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CHS Foundation and LATI Partner in Development of Precision Ag Sim Lab

Posted on: October 4, 2018   |   Category: News
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OCTOBER 4, 2018              

WATERTOWN, SD –  The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is excited to announce the continuation of a long-standing relationship with Lake Area Technical College as part of the CHS Foundation’s work to develop a new generation of ag leaders for life and cultivate university partnerships.  Most recently, the CHS Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to Lake Area Technical College to assist in the development of a state-of-the-art precision agriculture simulation lab which will provide a unique, hands-on experience with precision ag equipment and better prepare students for careers in the ag industry.

The CHS Foundation grant gave Lake Area Technical College a unique edge in precision agriculture education by helping develop a simulation lab and aiding with the purchase of eight student Viper 4 work stations and one instructional station.

“The CHS Foundation is dedicated to developing a new generation of ag leaders,” says Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. “Through support of the Lake Area Technical College precision ag program, we are helping students be prepared to make meaningful contributions to the ag industry.”

Additionally, the grant leveraged other notable contributions of cash, in-kind donations and expertise to make the simulation experience for the student as real as possible. Thanks to these efforts, the precision agriculture simulation lab is also home to several Hawkeye spray simulators, Viper 4 Auto steer simulators, Precision Planting planter pogo sticks, John Deere work stations and a flow control station.

The notion of a simulation lab for precision agriculture has been a vision of the program for quite some time but became more of an urgency each year as students were asking for additional hands-on learning experiences.

“When you live in this part of the country, sometimes your opportunities are limited by Mother Nature,” says Brian Olson, Ag department supervisor. “We were excited about pursuing a simulation lab much like other programs of study at Lake Area Technical College have done to help with their training needs.”

Lake Area Technical College was notified they received the CHS Foundation grant and immediately put the wheels in motion so the lab would be ready for students’ fall 2018 semester.

Olson continues, “The CHS Foundation is passionate about preparing the students for future careers in the ag industry.  Providing the funds to purchase the high-tech simulators was a natural fit for them and actually ended up leveraging other donations which has made the lab an enormous asset to the Lake Area Technical College Precision Ag program.”   The lab, of which some is mobile, will provide training for the Lake Area Technical College students, high school ag students, and employees who are currently in the precision ag industry.

An Open House for the Precision Ag Simulation Lab will be held on Wednesday, October 10 from 2-4:00 pm in the Lake Area Technical College Agriculture and Environmental Center (Building 8).  The public is invited to attend.


Lake Area Technical College is a public two year college located in Watertown, SD.  The college and is ranked the #1 Two-Year College in the Nation by the Aspen College for Community College Excellence.  The 40 acre campus is home to approximately 2500 full and part-time students enrolled in 30 different programs of study. The college has an 84% retention rate and 99% placement rate for graduates. Lake Area Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  Learn more at www.lakeareatech.edu

The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders for life-long success. Together, with our partners, we are igniting innovation and driving excellence in agriculture education, cultivating high-impact programs for rural youth and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture. Learn more at http://chsfoundation.org.