Category: Technology and Broadband
Terrestrial Broadband Connects Native Communities in Southwest Alaska to the World for the First TimePosted by
Recently, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell hosted the first live terrestrial videoconference between the State Capital of Juneau and Bethel’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC), which administers a comprehensive health care delivery system for more than 50 rural, primarily Native communities in Southwest Alaska. The videoconference utilized TERRA-Southwest which now provides terrestrial broadband service for the first time from Anchorage to 65 remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Funding support was provided by USDA Rural Development through the Rural Utilities Service and the Recovery Act.
On the face of it, the news may not elicit much sensation, but let’s look at some facts. The YKHC and those many, inaccessible villages are located in the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world, and at 75,000 square miles it’s roughly the size of Oregon. Can you imagine the immensity of not only planning, but the logistics in actually constructing the system that made today’s videoconference possible? Read more »
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
Over a relatively short time period, innovations in farms’ production practices, risk management, and business arrangements have allowed U.S. farmers to greatly increase their output without raising total input use. These changes accompanied a shift in production to larger farms. Drawing on a variety of data sources, the Economic Research Service recently examined the changes in farming during a 25-year period that ended with the most recent census of agriculture. Read more »
As we begin the year, I want to share with you a few numbers that help measure USDA’s impact for America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities over the past three years:
- To help keep American agriculture profitable and keep farmers on the farm, USDA maintained a strong safety net. Over the past three years, our crop insurance program has paid out about $16.2 billion to more than 325,000 farmers who lost crops to natural disasters. Other programs have provided nearly $3.5 billion in aid to help more than 250,000 farmers and ranchers recover from natural disasters. Read more »
Cross posted from the Department of Education blog:
It’s no secret that community colleges are leading the way to achieving the President’s goal for the United States to once again have the highest college attainment rate in the world by 2020. Community colleges are hubs for career-training, re-training, adult education and for recent high school graduates seeking a pathway into the careers of their choice. Read more »
President Obama has made openness a high priority, committing his Administration to an “unprecedented level of openness in Government” on his first full day in office.
Since then, the Administration has disclosed more and more information requested under the Freedom of Information Act. We have made voluminous information available on USDA.gov and other government websites and we have used technology in innovative ways that harness government information to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. Read more »