Calling it an investment in the future of precision agriculture in South Dakota, Agtegra board Vice President Rick Osterday, together with Clemensen, presented a check for $500,000 to SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences Interim Dean Don Marshall. The presentation was part of Agtegra Day at the Capitol in Pierre.
“An investment in the future of precision agriculture supports our farmers, our future farmers and agronomists, and our communities,” Osterday said. “Technology offers us the best opportunity to excel in our pursuit of improved yields, efficient production and exceptional harvests.”
In receiving the donation, Marshall replied, “SDSU is extremely grateful for the generosity of Agtegra with this substantial contribution to the precision ag project. We share a vision of the importance of precision technology to the future of agriculture. This gift will help prepare SDSU students for the workforce and enable our faculty and staff to contribute to innovative industry production methods that optimize efficiency and profitability while sustaining natural resources for future generations.”
The precision ag center project, when completed, will create a leading-edge space for SDSU’s research in and teaching of precision agriculture. SDSU is home to the nation’s first four-year degree program in precision agriculture.
According to Clemensen, this is the kind of project that fits with value of the new cooperative.
“This is a future-focused endeavor,” Clemensen said. “We have a legacy-rich tradition of meeting challenges head-on, and of turning to innovation to achieve success.”
Osterday added, “It’s vital that we raise up a new generation of farmers and agronomists, skilled in knowing how to apply precision technology to feeding the world’s population. The Precision Ag Center Project can help us achieve that goal and can set apart South Dakota as a leader in that pursuit.”
The total cost of the project is $55 million and will include new construction and the renovation of Berg Agricultural Hall. The new building will be located between the Animal Science Complex, McFadden Biostress and the Alfred Dairy Science Hall on the SDSU campus.
Agtegra Cooperative, headquartered in Aberdeen, is a farmer-owned cooperative with 900 employees in North and South Dakota serving more than 60 communities, approximately 6,770 member-owners and more than 20,000 equity holders.
In addition to offering grain and agronomy services, Agtegra offers its members aerial application services, fuel, animal feed and precision ag hardware and software products and services.