HOME Pilot Program for HWY 81 Corridor

September 8, 2021


Concordia, Kansas

Join us for a free soil health workshop hosted by the Kansas Soil Health Alliance and No-till on the Plains featuring several area producers, soil demonstrations, and a rainfall simulator. The day will also include representatives from the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Conservation and Kansas Department of Transportation speaking on the HOME Pilot program and seeking input on the KDOT Freight Plan. A light breakfast and lunch are included for all who attend.

HOME Pilot Description: 

The Kansas Departments of Agriculture and Transportation are launching a Heartland Opportunities Markets and Environment pilot project.  This pilot will provide the infrastructure improvements necessary for farms located near U.S. 83 and U.S. 81 highways in northwest and north central Kansas to gain access to high-speed internet.  In exchange, producers will be asked to implement soil health principles on at least one of their fields.  Participation in the pilot is entirely voluntarily and producers will have the opportunity to learn more about it to see if it meets their needs.

KDOT Freight Plan: 

KDOT will seek input from producers about how transportation (rail, highways and airports) could be improved to drive down the costs of transporting agriculture goods and make trips more efficient.  This feedback will shape KDOT’s Freight Plan, which will help prioritize future transportation investments.

Cloud County Fairgrounds
Commercial Building
610 Industrial Road
Concordia, Kansas 66901

This workshop is free and open to the public.  Kansans interested in participating should register at notill.org or kssoilhealth.org.

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is working across the state to improve the highways that connect us to each other. Through the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE), KDOT will repair our existing infrastructure and modernize our transportation system to expand economic opportunities across the state.

As part of work KDOT is doing, fiber optic cable will need to be installed to carry information to message boards across the state and allow for future technological advancements that will make our roads safer. These message boards display traffic and emergency information to drivers in real time.

These new fiber optic cables are an opportunity to leverage transportation investments to gain added broadband internet connectivity across the state. Through the HOME program, KDOT will begin a pilot project that connects farms and homes with broadband service along two corridors on U.S. 81 and U.S. 83. As part of the HOME program and in partnership with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, participating farms will be asked to implement soil health principles in at least one field. These principles have been shown to increase profitability for agricultural producers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Providing a high-speed internet connection to farms opens access to carbon credit markets that expand economic development opportunities. High-speed internet access is critical to fully utilize the precision agriculture equipment necessary to be eligible for carbon credit markets.

The HOME pilot will leverage more benefits out of our initial infrastructure investment, expand broadband access, strengthen soil health and sustainability, and open new markets for Kansans.

Emma Cornish Sellon
(785) 291-3707