Wells, Minnesota – The United South Central FFA Chapter was awarded the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or more commonly known as a drone, on Wednesday, May 21st.
The UAV was part of a giveaway sponsored by the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture during the MN State FFA Convention. As part of the “Under the Tent” event, FFA members could register on an iPad for a chance to win the UAV for their FFA Chapter. Dylan Pederson, a member of the United South Central FFA Chapter and a freshman at United South Central, was able to win the UAV for the chapter.
The drone, a Parrot AR Drone 2.0, operates via an internal Wi-Fi connection and an app that is downloadable for a cellphone or tablet device. Drone technology is becoming ever more present in agriculture for crop scouting purposes. Drones are being used to take video and photo to detect crop health, weed issues and insect infestations. Infra-red technology attached to drones is also being used to detect mineral deficiencies in soils as well as create tile maps. Drones represent just one of the many new facets of technology being used in agriculture.
“Technology is changing rapidly in agriculture. The UAV is just one way of giving students a hands-on learning opportunity. Hopefully it can spark interest in potential technology careers in agriculture ranging from engineering to mechanics. One of these students could be designing the next era of UAV's for agriculture,” said Sara Hewitt, Project Coordinator for the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture.
United South Central School is moving to a brand new facility during the summer of 2014, with classes being held in the new building starting in the fall of 2014. The site features a field test plot, and the FFA Chapter will be using the UAV for mapping and taking aerial photo and video of the plot.
The Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture, a public-private partnership, is focused on expanding the footprint of services to producers, agribusinesses and agriculture lenders throughout Southern Minnesota. South Central College serves as the lead institution for the Center and partnered is Minnesota West Technical and Community College within the MnSCU system. A variety of services focused on program development and research, professional preparation, domestic and international marketing opportunities, and partnership development are offered.