Congresswoman Suzan DelBene talks with Dancing Crow Farms’ Sean Stratman on a tour of the property last Thursday. (Courtesy Photo)

DelBene tours Dancing Crow Farm and Microsoft FarmBeats project, calls for innovative investments to modernize U.S. infrastructure

  • Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:13pm
  • News

Last week, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) met with local innovators on ways to modernize America’s infrastructure. On Thursday, Aug. 24, working with Microsoft engineers and local farmer Sean Stratman, she toured Dancing Crow Farm near Carnation.

Microsoft is partnering with local farms to pilot the FarmBeats project. FarmBeats uses “Internet of Things” sensors and other technologies to enable data-driven agriculture, helping growers to make educated decisions on where to plant, what kind of crop will grow best and how much to water.

While the sensors are fairly inexpensive, the challenge is getting the collected data to the farmer. Microsoft has invested in applying unused TV waves, known as white spaces, to advance precision agriculture in these rural farm areas.

DelBene has called for increased access to broadband to be included in any larger infrastructure package that may be considered by Congress.Access to broadband in rural areas can dramatically increase opportunities for economic development, transportation, education, healthcare and agriculture.

“Our laws and infrastructure are woefully out of date with the way the world works today and we need to modernize our policies to take advantage of great advances taking place right here in the Pacific Northwest, like what’s happening at Dancing Crow Farms with Microsoft’s FarmBeats technology,” DelBene said. “Lawmakers need to start seeing technology as basic infrastructure and embracing innovative solutions to ensure that we don’t allow a single community to be left behind. Internet access in rural areas can dramatically increase opportunities for economic development, transportation, education, healthcare and agriculture just to name a few, and we simply can’t afford to take any option or investment off the table where there’s potential for game-changing progress.”

For more information about the tour and the technologies demonstrated, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/farmbeats-iot-agriculture/.

Microsoft researcher Ranveer Chandra, right, shows Congresswoman Suzan DelBene the types of data that can be tracked through the FarmBeats project, on a visit to Dancing Crow Farm in the Valey. (Courtesy Photo)

More in News

Metro revises timeline for RapidRide bus expansion

After originally aiming to build 20 additional fast-service bus lines on high demand routes by 2040, King County Metro has changed its construction timelines and put 13 of those projects on hold.

Snoqualmie Valley Hospital CEO resigns; recommends interim CEO

Snoqualmie Valley Hospital CEO Tom Parker announced his resignation and recommended an interim CEO.

Where to pick up a pumpkin this October

The Eastside has a few options for seasonal squash hunters.

Valley cities offer resources to prepare for possible flooding this winter | Winter Ready

Keep up to date on the flooding preparation resources available to residents.

Two Eastside killers see sentences changed

Death penalty ruled unconstitutional, death row sentences changed to life without parole

Rape allegation against Sen. Joe Fain divides King County Council

In a recent interview, Councilmember Kathy Lambert blamed Fain’s accuser for the alleged rape. Then Lambert’s colleagues distanced themselves from her comments.

Paul Allen, shown in 2015. Courtesy of the Herald
Paul Allen dead at 65

Microsoft co-founder, developer, and philanthropist struggled with cancer for decades

Snoqualmie City Council talks visitor center and utilities savings

Snoqualmie City Council discusses visitor center fundign and bond savings at the Oct. 8 meeting.

Two women killed in King County’s latest DUI fatality

The Kent women were heading to work in Snoqualmie when an impaired driver crossed the centerline.

Most Read