Unmanned aircraft are viewed as a ‘disruptive technology’ that have the potential to revolutionize agricultural production and make meaningful contributions to food systems security and sustainability, amidst a variety of anthropogenic, biotic, and climatic threats and challenges. The fundamental premise is that unmanned aircraft (UA) will provide an unparalleled opportunity to place sensor networks across agricultural settings, on a near real-time basis, to support dynamic management of complex production systems.
The UAS in Agriculture Learning Network held a workshop: The Unmanned Aircraft “i-Three Air Corps” Needs You: Are You Ready to be a Pilot and Chart New Directions for Agriculture Stakeholders and Youth?
The workshop provided an opportunity to engage in this rapidly emerging technology. The workshop included information on: types and attributes of common UA, overview of rules/regulations, and insights into sensor arrays and data processing. STEM and 4-H programming opportunities were also discussed, and a variety of UA were available to explore from a “first hand” perspective.
The workshop wrapped-up with hands-on flight, providing participants with an opportunity to fly unmanned aircraft. Participants had a great fun flying and earned honorary “eXtension i-Three Corps Unmanned Aircraft Pilot Certificate”, and will be recruited to engage in the development of a new youth curriculum focused on UA. This workshop and subsequent curriculum development will take place in partnership with the eXtension Unmanned Aircraft in Agriculture Learning Network (www.learnuasag.org).