BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO)– The Raven Precision Agriculture Center is open and being used for classes, labs and studying for South Dakota State University students.
The building houses both the agricultural and biosystems engineering department and agronomy, horticulture and plant science department, combining technology experts with the soil and plant specialists.
Both students and faculty are excited to be able to start utilizing this new space.
Students are finally getting their first look inside this $55 million building.
“It was really exciting to see what all came through and how it all came together. It’s cool to see all the spaces we have for clubs, study room and all the new classrooms, there’s a lot of opportunities to learn and grow,” said Jeremihah Dooyema, senior ag engineering student.
“It’s a lot easier to move from class to class and all your other classmates are usually in this building too so it’s a lot easier to get together and work on projects,” said Molly Rick, senior ag engineering student.
With all the new space in the facility, students are able to connect and coordinate with other students in different majors.
“Being able to get to come in here, have our separate spaces to be able to work on our separate stuff, yet being able to interact with everyone in the ag industry and plant science and agronomy, it’s truly a great building,” Carson Kahler, senior AST student.
And it’s a significant upgrade from some of the older buildings on campus.
“I think once students come in and see this building, they’re going to be very interested,” said Brett Turnipseed, Assistant Department Head of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Sciences. “I mean we are on the cutting edge of technology with this building, which is really nice.”
In some classrooms, teachers can even bring in large equipment to give students hands on experience.
“If you’re working with equipment, we need the hands on experience running the equipment, that hands on knowledge is, students learn a lot better with their hands on than reading the book strictly,” said Nic Uilk, precision ag instructor.
“The agricultural industry is expanding so rapidly in the technology side, being able to have that space to be able to stay ahead of that curve is truly incredible,” said Kahler.
As students get further into the semester, they will start having even more labs and gaining more hands on experience with the equipment and technology. They also now have the space to do more on campus events and bring speakers to the building.