By: SDSU College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

BROOKINGS – Corteva Agriscience recently announced a $600,000 gift to support the South Dakota State University precision agriculture program and construction of the new Raven Precision Agriculture Center on campus. 

The gift will sponsor the Corteva Student Atrium inside the new facility. 

“We are very fortunate to have Corteva Agriscience partner with us on this groundbreaking precision agriculture facility and program,” said John Killefer, South Dakota Corn Endowed Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. 

“The culture of innovation that is shared between Corteva Agriscience and South Dakota State University makes for a perfect partnership that will help ensure an exciting and impactful future for precision agriculture as we work together to feed a hungry world and conserve our precious natural resources.”

The Raven Precision Agriculture Center will allow South Dakota to lead the nation in precision agriculture research, teaching and innovation. The building will have 129,000 square feet of floor space that will be able to house modern precision farm equipment and provide collaborative learning spaces for student design projects. Flexible space will be available so scientists from a variety of departments and industry can collaborate in research and education. 

A groundbreaking ceremony for the facility was held on the SDSU campus in Brookings on Oct. 6, 2018.

“The launch of a precision ag-focused major is a big opportunity for the future of agriculture and can help make a difference in the lives of farmers everywhere,” said Jamie Williamson, Corteva Agriscience area leader-northern plains. “Precision agriculture is just one in a long list of innovations that help us find the solutions needed to solve the problems of today and anticipate tomorrow’s challenges. Corteva Agriscience is focused on providing farmers with complete solutions, and digital agriculture is a key component to meet the needs of farmers.” 

SDSU is the nation’s first land-grant university to offer a bachelor’s degree and minor in precision agriculture. The degree is a collaborative effort encompassing the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department and the Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, as well as the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering. 

SDSU’s precision agriculture degree provides students with access to cutting-edge developments in the rapidly evolving intersection of agronomics, high-speed sensor technology, data management and advanced machinery development. Students will be prepared for lifelong careers that support economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture.

“We understand there are increasing needs of precision agriculture education,” Williamson said. “As a champion of responsible agriculture and an industry-leader in digital technology, we look forward to what these capable students and this historic university can accomplish going forward.”

Final construction plans are in-progress. Site preparation has begun, with construction scheduled to begin this fall.

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