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First Dakota National Bank Makes $500,000 Donation to SDSU Precision Agriculture Building Project

First Dakota National Bank has pledged a $500,000 donation to support the construction of a Precision Agriculture Facility at South Dakota State University. The donation will help support students who are pursuing the first four-year Precision Agriculture degree offered by a land-grant university in the U.S.

Nate Franzen, First Dakota National Bank Ag Division President
Nate Franzen, First Dakota National Bank Ag Division President

“Today technology is increasing the speed of change on the farm and ranch. Producers who don’t embrace that change will get left behind. SDSU’s Precision Ag project will be critical to keeping our farmers and ranchers competitive. First Dakota is proud to make this investment in the future of the Ag industry and our clients,” states Nate Franzen, First Dakota National Bank Ag Division President.

Precision agriculture integrates sophisticated technology and actionable data into management practices. As farmers and ranchers strive to efficiently feed a growing population, the demand continues to rise for agricultural technology that helps maintain environmental stewardship and allows producers to optimize inputs and improve profitability on each acre.

Larry Ness, CEO and Chairman of the Board of First Dakota National Bank
Larry Ness, CEO and Chairman of the Board of First Dakota National Bank

“Agriculture is our state’s number one industry. First Dakota is heavily invested and committed to this industry. We are excited to help SDSU continue their vision to stay on the cutting edge of advancing the regions agricultural interests,” states Larry Ness, CEO and Chairman of the Board of First Dakota National Bank.

SDSU’s bachelor’s degree and minor in Precision Agriculture combines collaborative efforts encompassing the Departments of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science, and College of Engineering.  Students are learning about cutting-edge developments at the rapidly evolving intersection of agronomics, high-speed sensor technology, data management and advanced machinery development. The First Dakota National Bank donation will help students learn in facilities that prepare them for lifelong careers supporting economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture.

Don Marshall, Interim Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences
Don Marshall, Interim Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences

“SDSU is extremely grateful to First Dakota National Bank for their contribution to the Precision Ag project,” says Don Marshall, Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. “We share a vision of the value of precision technology for efficient agricultural production and its importance in educating tomorrow’s ag-related workforce. “

About First Dakota National Bank

First Dakota was founded in 1872 and holds the first bank charter issued in Dakota Territory. It has 19 full-service banking locations in 14 South Dakota cities. It also has six loan production offices throughout South Dakota and Nebraska.

About South Dakota State University

Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from six different colleges representing more than 200 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 36 master’s degree programs, 15 Ph.D. and two professional programs.

The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.