectivity in these areas,” he said.

With SDSU having both a major and minor in precision agriculture, Adelaine’s presence on the task force will help prepare Jackrabbits to enter the field.

“We have to make sure when we do our research here that we have access to the same technology people use in the field. And we’re already working on that aspect,” he said. “One piece is the small cells currently on campus. They’re currently 4G and we anticipate they’ll be upgraded to 5G when that’s available.”

COURTESY OF: SDSU Marketing & Communications

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