Hoeven Introduces Grand Farm Director at Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee Hearing

Senator Advancing RISE Implementation, Working to Ensure Continued Development & Implementation of Precision Agriculture

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today introduced Brian Carroll, Director of the Grand Farm Research and Education Initiative, at a hearing of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee on opportunities to diversify farm income and strengthen rural economies. The senator invited Carroll to discuss Grand Farm’s efforts to develop and implement the next generation of precision agriculture technologies. His full testimony can be found here.

This aligns with, and bolsters, Hoeven’s continued efforts to ensure federal support for projects like Grand Farm. To this end, the senator has been urging administration officials, including Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, to advance the implementation of theRural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Program, which supports innovation clusters in rural regions. As the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee in the 116th Congress, Hoeven secured a total of $10 million for RISE over Fiscal Years (FY) 2020 and 2021. Hoeven also recently secured a commitment from Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, the nominee to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, to visit North Dakota and learn about Grand Farm firsthand.

“Grand Farm is doing tremendous work, bringing together a wide collaboration that partners our growing technology sector with our long-standing leadership in production agriculture,” said Senator HoevenRanking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee. “We’re grateful to have Brian in D.C. this week to highlight the potential of precision agriculture technologies and the innovations that will help keep our farmers and ranchers competitive in the global marketplace. The insights he shared with the committee will be beneficial as we continue working to ensure federal support for projects like Grand Farm and further advance the next generation of precision agriculture.”

“The Red River Valley has a long history of agricultural innovation with locally grown companies like Titan Machinery, Bobcat, and Steiger Tractor Company. Building on that history, Grand Farm is working to accelerate research and innovation to develop technologies for the farm of the future,” said Brian Carroll, Director of Grand Farm. “I’m excited to be sharing our region’s unique history with members of the United States Senate and a national audience, and exploring how we can connect federal opportunities with those who need them the most.”

In addition, Hoeven is advancing the following priorities to support innovators and develop the infrastructure needed to ensure the continued development and implementation of precision agriculture:

Rural Broadband

Hoeven has secured more than $2.2 billion across FY2018-2021 for the ReConnect Program, a rural broadband loan and grant pilot program. The senator also cosponsored:  

  • The Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act, which passed as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, to ensure adequate broadband access in rural areas.
  • The Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act, which was signed into law last year, to improve federal broadband mapping.

These efforts will help ensure enough capacity is available to implement precision agriculture technologies.

Tech Entrepreneurship

In order to further expand the state’s technology sector, which serves as the third wave in North Dakota’s economic growth, Hoeven is working to advance measures that will help entrepreneurs succeed, like the:

  • Support Our Start-Ups Act, bipartisan legislation he introduced last Congress with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) to enable entrepreneurs to deduct more of the start-up costs for their business and invest more into their operations sooner.
  • Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act, a bipartisan bill he helped introduce in 2019 to make portable benefits more accessible for entrepreneurs and provide greater certainty for them and their families.