FFA students

An exciting exploration into the realm of drone technology took place as members from the Educational Service Center and Brown County Farm Bureau welcomed junior high and high school FFA students at the Brown County Fairgrounds on May 10. The event, aimed at enlightening young minds about the potential of drones in the agricultural industry, featured a lineup of engaging activities and presentations.

The morning commenced with warm greetings and introductions, setting the stage for a session led by Doug Daniels, a seasoned drone instructor and pilot. Daniels’ expertise illuminated the pathway to becoming a licensed drone pilot, shedding light on age qualifications and the myriad of career opportunities awaiting aspiring drone enthusiasts. From building inspections to real estate and beyond, Daniels painted a picture of the diverse applications of drone technology.

One highlight of the session was the unveiling of an app that delineated fly zones and no-fly zones, emphasizing the importance of responsible drone operation. With drones ranging in cost up to $60,000, attendees grasped the substantial investment behind these aerial marvels, especially considering their efficiency in tasks like spraying up to 30 acres in an hour with pinpoint accuracy.

Following the insightful presentation, students eagerly delved into hands-on experiences, assembling drones and taking flight in the expansive outdoor space. Guided by instructors, they navigated through obstacle courses, honing their piloting skills and gaining firsthand experience in drone maneuvering.

Returning indoors after their drone flights, students engaged in a challenge exercise designed to showcase the practical applications of drone technology in solving real-world problems. The morning session concluded with lunch, followed by an invitation to explore a series of banners showcasing a wide array of agricultural career paths, providing students with a broader perspective on potential vocations.

The afternoon session allowed students and business leaders to connect for a “Human Library” session, where students seized the opportunity to glean insights from professionals representing various sectors, including ag business, banking, education, and conservation.

drone technology day

The final session offered a glimpse into the cutting-edge capabilities of drones in public safety and emergency response scenarios, as the Brown County SWAT Team demonstrated their sophisticated drones. Students marveled at the drones’ multifunctional attachments, envisioning their potential in tasks ranging from sample collection to livestock management.

In a parallel track, students explored the realms of virtual reality, immersing themselves in simulated scenarios as linemen, nurses, and fiber optic technicians. Through these interactive experiences, they gained valuable insights into diverse career paths facilitated by advancing technology. Participating FFA instructor Justin Cluxton expressed his enthusiasm for the event.

“I think the Steamology drone day was a great opportunity to showcase technological advancements the ag industry and many other industries have made with the use of drones,” Cluxton said. “My students found the workshop extremely useful and are looking forward to applying what they learned in the classroom.”

Cluxton’s sentiments echoed the sentiment of many educators present, underscoring the invaluable educational experience provided by the event and its potential to ignite a passion for innovation among students.

This transformative day of exploration was made possible by the Youth Pathways Grant for Careers in Agriculture, a signature program of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation aimed at empowering young people to discover their purpose and passion in agricultural careers. Through innovative programming and community partnerships, the foundation seeks to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed for success in ag-related industries, paving the way for a vibrant and sustainable future in agriculture.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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