Mankato, MN – October 17, 2022 – Midco has partnered with Land O’Lakes, Inc. and farm cooperative Crystal Valley to expand broadband internet access to Madelia, MN residents and the surrounding community. Midco installed high-speed broadband technology on one tower in the Madelia area at Crystal Valley’s location, improving access to broadband connectivity.
This effort to improve internet connectivity has the potential to benefit 1,500 residents in rural areas who are currently unable to access adequate broadband service in their homes. Crystal Valley is providing the space Midco needs to place equipment.
Not only is broadband increasingly critical to daily life, but it also enables precision agriculture, increasing yields, improving productivity and boosting profits. Yet, according to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 14 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 project is part of ongoing efforts by Land O’Lakes, Inc. and Midco to address the rural broadband gap across the United States. Crystal Valley is part of the Land O’Lakes member network. Through its American Connection Project, Land O’Lakes and its cooperative network are helping bridge the digital divide with awareness and advocacy.
“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.”
“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.”
“The opportunity to be at the forefront of a project like this has been great. In partnering with Midco and Land O’Lakes, the entire Madelia area, over 1,500 residents, will now have access to high-speed broadband,” says Jon Langland, Crystal Valley Chief Information Technology Officer. “The benefits to having the ability to access high-speed broadband will help the community in many ways, including helping our customers take advantage of our digital offerings with reliable internet service.”