Senator Deb Fischer was in Nebraska City on Monday afternoon at the Morton James Public Library where she participated in an agriculture roundtable at the Kimmel Gallery.
Fischer was appointed to the agriculture committee in the Senate earlier this year and will be working on the upcoming farm bill.
To get ready for that legislative effort, Fischer visited with some leading voices from agriculture.
“It’s just always really good to listen to what folks have to say on something as important as the farm bill,” she said. “I felt it was necessary for me to come out and hear people’s ideas.”
The senator does a lot of round tables on agriculture and seeks out input from producers and from agriculture organizations.
Two of the issues tackled at the Nebraska City round table were internet connectiveness and crop insurance.
Access to internet connections is important, Fischer said, for both agriculture folks and for rural citizens overall.
“Agriculture is the third leading user of technology when it comes to the internet,” Fischer said.
Producers have all types of technology that need to connect to the internet and supply vital information like soil moisture level and fertilizer placement to name just a couple of uses.
“To be able to have broadband, really to even be able to have cell connections across the state is important for agriculture, but it’s also important for rural communities.
“If we are going to keep our businesses competitive, if we are going to keep agriculture competitive, we have to have that broadband or that cell phone connection available.”
Fischer said, in her travels, she talks to a lot of young people who would like to return to small communities like the ones in Southeast Nebraska. To do that, those people need to seek out jobs and create businesses that rely on connectivity.
Returning to agriculture, Fischer said the message about crop insurance at the round table was one that she has heard consistently.
Through her candidacy for the Senate and at all times since, Fischer said the need for reliable crop insurance has been a focal point.
“We need to make sure we have crop insurance as a safety net for our producers,” Fischer said.