Precision Ag program highlighted during National Ag Week

It’s not just everywhere that one can study in the classroom, move right to the shop and then outside to the field in a matter of seconds.

But that is exactly how students study precision agriculture at Lake Region State College. 

Students are enjoying their first full year in the new Hofstad Ag Center at Lake Region State College.

The building, which houses the college’s Precision Ag program along with Farm Business Management outreach, has seen a flurry of activity ever since opening in January 2021. 

“Our students are the future of this community, region, and state. We will look to them to lead their communities, families, industries, and the markets in the future,” said LRSC President Doug Darling

Current student Jerry Brossart chose LRSC because he like the town of Devils Lake and all the things to do here. Plus, it’s close to his hometown, so he has the away from home but not too far away from home feel. 

After college, Jerry plans on working for an agribusiness in either the fertilizer or chemical department.

As the lowest priced tuition among colleges in North Dakota, the cost savings for students is quite beneficial. Brossart said he saved a lot of money by going to LRSC and he found affordable housing as well. 

Students also enjoy the energy from the Precision Ag instructors. Austin Kratochvil from Lankin, ND, chose the Precision Ag program because of the smaller class sizes LRSC offers.  

“I’m also able to get one on one interaction with an instructor because of the class sizes,” he said.

His favorite instructor is Preston Sundeen in the Precision Ag program.

“He allows us to work hands-on and is there to help and teach us how to manage our farms or make sure we are prepared for other agricultural businesses.” 

After college Austin plans to work in seed sales for Pioneer. 

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.
With a new ag building on the LRSC campus, students will have access to the trailblazing technology and education critically needed for careers in agriculture. 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 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.

Many students who graduate from the LRSC Precision Ag program go on to earn further degrees. 

The first two years of any bachelor’s degree can be started at Lake Region State College. Students who start at LRSC and find their bachelor’s degree path won’t be any farther behind in their degree progress, but will be saving money as tuition at LRSC is lower than other colleges in the state.

Current LRSC student Nicole Beckley chose Lake Region State College because it’s a great place to start your college path.
“Why pay more money to take the classes at a four-year university when you can take them at a two-year school for less?”

She said all her instructors are great and they truly care about your well-being but if she had to choose one it would be ag instructor Preston Sundeen “because he is always willing to help and backs his students 100%.,” she said.

After college Nicole plans to continue her education at a four-year university to get a degree in crop and weed science and use that degree to become an agronomist. 

Students can come for a tour anytime by scheduling it through the college at (701) 662-1514.