"This started as a pilot project in 2010, resulting from an industry round table discussion," Jolene Rogers, executive director of institutional advancement at Iowa Lakes, said. "This partnership of businesses working with Agriculture students helps strengthen the connection between business and education."
This growing season Ag Partners LLC, chaired the project. Other key donors include: Chad Anderson Pioneer Seed, Tom Eishen Seed & Sales, local Asgrow & DeKalb dealers, MaxYield Cooperative, PRO Cooperative, Spencer Agronomy Services and StateLine Cooperative.
Discussions typically revolve around what types of crops to plant, as well as what steps (herbicides/fertilizers/fungicides etc.) might be the most beneficial for producing a top crop.
Each year's class decides what the trials will be for the next planting season.
"Through this partnership, these companies are providing nearly $50,000 of products for the college farm lab for this growing season," Rogers said. "Many thanks to our corporate sponsors."
During the July Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees meeting, Iowa Lakes approved the 9600 series FAST sprayer, donated by FAST Manufacturing of Mountain Lake, Minn. The students practice with water and focus on safety as they master utilizing this technology as part of the education experience. The technology is compatible with Green Star auto steer. This model has a three-ball valve system and is capable of doing the variable rate application.
As in the past, the college continues to provide space for the Palo Alto Corn and Soybean Growers' Association for their test plots. Their test plots are unveiled on the same day as the college holds its Farm Expo.
Any agriculture businesses that would like to be involved in the future with the Iowa Lakes Farm Lab Project are encouraged to reach Jo Rogers at 712-362-0491 or firstname.lastname@example.org.