Press Releases

University of North Dakota’s official press release archive.

Media Advisory: UND to host third annual Space Ag Conference

Media members invited to attend the conference, which focuses on the intersection of space and agriculture and the future of feeding future generations

Grand Farm and the University of North Dakota Space Studies Program

What: Third Annual Space Ag Conference

When: April 4. Education workshops for students will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. Space Ag Conference will take place from noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Memorial Union Ballroom. Passport parking is available in the ramp located on corner of 2nd Avenue N. and Columbia Road.

Background: UND, in coordination with Grand Farm, is set to host the third annual Space Ag Conference, a half-day event geared toward agricultural exploration and innovation.

The conference will explore the intersection between agricultural industries and space, applying space-based solutions to agricultural practices on Earth. Grand Farm hopes to help farmers produce higher yields with a reduction in land and energy consumption.

The half-day event will feature panels and speakers delivered by UND experts and academics in AgTech and space industries including Ralph Fritsche, NASA space crop production project manager, Barbara Belvisi, founder and CEO of Interstellar Lab, and Mike Vinje, NASA SBIR/STTR’s center technology transition lead at Kennedy Space Center, among others.

Present from UND will be President Andrew Armacost, UND observatory director and Assistant Professor Sherry Fieber-Beyer and Assistant Professor of Space Studies, Keith Crisman.

Speakers and panelists will explore the challenges of space agriculture while showcasing new agricultural possibilities through the lens of space. The event will celebrate the collaboration and innovation of industry partners, encouraging the next generation of innovators to break new ground.

Andrew Jason, host of the Space Ag Conference and Grand Farm ecosystems director, says the organization is excited to partner with the University of North Dakota to again deliver information and inspiration to the region.

“Feeding people on Earth and beyond is one of the most important missions we can undertake,” Jason said. “By looking at how we will feed future generations as we become an interstellar species, we will solve challenges facing Earth agriculture.”

Jason continued: “That’s why this conference is so exciting. This is also why it makes perfect sense to partner with the University of North Dakota and its Space Studies program. The research its faculty and students are producing is amazing and it makes sense that North Dakota, which is an expert on all things agriculture and space, leads this effort.”

Free education workshops for high school students interested in agriculture and space will be held prior to the conference, with educators from UND, North Dakota State University, the National Center for Autonomous Technology and TrainND Northwest.

Media and members of the public are encouraged to attend. Tickets to the conference are $50 and free to students. Registration and additional information are available through the Grand Farms website.

About Grand Farm Powered by Emerging Prairie, the Grand Farm Education and Research Initiative utilizes regional expertise in agriculture and technology to solve critical issues and innovate for the future of farming worldwide.

Questions: If you have any questions, email or call Andrew Jason at or 218.556.2922