South Dakota State University adds Precision Agriculture Curriculum
Precision technology and training are key to increasing farm profitability and striving toward more sustainable production. The integration of technology and farm equipment continue to help farmers make informed decisions and meet increased demand for food, fuel, and ecosystem sustainability.
Maximizing production, lowering input costs, and managing our precious lands for sustainable crop production are the most important aspects of precision agriculture. Graduates of South Dakota State University’s Precision Agriculture program will be able to help farmers continue to increase their crop production goals and develop crop production practices that create resiliency within fields to handle South Dakota’s variable climate.
This fall, SDSU will become the first land grant university in the nation to offer both a major and minor in precision agriculture--creating greater educational opportunities for students, providing a place for innovation to flourish, and becoming the fastest growing program on campus.
Through generous donor support from the agriculture industry and the South Dakota farm families, the Raven Precision Agriculture Center will host Precision Agriculture, Agronomy, Horticulture, and Agricultural Engineering majors on the SDSU campus. The Center’s open layout will serve as a place for collaboration among agriculture students and faculty. With more than 450 classroom seats, it will serve as a hub for agriculture innovators and leaders.
Under the supervision of Dr. Van Kelly, Department Head of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, and Dr. David Wright, Department Head of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Sciences, the Precision Agriculture program will help to meet the needs of farmers and ag retailers across the country. Program graduates will leave with a broad understanding of the skills to manage new technology and provide user support. Students will gain an understanding of data analytics and being able to use the technology to make profit-focused decisions for farmers and agricultural retail organizations.