Photo of 1940s rural farm with electrical pole out front.
John Colliers / Library of Congress / Creative Commons license

We ran a quick bulletin last week on Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack's announcement of $40+ million in new stimulus money to bring more internet to New York State. That money actually goes to companies as grants and loans to build broadband infrastructure.

But this story really got us wondering, when did the Department of Agriculture (USDA) get mixed up in internet service?

We're the Innovation Trail, a collaboration between five public media outlets in upstate New York. We're looking at New York's "innovation economy" and reporting about the connections between investment and education, politics and people, technology and geography, as the state attempts to pull its economy up by its bootstraps. What does that actually mean? Our reporters are looking for - and finding - innovation everywhere. Here's what's coming down the pike.

This is an image of Galloo Island
Image courtesy www.presidentialretreats.com

Ahh, Galloo Island: a distant gem in the northeast corner of Lake Ontario.

Josh Fox lives in the Upper Delaware River Basin, on the border straddling Pennsylvania and New York State. In May 2008, he received a letter from a natural gas mining company. The company wanted to lease 19.5 acres of land from Fox -- and would pay him $100,000 to do so.

"[They say] 'We might not even drill,' " he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " 'We don't even know if there's gas here. It's going to be a fire hydrant in the middle of a field -- very little impact to your land. You won't hardly know we're here.' "

Josh Fox lives in the Upper Delaware River Basin, on the border straddling Pennsylvania and New York State. In May 2008, he received a letter from a natural gas mining company. The company wanted to lease 19.5 acres of land from Fox -- and would pay him $100,000 to do so.

"[They say] 'We might not even drill,' " he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " 'We don't even know if there's gas here. It's going to be a fire hydrant in the middle of a field -- very little impact to your land. You won't hardly know we're here.' "

Josh Fox lives in the Upper Delaware River Basin, on the border straddling Pennsylvania and New York State. In May 2008, he received a letter from a natural gas mining company. The company wanted to lease 19.5 acres of land from Fox -- and would pay him $100,000 to do so.

"[They say] 'We might not even drill,' " he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " 'We don't even know if there's gas here. It's going to be a fire hydrant in the middle of a field -- very little impact to your land. You won't hardly know we're here.' "

Josh Fox lives in the Upper Delaware River Basin, on the border straddling Pennsylvania and New York State. In May 2008, he received a letter from a natural gas mining company. The company wanted to lease 19.5 acres of land from Fox -- and would pay him $100,000 to do so.

"[They say] 'We might not even drill,' " he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " 'We don't even know if there's gas here. It's going to be a fire hydrant in the middle of a field -- very little impact to your land. You won't hardly know we're here.' "

Josh Fox lives in the Upper Delaware River Basin, on the border straddling Pennsylvania and New York State. In May 2008, he received a letter from a natural gas mining company. The company wanted to lease 19.5 acres of land from Fox -- and would pay him $100,000 to do so.

"[They say] 'We might not even drill,' " he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " 'We don't even know if there's gas here. It's going to be a fire hydrant in the middle of a field -- very little impact to your land. You won't hardly know we're here.' "

Josh Fox lives in the Upper Delaware River Basin, on the border straddling Pennsylvania and New York State. In May 2008, he received a letter from a natural gas mining company. The company wanted to lease 19.5 acres of land from Fox -- and would pay him $100,000 to do so.

"[They say] 'We might not even drill,' " he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " 'We don't even know if there's gas here. It's going to be a fire hydrant in the middle of a field -- very little impact to your land. You won't hardly know we're here.' "

Josh Fox lives in the Upper Delaware River Basin, on the border straddling Pennsylvania and New York State. In May 2008, he received a letter from a natural gas mining company. The company wanted to lease 19.5 acres of land from Fox -- and would pay him $100,000 to do so.

"[They say] 'We might not even drill,' " he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " 'We don't even know if there's gas here. It's going to be a fire hydrant in the middle of a field -- very little impact to your land. You won't hardly know we're here.' "

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U.S. Photonics Hub Coming To Rochester

What does this mean for the economy of the Rochester region?