Microsoft gives $1.5 million to group working on Grand Farm

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Microsoft Corp. says it’s investing $1.5 million in a group that’s planning a fully autonomous outdoor farm in North Dakota, among other technology projects.

Microsoft President Brad Smith made the announcement Thursday during an event at the company’s Fargo campus. Smith says Microsoft will also provide technology and experts to help develop the Grand Farm project.

Construction on the 40-acre plot south of Fargo is scheduled to begin next year. The farm will include a mix of robotics, online systems, and driverless vehicles. The project is being led by Emerging Prairie, a Fargo nonprofit that assists young entrepreneurs.

Smith says he wants to help “bring the Grand Farm to life.”