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Raven Precision Agriculture Center Groundbreaking Ceremony Planned for October 6

Raven Precision Agriculture Center
Rendering of the future Raven Precision Agriculture Center

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new South Dakota State University Raven Precision Agriculture Center will take place on the SDSU campus in Brookings on Saturday, Oct. 6, at 1:30 p.m. The event will be held on the future building site, just south of the Animal Science Complex on the corner of Medary Avenue and North Campus Drive. In honor of the occasion, SDSU will be hosting the first-ever Precision Agriculture Bowl football game vs. Indiana State following the groundbreaking event.

"We are thrilled to be breaking ground on this state-of-the-art facility that will equip our students with the skills to launch successful careers feeding a hungry world. We appreciate the support of the many South Dakota stakeholders who are working with us to make South Dakota a global leader within the precision agriculture industry," says John Killefer, South Dakota Corn Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. "The new Raven Precision Agriculture Center will have outstanding classrooms and laboratories that will help foster innovation and collaboration across several disciplines in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, and the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering." 

SDSU is the first land-grant university in the country to offer both a bachelor's degree and minor in precision agriculture. Students learn while participating in a collaborative program focusing on both the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science, and the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. The precision agriculture curriculum also incorporates other programs from across the university.

The precision agriculture major offers courses in data analytics, GPS-GIS technology, soil sciences, precision crop production, plant pathology, precision data mapping, sensor technology, precision farm machinery, electrical diagnostics and weed/pest management. 

"Our students are required to integrate their multi-disciplinary knowledge from those classes into problem-based learning through senior-level crop production courses and a capstone course in integrated resource management," Killefer explains. "The new Raven Precision Agriculture Center will be able to house modern precision farm equipment and will 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."

The $46.1 million Raven Precision Agriculture Center building project is supported by South Dakota stakeholder groups and legislative leaders. The building has 129,000 square feet of floor space. Final construction plans are in-progress. Some ground work is expected to begin this fall, with construction starting in the spring of 2019. 

SDState's Precision Agriculture Bowl and Hall of Fame football game will begin at 6:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Jackrabbit Ticket Office by calling (605) 688-5422. Learn more about the Raven Precision Agriculture Center Groundbreaking event at https://www.sdstate.edu/events/2018/10/raven-precision-agriculture-center-groundbreaking-ceremony