SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Aug. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Raven Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq:RAVN) has announced their commitment to open a research development center within The Research Park at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. Raven and SDSU will collaborate to engineer new precision agriculture technologies to help farmers grow more food to feed an expanding world population, a critical mission for Raven's Applied Technology Division. Initially, Raven plans to hire two full-time positions and six part-time intern positions in the areas of engineering, agronomy and agribusiness to conduct research and ultimately commercialize new products. Raven has had past success with similar research and development centers in Austin, Texas, and on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota. Raven and SDSU have had a long-term relationship through classroom and lab activities and have also worked closely on talent recruitment. SDSU faculty and students recently worked hand-in-hand with Raven Industries to design a multi-hybrid planter control solution, the first of its kind in the industry. "The opportunity to collaborate on opportunities associated with our core businesses will enhance our growth as an organization and develop a stronger cohesion between Raven, the university, and industry challenges," said Dan Rykhus, president and CEO at Raven Industries. "We are proud to support South Dakota's higher education and provide rewarding jobs." "We are excited to connect industry-leading faculty and top-caliber students from a renowned land-grant university with a global technology leader," said Matt Burkhart, vice president and general manager of the Raven Applied Technology Division. "This is a great opportunity to help solve the challenge of feeding the world, and at the same time support South Dakota's higher education while proliferating the Silicon Prairie." "Raven's Center in the Research Park is a win-win. Our engineering students will contribute directly to the development of advanced technology within a business environment. This is unique and unmatched," said Lewis Brown, dean of the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at SDSU.