CHS Foundation announces $1.5 million grant to support South Dakota State University precision ag program
The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc, has announced a $1.5 million grant to support the South Dakota State University (SDSU) precision agriculture program and construction of the new Raven Precision Agriculture Center on campus.
The gift aligns with CHS priorities around ensuring that educating the next generation of ag leadership includes technology and tradition. The CHS Foundation is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with their partners, they are igniting innovation and driving excellence in agriculture education, cultivating high-impact programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture.
"The gift from the CHS Foundation is pivotal in allowing us to make our globally preeminent precision agriculture program a reality," says John Killefer, the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.
"The CHS Foundation is committed to supporting projects that cultivate opportunity for students interested in the agriculture industry," says Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. "By supporting the precision ag program at SDSU, there will be more qualified graduates entering the agriculture industry."
SDSU is the US'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 will provide 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.
Final construction plans are in-progress. Some ground work is expected to begin this fall, with construction starting in the spring of 2019.