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Colleges Team Up On Drone Farming Program


Sinclair Community College has announced it’s teaming up with Southern State Community College to expand and collaborate on its unmanned aerial system program.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs or drones, are expected to become a big commercial market in the next few years, and a lot of entrepreneurs have their eyes on Ohio’s farm fields. Sensor technology and cameras on the vehicles would let farmers scan huge areas more easily, looking for mold, pests or standing water, just for example.

Sinclair in Dayton already has a UAV certification program, and now the college will partner with Southern State’s agriculture programs, which have the advantage of a more rural location in Wilmington. Together, the schools want to share facilities and other material resources, jointly offer classes and potentially create a whole new curriculum on precision agriculture and UAVs.

The schools are banking on the hope that drones will really take off in the Miami Valley once they’re actually licensed for flight by the feds, a regulatory process that’s been delayed. In December, the region was passed over as a potential test site by the Federal Aviation Administration, which has established six sites around the country to experiment with commercial uses of drones.