Butler backs Precision Ag building

Lake Region State College announces receipt of a $50,000 gift from Butler Machinery to help fund the college’s Precision Ag project.

“Butler Machinery Company is proud to invest in the future of ag education in our state.  We believe that agriculture is vital to our economy and we’re happy to support this state-of-the-art facility for students who come through the Hofstad Ag Center at Lake Region State College,” said Twylah Blotsky, president of Butler Machinery.

The 2019 North Dakota Legislature authorized construction of a new $3 million ag education building at LRSC. The legislation provided a direct appropriation of $1 million along with some matching fund opportunities and named the building for Curt and Annette Hofstad, long-time Lake Region residents and friends of LRSC.

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

The Community College Foundation, which supports Lake Region State College, launched a capital campaign this spring to raise $1.5 million. The campaign, when combined with the state appropriation and other state match programs, will bring the college to its $3 million goal. 

LRSC President Doug Darling said support this year from producers and the agriculture industry has been remarkable and confirms the need for the new ag education facility at the college.

“Each gift brings us closer to our fundraising goal to make this center a reality. To see backing from producers and industry shows how important agriculture is to the region,” Darling said.

The Precision Ag program at LRSC has continued to grow since starting classes in 2013.  Recently, the ag program was ranked #10 by Precision Ag Institute in its top-20 list because of LRSC’s combination of Industry partners and hands on approach to instruction. The excellent relationship with industry benefits students and employers.

Butler Machinery Company started in 1955 when Francis J. Butler, a former Grand Forks, ND, contractor, was selected to be a Caterpillar dealer. As a contractor, Francis knew the necessity for the dealership to provide the best in equipment and the best product support. Francis’s vision required capable, well-trained management and associates together with the most advanced tools, technology and facilities available. Three generations of the Butler family have maintained this vision.

Established in 1941, Lake Region State College is a comprehensive community college based in Devils Lake, ND.  LRSC offers education in a variety of career and technical programs and associate arts (transfer) degree for those planning to transfer and pursue a bachelor’s degree. The college offers its peace officer training program in Minot each spring, Grand Forks and Fargo each summer; its nursing program in Grand Forks and Mayville; is part of the Grand Forks Air Force Base Education Center; has a program called LAUNCH! that serves students in Grand Forks planning on transferring to UND; numerous degrees and courses online; and early entry and dual credit courses for eligible high school students. 


In the photo: Dan Dorfschmidt, Butler Machinery Western ND operations manager; Twylah Blotsky, Butler Machinery Company president; Preston Sundeen, LRSC Precision Ag program director; Brian Quam, Butler Machinery Company Devils Lake store manager; and Elonda Nord, Community College Foundation executive director.