Facebook founder tours Sanford underground research facility

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was in South Dakota Wednesday using his social network to give a live look at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

Zuckerberg is traveling around the country this year telling stories from different communities. He contrasted his visit a mile under the Earth’s surface to a Facebook live broadcast he did recently from the international space station.

“When you think of South Dakota most people probably don’t think about really high-tech research labs ,which is why I thought it would be interesting to go live from here,” he said on Facebook.

“Kind of gets the other end of the spectrum to show we have connectivity here and the ability to broadcast live to people all over the world.”

His live shot quickly amassed more than 1 million views.

Zuckerberg interviewed the lab’s leaders about their research and talked about the impact it’s had on the community of Lead, S.D.

“This was the largest gold mine in North America,” he said. “There are a lot of places that have had their economies focused around natural resources or on the land that are shifting to modern knowledge economies.”

Zuckerberg thanked the lab leaders for the science they are doing.

“I’m grateful for it,” he said. “I hope more people who are watching this think about going into research … I’m just really optimistic about all the work here.”

Zuckerberg also met with the Norman family on their 2,500 cattle ranch in western South Dakota.

A photo posted by Mark Zuckerberg in South Dakota.

“Several years ago at Facebook, our chefs cooked a whole pig. I remember someone saying it would be delicious but she wished she didn’t have to see where the meat came from,” he wrote. “I’ve always thought we should be thankful and understand where our food comes from — so for that year I set a goal to only eat meat that I killed and helped butcher myself.”

He notes how South Dakota has three times as many cows as people and how the state is experiencing its third year of drought. He thanked the family on Facebook for their work.

“The Normans talked about other challenges — from regulations limiting the hours trucks can be on the road at a time (increasing the risk that cattle will die in the back), to high-frequency trading that makes cattle prices more volatile and harder to set, to the lack of harvesting plants nearby that means some cattle has to be sent as far as China to be slaughtered,” he wrote.

“But overall, they seemed optimistic that technology was making their work easier. They talked about how their machinery was now more stable, how the balers that make bales of hay now measure the moisture of the hay to make sure it’s ideal, and how they might use drones to monitor the herd in the near future.”

 

Facebook founder tours Sanford underground research facility

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was in South Dakota Wednesday using his social network to give a live look at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

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