The Roundup -

Sidney ARS Field Days To Feature 'Drones 101' Workshop


Both the dryland field days co-sponsored by the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT will include a special hour-long “Drones 101” workshop designed to acquaint tour goers at both sites with the basics of the machines. Formally known as unmanned aerial systems (UAS), these small aircraft hold big promise for agriculture. Two models will be featured at the Sidney ARS Dryland Farm Field Day to be held on Friday, June 19th, as well as at the annual Froid Research Farm Field Day on Thursday, June 25th.

Speakers for the “drones 101” workshop include Brian McGinnis of Sidney who has been working with drones for the past three years as a hobbyist. In addition to discussing the rules and regulations required for flying drones, he will also demonstrate his latest quadcopter. McGinnis owns Exdivio Solutions, Inc., a computer consulting firm in Sidney. Joining him at the June field days will be Roger Meyer PLS, a Registered Land Surveyor, of Lambert who will demonstrate the Trimble UX5, a fixed wing UAV. Meyer, of Montana Land and Aerial Surveys, is one of only a few Montanans that have applied for and received a Section 333 exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration that allows him to use his craft for commercial operations.

“We’re pleased to have Brian and Roger share their information and expertise at these upcoming field days,” Sidney ARS dryland Agronomist Brett Allen said. “The drone technology is still new in agriculture, but it holds a lot of promise for the future. These basic presentations will give interested producers and others the opportunity to see a drone in action and ask questions of the operators.”

Again, the two field days featuring the drone workshop include:

The 2015 Sidney ARS Dryland Field Day on Friday, June 19, from 9 am to 12:30 pm. The event is co-sponsored by the Richland County Extension Service and includes a number of other talks and a free lunch. The Sidney research farm is located about 4 miles north of Sidney off MT Highway 16. Take a left at County Road 129 and a second left on County Road 346.

The 2015 Froid Research Farm Field Day on Thursday, June 25th, from 1-5 pm. It, too, includes numerous other talks of interest to farmers and ranchers and concludes with a free steak supper sponsored by the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Conservation Districts. Other event sponsors include the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Extension offices. The Froid farm is located 8 miles north of Culbertson on MT Highway 16.

More tour details for both the Sidney and Froid events will be available shortly. Pesticide points are also pending.

For more information, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-9427 or by email at [email protected]


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