CHS Inc. has announced its commitment to agricultural innovation through financial support for and participation in Grand Farm Research and Education Initiative, Horace, N.D. The 130-acre Grand Farm Innovation Site, located 10 miles south of Fargo, ND, features demonstration fields and research plots that will eventually surround an innovation center and collaboration spaces for agricultural startups and entrepreneurs.
CHS involvement with Grand Farm began in early 2020, in conjunction with becoming a founding partner in Plug and Play Fargo, which accelerates ag tech startups and helps attract them to the region. Other Plug and Play founding partners include Bremer Bank, Microsoft Corp. and The OCP Group.
Partnering with Emerging Prairie, an organization that works to energize communities in North Dakota, Grand Farm will provide spaces and opportunities for agricultural technology companies and researchers to test ideas and find solutions for existing or emerging farm and ag industry challenges.
“Collaboration is at the center of what Grand Farm is about, bringing together startup entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies including CHS, university researchers and farmers,” says David Black, CHS enterprise strategy and chief information officer. “Working together will help accelerate technological innovation on the farm, the cooperative system and throughout agriculture.
“CHS brings an on-farm perspective to the innovation process, which we hope will result in technologies that improve farming, from agronomy and farm management solutions to supply-chain and marketing advances,” he adds. “This is one example of the connections we are creating to empower agriculture.”
Grand Farm partners with industry experts from CHS, North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota and the USDA Agricultural Research Service to identify research projects. CHS is also operating crop production test plots at the innovation site.
Events are scheduled at Grand Farm Innovation Site through the summer, including grower roundtables, field days, innovation days, farm tours and day-long conferences on topics including the carbon market and autonomous equipment operations. For more information, visit www.grandfarm.com/events/.