POET donates $2 million to SDSU precision ag program

Sioux Falls-based POET has made a $2 million contribution toward construction of the new Raven Precision Agriculture Center at South Dakota State University.

“POET and SDSU have a strong history of collaboration on innovative research projects and training the next generation to use agriculture to solve the world’s most pressing issues, like climate change,” POET said in a statement. “POET is proud to partner with SDSU on this exciting venture.”

Along with supporting construction of the new $46 million building, POET and SDSU will enhance research partnerships through dedicated POET office space at the Research Park to help facilitate new collaborations.

POET and SDSU also will partner to develop academic programs in bioprocessing, so SDSU graduates will have a robust understanding of how biofuels and agriculture can drive change across the globe.

“A little over 100 years ago, we derived nearly everything in our society from the surface of the earth. If we want to return to a healthy planet, we will once again need to lean on agriculture in combination with biofuels and bioproducts to replace fossil fuels and their derivatives,” POET founder and CEO Jeff Broin said.

“This gift supports South Dakota’s future farmers, who will need to cultivate even more sustainable ag practices for future generations.”

The stakes have never been higher to combat climate change, the statement added.

“What was once considered a problem for the distant future is a real threat to all of us today.”

SDSU is the only university nationwide to offer a major and a minor in precision agriculture. The new building is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021.

“We are grateful for the tremendous support POET has shown toward SDSU and our precision agriculture program,” SDSU president Barry Dunn said.

“Partnering with the leading biofuels company in the world creates unique opportunities to not only grow precision agriculture at SDSU but also expand the industry into areas where change and growth can have a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole. Educating and training the next generation of ag producers, scientists, engineers and others to meet the challenges and opportunities will define the future of agriculture and the biofuels industry in the state, region and the world.” 
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