Ag Valley Co-op Offers Free Wi-Fi Access in Several Communities to Help Bridge Telehealth and Educational Digital Divide During COVID-19
As part of a broader initiative by farmer-owned co-op Land O’Lakes, Inc., Ag Valley Co-op is providing free internet access to our community, while upholding social distancing measures
Edison, NE (April 28, 2020) – As the coronavirus pandemic has created an unparalleled and sudden shift to virtual working and learning, people in rural areas now more than ever are feeling the impacts of limited or unreliable internet connectivity. To help neighbors communicate with friends and relatives, keep up with schoolwork, and take part in other activities that are now done almost entirely online, Ag Valley Co-op is making guest Wi-Fi access available in the parking lot of its Edison, Ampride and Arapahoe locations to area residents. This initiative is part of a larger effort by Land O’Lakes, Inc., a member-owned co-op with deep roots across rural America, of which Ag Valley Co-op is a member.
“As millions of Americans shift to work and school from home and increasingly look to telehealth for critical healthcare services, the urgent need for internet connectivity in rural America has never been so dire,” said Beth Ford, president & CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “Today, we are proud to take the step along with many partners to bridge the gap and provide this critical service to these communities during this crisis. But our efforts now are only a short-term solution for a much bigger problem that people in our rural communities face even when we are not experiencing a viral pandemic. As a member-owned cooperative, Land O’Lakes believes that we are all stronger together, and we are incredibly appreciative of the generosity of our retail-owners during this trying time.”
“Aligning with the seventh cooperative principle, Concern for Community, Ag Valley Co-op is here to help and support our communities by providing access to free public WIFI,” said Jeff Krejdl, general manager and CEO of Ag Valley Co-op. “While we all navigate these challenges, please remember that you are part of a cooperative system that was designed and built to help you get through times like these. We are here building tomorrow together.”
Members of the community can access Wi-Fi from their cars anytime. Ag Valley Co-op has designated a portion of its parking lot for Wi-Fi users, which will allow us to provide services to customers, who are also following social distancing guidelines, without interruption. To maintain social distancing, guests are asked to stay in their own cars while using this service. Maps indicating where to park can be found on the homepage at www.agvalley.com. To join our network, select AgValleyFree. There is no password required.
During this unprecedented time, Land O’Lakes is deploying the power of its co-op to make a difference in local communities. As such, this program is part of a broader effort Land O’Lakes is deploying at its facilities across America’s heartland. Ag Valley Co-op is part of the Land O’Lakes ag retailer network and is volunteering to take part in this program. While this is a short-term solution, Land O’Lakes is continuing to advocate for broadband infrastructure investment in rural areas across the country at both the state and federal level to ensure the long-term vitality of rural America.
Ford continued, “If there were a time to band together with and for our rural neighbors – many of whom are critical to feeding our nation – now is that time. I’d encourage businesses with footprints in rural communities to join us in this small action to connect our rural communities; and I strongly urge state and federal policy makers to join us in fixing the problem by closing the digital divide in rural America.”
Please contact your health insurance first to inquire about telehealth options they provide and the potential costs. If you are uninsured, here is a link to telehealth resources that may be available to you on a fee for service basis: https://www.techhealthdirectory.com/
Ag Valley is a member-owned agricultural cooperative established in 1953 that serves communities in west/southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas. Patrons count on Ag Valley to help them manage risk, process and market grain, buy feed and fuel and access the latest agronomy services. Members are also eligible for significant discounts on fleet vehicles. For more information, visit www.agvalley.com.
About Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2019 annual sales of $14 billion, Land O’Lakes is one of the nation’s largest cooperatives, ranking 212 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 99 years of operation, Land O’Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands and businesses in agriculture and food production including Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Truterra, LLC. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O’Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn.