NEVADA, Iowa- The Future Farmers of America Club has purchased a drone to be used in agriculture education classes. Ag Ed Instructor Kevin Cooper purchased the $1,100 drone to talk about how it could be used to survey crops for farmers.
“As production farming becomes larger, and larger in scope, personnel will be needed to scout the fields,” said Cooper. “The un-maned aerial vehicles could be useful for finding problems in the field.”
The students can fly the quad-copter outside the school next to two wind turbines by the school’s football field. Students have learned how to fly the craft in a stiff breeze, and how to land.
Freshman Adam Coussens said he had an advantage learning to fly the copter. He said the controls were just like his video game controller.
In the class Coussens said he has been ” taught rules an regulations, and what drones are capable of.”
The need for learning new technology was brought on by a video the class watched. Cooper said the video laid out a claim that, “within 10 years 45% of the jobs that exist now, will be replaced by some form of automation.”
The drone has taught the students lessons in science and technology, as well as regulations and applications the new technology brings.
“Our lessons have been very spirited in discussions in the classroom,” said Cooper. The class does like to refer to the quad-copter as a un-manned aerial vehicle.” Cooper said “the word drone, sometimes has a negative connotation.”
Some agriculture firms in Iowa have been waiting for federal regulations to come out so commercial companies could move forward with ag drone monitoring of crops.