Among the achievements celebrated at an Ag Drone Rodeo was the ability to have a group of students build a drone from scratch.
Students from Yamhill-Carlton High School were commissioned to build the drone by a farmer so that he could monitor his blueberry fields, said Yamhill-Carlton math teacher Jordan Slavish. A group of six or seven students now enthusiastically meet after school to build the drone, gaining hands on experience in technology and building skills.
Many agricultural professionals believe that drones will have an active role in the future of agriculture, but are unsure how quickly this will take place.
According to career technical education coordinator for the Pendelton School District Curt Thompson says that Pendleton High School’s UAS classes will incorporate lessons from Yamhill-Carlton’s program. The Pendelton Unmanned Aerial Systems Range and Oregon Future farm hosted the drone rodeo, with vendors flying their drones and talking about their crop imaging capabilities.
One concern for the farmers is the cost of the drones. A single quadcopter drone can be purchased for under $100, but many professional models costs run into the thousands of dollars.