Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, yesterday issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development awarded grants and loans totaling more than $23 million for broadband development in North Dakota and western Minnesota. The funds are available through the ReConnect Program, for which Hoeven has secured more than $1.6 billion across fiscal years 2018-2020 in order to support rural areas that currently lack access to quality broadband service.

“Today’s funds support our state’s growing technology sector as we continue deploying rural broadband across North Dakota,” said Hoeven yesterday. “As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, we worked to create this loan and grant pilot program to not only expand opportunities in rural areas, but to also support the adoption of precision agriculture for our producers. Today’s funds are vital for further infrastructure development as technology continues to be the third economic wave for North Dakota.”