Lake Region State College’s Precision Agriculture Program Has a New State-of-the-Art Home


About 200 people, including state lawmakers, North Dakota State Council on Higher Education Chairman Casey Ryan, and donors attended the open house.

The land was inaugurated on the $ 3 million agricultural education building in July 2020, and it opened to students in January 2021. The Precision Agriculture program at Lake Region State College, which is the one of its most successful and popular programs, will be hosted in the building.

Precision Agriculture students at Lake Region State College receive a combination of hands-on instruction on tractors, combines, and other large equipment, and high-tech programming that includes the use of simulators.

The college’s precision agriculture program, which began in 2014, was housed in a rented building about a mile north of the Lake Region Campus. Since the program began, both farm equipment and the number of students enrolled in the precision agriculture program have increased, said Doug Darling, president of the Lakes Region, at the ceremony on Sept. 22.

Lake Region State College President Doug Darling spoke at the Lake Region State College Hofstad Agriculture Center ribbon cutting and open house on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Ann Bailey / Agweek

Lake Region State College President Doug Darling spoke at the Lake Region State College Hofstad Agriculture Center ribbon cutting and open house on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Ann Bailey / Agweek

“We have exceeded the equipment and the number of entries,” he said. Sometimes students had to be at the mercy of the elements because the equipment was too large to fit inside the rented building. For example, in January, when students were working on the equipment, they had to be outside in the parking lot, he noted.

The Hofstad Agricultural Center is 25% larger than the rented building and has two classrooms and a common area that can also be used as a classroom. The new center allows students to move from their classrooms to the Machine Bay and adjacent 40-acre lot without having to cross a busy highway.

Hofstad Agriculture was funded by a combination of private and public dollars. Support from the agriculture industry and the Devils Lake community has been “phenomenal,” Darling said, noting $ 1 million was raised during the disastrous 2019 farm year and the global pandemic of 2020.

Hofstad Agriculture Center was named in honor of Curt and Annette Hofstad, who farmed near Starkweather, North Dakota, Curt Hofstad served in the North Dakota Legislature from 2007 to 2015. He is deceased in 2016.

Hofstad’s son, Chad, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony and open house on September 22, is the fourth generation of Hofstad to operate the family farm.

“It’s a real honor to have our name on something like this. My dad was so passionate about farming, ”said Hofstad. “He has always had real optimism about the future of agriculture.

Guests at the Lake Region State College Hofstad Agriculture Center open house on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, examine some of the equipment that students will have the opportunity to work on.  The new teaching building is 25% larger than the rented building where the lessons were previously held.  Ann Bailey / Agweek

Guests at the Lake Region State College Hofstad Agriculture Center open house on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, examine some of the equipment that students will have the opportunity to work on. The new teaching building is 25% larger than the rented building where the lessons were previously held. Ann Bailey / Agweek

Andrew Muus, a sophomore at Lake Region State College, was one of two students who expressed their appreciation for the center during the open house.

“We love it,” he said. “It’s really nice to work. “

Muus plans to return to the family farm near Langdon, North Dakota after graduating.

About half of the students enrolled in the Lake District Precision Agriculture program return to the farm and about half pursue careers off the farm, Darling said.


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