Trump promises better broadband access for rural Americans

Published: Jun. 22, 2017 at 12:03 AM CDT
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Shortly after President Trump arrived in Cedar Rapids, he toured part of Kirkwood Community College.

The president was expected to talk about the intersection of agriculture and technology. And he did-- but not until after he gave a lot of positive words to fellow Republicans in the state.

In his about 15 minute speech at Kirkwood, the president first gave a few shout outs to Iowa politicians, including Gov. Kim Reynolds.

He also gave former Governor Terry Branstad a hearty congrats on his new role as Chinese ambassador, and poked a bit of fun.

"Terry would always say do me a favor-- don't say anything bad about China," Trump said.

From there it was down to business.

"We're here today to talk about how we're going to empower America's farmers and protect our nation's proud farming legacy."

A key point of the President's remarks -- getting better broadband access to rural Americans like farmers.

Trump promised to deliver a trillion dollar infrastructure proposal soon with a provision to do just that.

"Every farmer across the nation... they're a businessman. A successful entrepreneur, a successful businessman needs to access data," said Scott Ermer, Dean of Agriculture Sciences at Kirkwood.

Ermer said one of his goals was to show Trump how important federal dollars are to higher schooling, at a time when the president has proposed slashing billions from federal education programs.

"We're not spilling over with money in higher education these days," said Ermer.

Ermer was making a case for Trump to renew the Carl Perkins Act-- which would provide more than a billion to schools across the country for technical training technology.

"I made that point while he was seeing the technology purchased with those funds right in action. I think he saw the benefits of that," Ermer said.

Some other promises from the president: working to get rid of the estate tax, and protect ethanol and biofuels.

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