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DCB Hosts Field Day with TMBCI Students



Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) hosted a field day with Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indian students (TMBCI). This field day was guided by Keith Knudson, Specialty Crops Instructor. Keith holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Extension and Agricultural Education, which he received from North Dakota State University. His experience in farming includes crops, forage, livestock and aquaponics production. Knudson developed the Aquaponics Program at Dakota College at Bottineau. Apryl Mawby, Dakota College at Bottineau Farm Manager, accompanied Knudson.

The students started their tour Tuesday morning with a presentation by Knudson on the overall operations of Dakota College at Bottineau. Mawby and Knudson lead them through the various high tunnels and garden areas where crops such as broccoli, green beans, peppers and pumpkins are grown. The students assisted Knudson, Mawby and the greenhouse team in putting a new cover on one of the high tunnels. Typically, this would take a team of at least five or more people and few hours to accomplish. With the help of the TMBCI students the new cover was secured on the high tunnel in less time.

The students continued the tour in the greenhouse, wash and pack facility and the orchard which is under development. Learning about the various plant species, Mawby shared the different types of mulches, irrigation practices used such as drip take, emitters in the orchard, tree bags and sprinklers., The orchard showcases fruit bearing trees and shrubs which were planted just a few weeks prior to the tour. In the wash and pack facility, they were able to see where the produce is stored and how the process works for washing and packing the produce grown on campus. They learned about cover crop practices and how DCB Farm markets their produce.

An introduction to the aquaponics system where DCB grows lettuce throughout the year was a highlight of the tour. The lettuce along with other fresh produce grown at DCB is served in the campus dining center. DCB Farms summer intern, Josh Goodman, described how the aquaponics system operates where tomatoes are grown as high as the ceiling. DCB’s Hemp Production Assistant, Gourav Kumar Komatthial Venugopal “GK” showed the students where the hemp is grown and described the importance of the production process.  

Tours are available to the community upon request. According to Knudson, “DCB has so much to offer through our Horticulture and Agriculture programs. We welcome tours to showcase all the educational opportunities available at DCB”.