North Dakota State College of Science dedicated its new Kosel Family Agriculture Land Lab today, and recognized local businesses who are providing educational opportunities through their involvement with the land lab. The land lab, located along Richland County Road 10, enables NDSCS Agriculture students to receive hands-on experience in the field to prepare them with skills needed for a career in agriculture.
In May 2017, Linda Patterson and Mary Kosel made a donation to the NDSCS Foundation, allowing for the use of nearly 95 acres of farmland to become an agricultural land laboratory. The NDSCS Foundation requested proposals from agricultural businesses to collaborate with the NDSCS Agriculture department to provide learning opportunities for Agriculture students through the use of the land lab. That process led to memorandums of agreement with Peterson Farms Seed and RDO Equipment Co., who are now actively using the land lab and creating educational opportunities for NDSCS students.
“Our students are looking for hands-on learning experiences. The applied learning and demonstrations at the land lab resonate with them and add to their learning experience,” said NDSCS Agriculture Chair Craig Zimprich. “They are also able to gain insight from business and industry representatives who are sharing their knowledge with our students.”
The collaboration between Peterson Farms Seed, RDO Equipment Co. and the NDSCS Agriculture department is allowing for applied research and demonstrations, and bringing additional expertise to students’ educational experience. Students are learning from the crops that have been planted at the land lab, and are seeing demonstrations about multiple farming practices.
“We’re proud to have the opportunity to work with NDSCS and the Land Lab through this unique public-private partnership,” Joel Kaczynski, said RDO Equipment Co. Product Specialist Manager. “This allows the RDO Equipment Co. team to directly demonstrate the concepts of precision agriculture, and pass along the experience and learnings to NDSCS students, our customers, and the community.”
“We’re excited to work with NDSCS on this Land Lab,” said Peterson Farms Seed Agronomy Lead Adam Spelhaug. “We’ve had a good relationship with NDSCS over the years and this a great way to share some of the work we do in genetic testing. We have some population tests on different hybrids the students will be able to observe along with some seed treatment and variety trials.”
Each year, the NDSCS Agriculture Department serves approximately 80-90 students who are intending to enter production agriculture or the associated sales and service industries after obtaining their Associate in Applied Science (A. A. S.) degree in Agriculture from NDSCS. Individuals interested in the program can learn more online at ndscs.edu/ag, or by attending the College’s Ag Day on Wednesday, November 7. More information and registration for this event can be found online at ndscs.edu/specialevent.
The North Dakota State College of Science and North Dakota State University have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement to better serve the research, service, educational and workforce needs of North Dakota. The two institutions share a unique combined presence in eastern North Dakota, and a cooperative spirit through which the educational interests of the state and local area are served.
“This agreement paves the way for NDSU and NDSCS to strengthen education across North Dakota by working together in areas including academic programming, operations and campus resources,” said NDSU President Dean Bresciani. “It enables us to explore additional opportunities to create academic partnerships and operating efficiencies.”
“NDSCS and NDSU have a history of cooperation and collaboration,” said NDSCS President John Richman. “This memorandum of agreement formalizes and expands that partnership, and will help us to work together to meet the area’s educational and workforce needs.”
The institutions have previously partnered in specific areas to enhance student success. Previous agreements have been outlined for:
Pathway Program – NDSU directs appropriate students denied admission to NDSU to consider the Pathway Program, which provides an avenue for students to complete developmental coursework at NDSCS while living on NDSU’s campus and taking selected courses collaboratively at NDSU.
Reverse Transfer – In cases where students transfer from NDSCS to NDSU before completion of their associate’s degree, the reverse transfer process allows students to transfer credits back to NDSCS for the purpose of attaining the associate’s degree.
Through this new Memorandum of Agreement, the institutions will develop transfer guides and processes to facilitate seamless transfers from NDSCS to NDSU, as well as collaborate to identify new and modify existing career and technical programming.
NDSCS and NDSU each serve a unique niche in providing educational programming to meet workforce needs, with NDSCS serving as the principal provider of sub-baccalaureate programming and NDSU providing baccalaureate and graduate programs. With a growing need for degree programs at all levels delivered in the Cass County region, the institutions recognize the need to collaborate to provide educational opportunities for students.
In addition to collaboration in academic programming, the new Memorandum of Agreement creates a path to explore collaboration for operational efficiencies and shared services.
By Red River Farm Network
Last fall, the North Dakota State College of Science Agriculture Program received nearly 100 acres of land. With support from several businesses and organizations, corn, soybeans and wheat are now growing at the college’s Ag Land Lab. NDSCS Agriculture Program Chair Craig Zimprich says students will return this summer for spraying, scouting and precision agriculture training. “They’ll learn from experts in sprayer technology about why different nozzles are used and new technologies,” says Zimprich. “Agronomists will be on hand, helping students scout crops. Also, we know there are salinity issues in the fields. So, the students will look at variability in the different crops, weed pressures and make recommendations.” Students in the program come from a variety of backgrounds. About half plan to return to the family farm, while others will go into agribusiness careers such as agronomy or marketing. Hear more about the Ag Land Lab from Zimprich in the interview below.
Listen to the interview online at www.rrfn.com.