This new state-of-the-art facility, when completed, will provide a common location for programs, faculty and staff currently occupying the Agricultural Engineering, the Biosystems Engineering, and the Plant Science Buildings at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. This new major of Precision Agriculture, and its new facility, will be the first of its kind in the nation and will set the standard for this new collaborative major, combining many related fields of agricultural studies. Presently, the program includes over 35,000 SF of research and teaching wet lab spaces, and will also include substantial classroom and office space to support the new Precision Agriculture major.
The overarching goal of this facility is to support collaboration. Throughout the facility there will be casual studying areas, private group meeting, conferences rooms and breakout space. Even the faculty offices are mixed and arranged around a collaboration core to facilitate greater interaction.
In addition to programming, numerous potential sites were examined to determine the best possible use of existing buildings and the limited available space on the SDSU campus. We used an unbiased ranking system to grade potential sites. In our due diligence, construction costs were also examined throughout the process in order to keep the overall project costs in line with the budget goals.
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 diagnosis, and weed/pest management.