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Exploring precision agriculture prospects

A recently formed collaborative effort concentrating on the precision agriculture industry seeks to advance research opportunities and industry connections at SDSU while promoting business development within the Brookings area.

On June 25, approximately 30 South Dakota State University associate deans, department heads and researchers attended a workshop hosted by Brookings Economic Development Corporation and the Research Park at SDSU.

The goal of the day-long event was to obtain a better understanding of the needs and challenges of private enterprise and determine how SDSU can best package their expertise related to precision agriculture in order to provide solutions and promote economic development in the Brookings area.

Workshop sessions focused on discovering research and business development opportunities for SDSU and Brookings, identifying SDSU best practices related to existing industry relationships, and further developing SDSU’s private sector value proposition related to precision agriculture.

Breakout discussions involved specifying SDSU-specific assets related to geospatial imaging solutions, agronomy and soil health concepts, and animal health and livestock management. SDSU is the first university in the nation to offer a four-year degree program in precision agriculture.

“Precision agriculture represents a very relevant and extremely active area of academic and business activity,” said Daniel Scholl, SDSU vice president of research and economic development. “This workshop will prove to be instrumental in helping SDSU develop pathways for innovative research, development and education that will build industry relationships and strengthen our leadership role as a land grant university in this field.”

The workshop was facilitated by Lisa Prassack of Prassack Advisors, LLC, a national consulting and research firm with significant market knowledge in emerging agricultural technology businesses and innovators. BEDC has contracted with Prassack as part of a larger initiative to provide assistance with identifying and building on SDSU’s core assets as a leader in precision agriculture and leveraging the Brookings area as a place to build and expand business.

“The Brookings region is home to unique and significant assets and resources related to precision agriculture,” said Al Heuton, executive director of BEDC. “We will continue our work with Prassack and SDSU to develop business and research opportunities designed to grow the area economy.”

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