BROOKINGS — After breaking ground in fall 2018, a public grand opening ceremony for the Raven Precision Agriculture Center was held Sept. 11, on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings.
Following the ceremony, attendees were invited to take tours of the new $46.1 million facility that was supported by South Dakota stakeholder groups, industry partners and legislative leaders.
The center brings the Departments of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Agronomy,
Horticulture and Plant Science under one roof, which were previously housed in separate buildings on campus. This innovative environment will allow for increased student-faculty interaction, industry networking opportunities, inter-departmental research collaboration and hands-on learning.
The new facility measures 122,694 sq. ft. and includes 15 teaching labs, six hands-on labs, 12 research labs, 22 collaborative spaces and office space for more than 50 graduate students.
The center features a 4,245 sq. ft. high bay area with a 3-ton overhead crane that provides students with real-world experience working on modern, full-size equipment and machinery.
“This grand facility is where innovation will happen, and new technologies will be developed, allowing farmers to be more profitable, our environment healthier, and food supplies more reliable for generations to come,” said Barry H. Dunn, SDSU President. “Our students, now and in the future, who walk the halls of this building, will go on to create new businesses, lead organizations, and conduct research that will forever change the way we grow, harvest, and deliver the world’s food.”