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Yes, There Really Is a Precision Agriculture Bowl

The football game and groundbreaking ceremony for the SDSU Raven Precision Agriculture Center is set for October 6 at South Dakota State University.

Chances are you’ve heard of the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and the Fiesta Bowl. Now, the Precision Agriculture Bowl joins the college football bowl ranks.

The South Dakota State University (SDSU) Jackrabbits will play the Indiana State University Sycamores in the first-ever Precision Agriculture Bowl this Saturday, October 6. The 6 p.m. CST kickoff at  Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium at SDSU will be preceded by the groundbreaking ceremony for the new SDSU Raven Precision Agriculture Center 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 on the SDSU campus.

“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,” said John Killefer, South Dakota Corn Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences in an SDSU news release. “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. 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 multidisciplinary 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. 

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