Hoeven Invites USDA Under Secretary for Research to Visit Grand Farm, NDSU

Senator Outlines North Dakota’s Growing Leadership in Precision Agriculture, Highlights ARS-NDSU-Grand Farm Cooperative Agreement

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the Senate Agriculture Committee this week, Senator John Hoeven outlined the importance of agricultural research in supporting the continued success of America’s farmers, ranchers and agri-businesses, emphasizing North Dakota’s growing leadership in precision agriculture research and development. Accordingly, the senator invited Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, to visit the state and see these efforts firsthand at Grand Farm and North Dakota State University (NDSU), highlighting:

  • The recently announced cooperative agreement between Grand Farm, NDSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
    • As the lead Republican on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to fund and establish the partnership, which will enhance the precision agriculture research being undertaken at Grand Farm.
  • The ongoing development of the Grand Farm Innovation Facility on 140 acres of farmland near Casselton.

“As work begins on the farm bill, it’s important to recognize the critical role that ag research has played in ensuring America’s food security and strengthening the farm economy,” said Hoeven. “North Dakota has long been a leader in this field and continues to push new innovations, including in precision agriculture. The work at Grand Farm and NDSU is a key example of these efforts, and I appreciate Under Secretary Jacobs-Young’s willingness to visit North Dakota and learn more about the important technology development underway in our state.”

The hearing is the latest in Hoeven’s efforts to ensure North Dakota is positioned to lead in developing the next generation of precision agriculture. To this end, the senator has worked to:

  • Secure federal support for the Grand Farm initiative. In addition to funding the Grand Farm-NDSU-ARS partnership, Hoeven:
    • Invited Grand Farm Director Brian Carroll to testify at a hearing of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee on opportunities to diversify farm income and strengthen rural economies.
    • Brought USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to the unveiling of Grand Farm to see firsthand North Dakota’s leadership in advancing precision agriculture.
  • Expand access to high-speed broadband, including in rural areas, to ensure data-intensive technologies like precision agriculture can be implemented. Specifically, Hoeven:
    • Secured nearly $3 billion across fiscal years (FY) 2018-2022 for the ReConnect Program, a rural broadband loan and grant pilot program. 
    • Cosponsored and worked to pass legislation to improve federal broadband mapping and ensure broadband access in rural areas.