Raven Industries is donating $5 million to South Dakota State University to help build a Precision Ag Facility on the Brookings, S.D., campus.
SDSU is the first land-grant university in the country to offer both a four-year degree and a minor in precision agriculture. Raven Industries, headquartered in Sioux Falls, which is about 60 miles from Brookings, is a precision technology manufacturer.
The Precision Agriculture Facility will cost about $31.8 million to build. The 129,000-square-foot building will include classrooms, labs and administrative offices.
“As a leader in precision agriculture, Raven recognizes this unique opportunity to partner with SDSU,” said Dan Rykhus, president and CEO of Raven Industries, in a statement announcing the gift. “SDSU is leading the way in the development of the next generation of precision agriculture innovators with an enriching, multidisciplinary education and a robust learning experience. Raven and SDSU have enjoyed a long and positive relationship, and this facility will lead to further collaboration with faculty, staff, and students on emerging technology in support of the growing need for precision agriculture practices and tools. Our investment in this partnership reflects our strong belief that the demand for precision ag technology and solutions is rapidly growing across the globe. We believe it is our responsibility to help solve that great challenge.”
SDSU President Barry Dunn said Raven’s gift will help transform the state of South Dakota into a global leader in the precision agriculture industry.
“The proposed facility will enhance innovation and the development of educational programs that will deliver applications to enable data-driven decisions in precision farming, ranching and conservation. It will promote the type of collaboration between faculty, students and industry experts that will change agriculture and make our region and world a better place,” he said in a statement.
The Precision Agriculture Facility has to be approved by the legislature before construction can begin. The South Dakota Board of Regents recently submitted the project to the 2018 legislature as part of its $55 million building plan.