First Student to Graduate from NDSU’s Precision Ag Program


Fargo, N.D., Feb. 8 – Justin Lehmann is set to be the first graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in precision agriculture from NDSU this spring, and he’s already sorting through job offers.

Added as an academic degree in January 2018, the precision agriculture major in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources is administered by the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. The curriculum balances instruction in agricultural sciences principles with hands-on training and application of technology.

Raised on a family farm near Havana, North Dakota, Lehmann first attended North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton for two years, earning an associate degree in both precision agriculture and agronomy. He was the first to enroll and graduate from the NDSCS’s precision ag program.

In fall 2019, Lehmann enrolled in the NDSU precision agriculture program. “I decided I wanted to continue my education at NDSU and hopefully gain some more valuable knowledge in agriculture and specifically precision ag,” he said.

“I’ve kind of been a guinea pig through my whole college career,” he said of his time at NDSCS and now being the first precision agriculture graduate at NDSU. “I definitely feel honored.”

Along with his precision agriculture major, he is minoring in crop and weed science.

“Growing up on a family farm, I loved agriculture as a whole and I saw a lot of technology both on and off the farm. I love technology, so I wanted to go that route and experience all the possibilities there are in precision ag,” Lehmann said. “The possibilities are infinite.”

With job offers already in hand, Lehmann says his education will land him a solid career.

“The job market is tremendous for people who know and understand the technology available in agriculture,” he said. “I would definitely consider NDSU as a very good option. There are very, very good teachers here who are willing to help students and people who are looking at precision agriculture specifically. It’s a great program.”

A focused in-depth education in sciences, technologies and practices, including unmanned aerial systems (drones), remote sensing, a critical intelligence, machine learning, sensors, robotic applications, cloud computing, big data management and site-specific resources management, awaits NDSU students in the precision agriculture field.

“There are lots of farmers who believe in the technology and want to adopt it. But they just don’t have the knowledge to fully run it, so they rely on people like me or future students to be able to help them through all the software and equipment to interpret and ultimately maximize their profitability,” Lehmann said.

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