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We're ready to make North Dakota the world’s “Epicenter of AgTech”

March 5, 2024

The U.S. National Science Foundation recently named North Dakota a winner of an award with a $160 million payout over the next ten years. It's a massive undertaking that will require talent from across a wide array of fields, but the payoff will be worth it. This project has the opportunity to firmly place North Dakota at the top of the AgTech world.


North Dakota is a place where innovators have a long history of developing solutions to agricultural problems—mostly out of pure necessity—with many of those solutions later adopted everywhere else.


We call our project FARMS (which appropriately stands for Food systems Adapted for Resiliency and Maximized Security). This collaborative partnership is comprised of North Dakota State University, the North Dakota Tribal College System, the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber Foundation, and Grand Farm (along with the support of many more workforce, business, agricultural and academic groups). It was one of ten technology-based projects singled out for funding by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) from an original group of 188 projects.

Ask anyone in our state about the strengths that we are capable of together, and you'll learn what the entire nation is about to find out about North Dakota: our ability to innovate and grow something new and special is second to none.

North Dakota is a place where innovators have a long history of developing solutions to agricultural problems—mostly out of pure necessity—with many of those solutions later adopted everywhere else. It's a place where high levels of resiliency and creativity and brilliance in all endeavors have been the norm and it's a place where that belief in ideals such as increasing yields and solving problems with technology will equal increased prosperity for everyone.

But FARMS isn't only about traveling down traditional paths. An exciting aspect of the project will be our ability to dial into and learn from the countless years of experience that live in the tribes in North Dakota. Incorporating ancestral knowledge and innovation from North Dakota's Tribal College campuses and communities is an important foundational component of the project and it will result in a combined effort that's exemplary for the rest of the U.S.

Our farmers, researchers, tribal leaders, businesses, job creators, researchers, and educators all have already been working to help solve food insecurity and expand economic opportunities by increasing the growth of existing crops and introducing new crops to market and FARMS will accelerate the development of ideas around our best public crops (and there are more than 40 of them).

FARMS will catalyze technological advances for climate-resilient crops like peas, edible beans, barley, canola, flax, oats and durum wheat. These are crops with high food value that will have a place in helping nations across the globe better feed their people. Add in new and improved sensor arrays that allow researchers to capture, aggregate, and share data that everyone needs to make the best decisions, and FARMS will provide tools that will strengthen agriculture operations, reduce costs, and improve yields, all while providing people with meaningful careers and purpose by creating jobs in North Dakota.

We rightly named our web site and we invite the world to join us.

Millions in federal spending comes with major expectations and we are committed to the task before us. America and the world need to know that we can tackle the challenges ahead and that we are ready to answer issues facing the world’s agriculture producers.

It’s a big challenge. It’s a big federal award. Our coalition is ready. All of North Dakota should feel proud of this and we invite you to join in. The future of North Dakota – and indeed the world – is counting on FARMS. We can’t wait to get started.

The Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp

Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce

The North Dakota Tribal College System

Grand Farm

North Dakota State University.


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