The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced today it has selected Grand Farm as a recipient of the department’s Autonomous Agriculture Technology Matching Grant.
The $10 million grant was created with funding from the 67th Legislative Assembly to encourage and support the advancement of autonomous farming technology by awarding a 1:1 match of funding for the deployment of an innovation facility, project management for complex North Dakota-based and global autonomous agricultural concepts, and workforce initiatives to upskill the autonomous agriculture workforce with qualified professionals to ensure advanced farming techniques. Grant proposals were evaluated through a multi-department evaluation and selection process.
Gov. Doug Burgum announced the award at a press conference with Grand Farm.
“North Dakota has always been a leader in ag innovation. This private-public matching grant using legislatively approved federal funds is an investment that will further accelerate ag innovation and have a transformative impact on the future of North Dakota and our nation’s agriculture industry,” Burgum said. “Our state is an innovative leader in agriculture technologies, and Grand Farm and its partners’ work will advance cutting-edge research and commercialization of new farming concepts to increase productivity and profitability, reduce inputs, improve soil health and help address workforce needs through automation.”
“With this grant award, Grand Farm is poised to amplify this energy through the creation of an Innovation Facility that will drive significant positive impacts to North Dakota,” said Brian Carroll, Director of Grand Farm. “Grand Farm’s Innovation Facility will be intentionally designed to be a continually adapting, demonstration and innovation space that will stay at the forefront of technology innovation.”
The legislature allocated grant funding to Commerce to invest in matching grants toward autonomous agricultural technology in North Dakota.
“Our state can be the leader in advanced agriculture technology as a place bringing together growers, established businesses, aspiring companies and entrepreneurs,” said state Sen. Ron Sorvaag (R-Fargo).
“The funding dedicated by the legislature is the result of great enthusiasm by legislators from all corners of the state and a recognition that Grand Farm will be a large part of North Dakota agriculture as we move forward into the 21st century,” said state Rep. Michael Howe (R-West Fargo).
Grand Farm empowers a neutral platform for industry, producers, higher education, and government to collaborate on autonomous and advanced agriculture technology. Grand Farm works regularly with companies and startups from North Dakota and around the world to better understand their products, provide capabilities for demonstration and development, and to amplify the technologies in North Dakota. It currently operates a test site on donated agricultural acres to demonstrate and test new and innovative ag technologies.