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Drone education courses cleared for take off across the state

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 5:40 PM CDT
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BOTTINEAU, N.D. – The Federal Aviation Administration is doing its part to help high school and college students learn how to use drone technology on the farm.

These students at Dakota College at Bottineau have been cleared for takeoff.

“The way the agricultural field is going it’s going more towards technology and that just interests me more. There’s a lot of drones coming into it and I wanted to learn more about that,” said DCB sophomore Alex Hoffert.

It’s the first such program held at the college through the FAA, where students learn the ins and outs of unmanned Aircraft systems or drones. It also puts the technology straight into the students' hands.

“Right now we’re really just trying to build up their confidence with the skills and just learning how do drones operate and then also getting them comfortable with different types of drones,” said Agriculture Instructor Linda Burbidge.

While students are learning about the applications of drones in farming such as crop scouting, checking on livestock or surveying damage to fields, they also say they are enjoying learning a new skill they can bring with them into the work force.

Across counties, high schoolers in Kenmare are learning similar skills in the Agriscience technology two class. The class prepares students for the FAA drone certification class. Some students like Junior Mason Chrest said they already know they will put what they’ve learned to use.

“I’ve seen a lot online about drones especially in agriculture purposes which I plan on doing for a career. So I think it really fell into my wheelhouse for as far as the future,” said Chrest. Preparing the farmers of tomorrow with today’s emerging technology.

Staff at both Kenmare and Dakota College at Bottineau said they will continue to offer the programs next year and encourage more students to sign up.

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