Microsoft gives $1.5 million to North Dakota autonomous farm

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FILE – This July 3, 2014, file photo, shows the Microsoft Corp. logo outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. Microsoft says hackers linked to the Iranian government have targeted a U.S. presidential campaign, as well as government officials, media targets and prominent ex-patriate Iranians. (AP Photo Ted S. Warren, File)

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Microsoft Corp. says it’s investing $1.5 million to help build a fully autonomous outdoor farm in North Dakota.

Microsoft President Brad Smith made the announcement Thursday during an event at the company’s Fargo campus. Smith says Microsoft will also provide technology and experts to help develop the Grand Farm project.

Construction on the 40-acre plot south of Fargo is scheduled to begin next year. The farm will include a mix of robotics, online systems and driverless vehicles. It is being led by Emerging Prairie, a Fargo nonprofit that assists young entrepreneurs.

Smith says he wants to help “bring the Grand Farm to life.”

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