Mankato, MN - January 27, 2022 – Crystal Valley announced a collaboration with Land O’Lakes and internet service provider Midco to expand broadband internet access to residents of Trimont, MN and the surrounding community. Midco has installed high-speed broadband technology to three towers in the Trimont area including Crystal Valley’s Trimont location, improving access to broadband connectivity throughout the area. This effort to improve internet connectivity has the potential to directly benefit 1,595 residents in the rural area who are currently unable to access adequate broadband service at their homes.
Not only is broadband increasingly critical to daily life, it also enables precision agriculture, increasing yields, improving productivity, and boosting profits. Yet, according to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 18 million Americans do not have access to broadband, including nearly a quarter of Americans living in rural areas. Additionally, 60 percent of farmers say they lack the connectivity needed to run their business. This effort by Crystal Valley, Midco and Land O’Lakes aims to address these gaps.
This project is part of ongoing efforts by Land O’Lakes and Midco to address the rural broadband gap across the United States, and Crystal Valley is part of the Land O’Lakes member network. Through its American Connection Project, Land O’Lakes along with its cooperative network is helping to bridge the digital divide with awareness and advocacy.
"The opportunity to be on the forefront of a project like this has been great. In partnering with Midco and Land O'Lakes, the entire Trimont area, over 1,500 residents, will now have access to high-speed broadband.” says Jon Langland, Crystal Valley Chief Information Technology Officer. “The benefits are plentiful and having this ability for access to high-speed broadband will help the community in many ways, including helping our customers take advantage of our digital offerings with reliable internet service."
"We're so excited to be partnering with these organizations to bring real solutions for the lack of broadband access in this community,” said Teddy Bekele, Chief Technology Officer at Land O’Lakes. “As a farmer-owned co-op with deep roots across rural America, Land O'Lakes will continue to raise awareness and devise more ways to increase access to digital connectivity for all Americans."
“Midco’s partnership with Land O’Lakes and Crystal Valley is a real win-win, and we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it. We were able to utilize their site as a wireless hub, enabling high-speed Internet to hundreds of square miles of rural Minnesota,” said Chief Technology Innovation Officer Jon Pederson. “It’s this kind of visionary collaboration that will close the digital divide and bring great connectivity to farms, ranches and small towns that otherwise have few options.”