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Beth Ford during National Governors Association Winter Meeting on Broadband: 'It’s more powerful when we’re working together'

American Connection Project efforts were also on full display at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, with CEO Beth Ford's comments showcasing the central mission

Beth Ford during National Governors Association Winter Meeting on Broadband: 'It’s more powerful when we’re working together'


On Jan. 29, Land O'Lakes President and CEO Beth Ford joined Best Buy CEO Corie Barry, and Accenture CEO Julie Sweet for a panel moderated by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at the National Governors Association Annual Winter Meeting to discuss the importance of broadband connectivity for the future of the economy, education, and health care.

You can watch the full panel from the 2022 NGA Winter meeting here.

Of their shared effort, Ford commented, “I want to thank these two [Accenture and Best Buy] because they are partnered with us in our initiative called the American Connection Project where we have over 176 companies and large organizations focused on awareness, advocacy and taking action: free Wi-Fi locations, job creation and technology… it’s more powerful when we’re working together.”

When discussing the digital divide and its implication on the agriculture and food production sector, Ford said, “It leaves us less competitive – I don’t think it is an overstatement to say it is a national security issue. How do you create jobs and have food security for a nation if you don’t have the best technology, if we’re not investing?”

When discussing partnerships and their ability to deepen the reach of broadband expansion, Ford explained Land O’Lakes newest partnership with the Center on Rural Innovation.

“It is going to take these partnerships, public-private. We just announced an initiative in Aberdeen, South Dakota,” Ford commented. “We wanted to first make sure we highlighted broadband access. We’re partnered with CORI (Center on Rural Innovation), and we want digital skills development in that community to create jobs in Aberdeen, South Dakota that are tech jobs.”

Land O’Lakes and CORI launched their first American Connection Community in Aberdeen, South Dakota in January of 2022. Under the new joint project, Aberdeen will be the first of a set of rural communities to benefit from several months of strategic planning and engagement through CORI’s Rural Innovation Initiative to help them create innovation hubs, assist with applications for state, and federal funding and gain access to digital skills and tools.

​The Land O’Lakes American Connection Project efforts were on full display at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, and Ford’s comments showcased the central mission, “Foundationally, we have to get technology and access, we must get broadband and wireless available in these [underserved and unserved] communities so they can stabilize and do the work they need to do.” 


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 2020 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 100 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. 

4001 Lexington Avenue North Arden Hills, MN 55126 | Mailing: P.O. Box 64101 St. Paul, MN 55164-0101 | 651.375.2222