WAHPETON, N.D. — The agriculture department at the North Dakota State College of Science is developing a land lab on 92 acres (37 hectares) in a southeastern city.

Alumna Linda Patterson donated the land’s lease free of charge to the college for three years, the Wahpeton Daily News reported. Patterson’s father and mother had previously farmed the acres in Wahpeton, and the family still owns the land.

Department Chair Craig Zimprich said they’ll have students begin soil testing and data collection in the spring.

“We’ll be working with some ag businesses to provide options for students for applied research,” Zimprich said. “We want to do something that helps and promotes the businesses, while at the same time providing learning opportunities and available experts to our students.”

The college sent a request for proposals in early 2017, but hasn’t yet announced which companies they plan to work with.

Zimprich said all of the department’s 90 students will be involved in some aspect of the land lab, which will offer valuable experience for future careers in agribusiness.

“Everyone will be out there working with the soil,” Zimprich said.

Executive Director Kim Nelson said that the alumni foundation is also working with the agriculture department on the project.

Information from: Wahpeton Daily News, http://www.wahpetondailynews.com