Hands-On Training Flies High at SCC

If you thought you saw a UFO hovering above Sampson Community College, you are not alone. SCC’s Applied Animal Science classes were receiving hands-on training on drones this week. Not quite an unidentified flying object but definitely used to monitor livestock.

“We brought our drone out here and are allowing students to get experience learning to fly,” says Chet Bass, Department Chair of the college’s Applied Animal Science Technology program. “There are all kinds of different opportunities for agriculture as technology advances and drones will play a crucial role in agriculture going forward.”


Bass (R) takes a group selfie of his class with SCC’s Animal Science Drone.

An agricultural drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle applied to farming to help increase crop production and monitor crop growth. Sensors and digital imaging capabilities can give farmers a richer picture of their fields. This information may prove useful in improving crop yields and farm efficiency. Drones allow farmers to see their fields from the sky. This bird’s-eye view can reveal many issues such as irrigation problems, soil variation, and pest and fungal infestations.

“This technology gives us an advantage,” says Bass. “We can use drones for topography and laying out maps. We can scout crops, analyze fields and count animals. Thermal cameras can be added. Technology always changes, and agriculture is no different. Farmers constantly have to stay up to date and this is an example of that through education.”

The addressable value of drone-powered solutions in all applicable industries is more than $127 billion. With the world’s population projected to reach nine billion people in thirty years, experts expect agricultural consumption to increase by nearly seventy percent over that time.  For more information about SCC’s Animal Science program, contact Chet Bass at cbass@sampsoncc.edu or at 910-900-4027.