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“Our laws and infrastructure are woefully out of date with the way the world works today and we need to modernize our policies to take advantage of great advances taking place right here in the Pacific Northwest,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

Washington State Capitol. Photo by Nicole Jennings
Washington may soon teach sexual abuse prevention in schools

The State Legislature is considering training aimed at improving child safety.

Permit approved for disabled adult home in Snoqualmie; public can comment through March 2

The Snoqualmie Hearing Examiner recently approved a conditional use permit for a… Continue reading

Blotter: Man who slept in shower stall creates a commotion; Unruly bar patron exposes himself

Police and fire agencies in the Snoqualmie Valley responded to the following… Continue reading

Stilson Avenue to close Feb. 20-24 for pavement repairs

Stilson Avenue in North Bend (432nd Avenue SE) will be closed Tuesday,… Continue reading

SVSD voters support tax increase in early returns

Snoqualmie Valley School District residents were rejecting two school funding issues in… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Police to host pepper spray defense class for RAD graduates

The Snoqualmie Police Department is now offering self-defense classes with pepper spray… Continue reading

NB Planning Commission reviews recommended changes to city’s tree code Feb. 22

The city of North Bend is proposing amendments to its tree regulations,… Continue reading

Maloney Grove Avenue to close for subdivision work on three separate days, starting Thursday

Partial closures of Maloney Grove Avenue in North Bend can be expected… Continue reading

Kayaker drowned Saturday on Snoqualmie River’s North Fork

A Snohomish County firefighter drowned while kayaking in the Snoqualmie River near… Continue reading

Most Read