DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Lake Region State College in Devils Lake announced Wednesday, Nov. 27, its receipt of a lead gift from Farmers Union Insurance for construction of a new Precision Ag Center that will house the college’s precision agriculture program.

“The opportunity to build a state-of-the-art center for ag education is beyond exciting,” said Doug Darling, president of Lake Region State College, in a release. “We appreciate Farmers Union Insurance’s commitment and investment in our program, in our students, and in the future of farming.”

The new ag education building will provide more space and a shop more suited for working with precision ag components and large equipment. With Lake Region’s own test field right outside the new building location, students will gain real world experiences and graduate with knowledge from both the classroom and field, said Darling.

Construction of the $3 million facility on campus grounds was authorized by the 2019 North Dakota Legislature, but requires Lake Region to raise half the amount before appropriated dollars and matching funds can be accessed.

“LRSC was recognized by PrecisionAg magazine as one of the Top 10 Best Colleges in the country for precision ag education,” said Mark Anderson, chief executive officer for Farmers Union Insurance, in a statement. “That level of excellence and contribution to our state’s bread and butter industry is something we’re very proud to support.”

Darling said Lake Region’s program is delivered with a “hands-on” approach. Students learn about concepts in the classroom, see and experience it in the lab, and then apply what they have learned on the test field.

“Graduates of our program are successfully operating family farms and excelling in agribusiness positions now. They are emerging in the top of their field as a generation of new leaders,” said Darling, noting that employees of implement dealerships, agronomy centers and other agribusinesses will benefit from training and resources the new facility will provide.