Grand Farm breaks ground near Casselton

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Grand Farm Director Brian Carroll perform the...
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Grand Farm Director Brian Carroll perform the groundbreaking utilizing a remote-operated skid-steer.(Emerging Prairie)
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 10:52 AM CDT
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CASSELTON, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Grand Farm has broken ground near Casselton, North Dakota, bringing the era of future farming along with it.

Drones, self-driven grain vehicles and hands free digging equipment are part of the new agriculture project in North Dakota. The organization which facilitates agriculture technology collaboration and research, will utilize the new facility to bring together researchers, growers, industry, startups, and government to ideate and execute on innovations to solve some of the world’s largest challenges in agriculture.

“What I envision out here is a campus where some of the best minds, young people are coming together. Sourcing problems in agriculture and building businesses, collaboration, innovation in order to solve that,” said Brian Carroll, Director of the Grand Farm.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, U.S. Senator John Hoeven, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, and former Governor Jack Dalrymple helped break ground at the site near Casselton on October 19. State leaders are touting the advantages that the new farm will bring to the Midwest in terms of tackling food issues and keeping young, innovative minds in the state.

“Every major step in proving the Grand Farm concept and commercializing this technology keeps North Dakota on the cutting edge of autonomous agriculture and increases the potential for this technology to improve productivity for farmers and help address our state’s workforce challenge through automation. We’re grateful for all of the private and public partners who continue to drive this important initiative,” said Senator John Hoeven.

“Legislators from around North Dakota believe this initiative will benefit the entire state and region, and that it will ensure we stay at the forefront of agriculture innovation,” said state Rep. Don Vigesaa (R-Cooperstown).

“The Red River Valley corridor has a unique opportunity to continue being a leader, not only in unmanned aviation, but also by driving autonomous innovation with the farm of the future at Grand Farm,” said state Sen. Scott Meyer (R-Grand Forks). “Grand Sky and Grand Farm will help diversify our state’s economy with the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who develop, test, demonstrate and commercialize technologies of the future. The North Dakota legislature has a good history of investing in infrastructure, and emerging ventures that keep North Dakota as industry leaders.”

The groundbreaking marks the beginning of construction on the site with further structural work expected to continue in the spring. Agriculture technology projects will begin deploying onsite in spring 2023.

The facility will provide expanded acreage for agriculture technology projects, rapid prototyping capabilities, and increased research and education. Within three years, they hope to have created 25 businesses out of the 140 acre site at the Grand Farm Innovation Facility.