We all have preconceived notions about people when we first meet them. Someone who is all glamour and good looks we might think is a rock star or an actor. A really smart person could be a brain surgeon or a scientist. Someone who is tech savvy could be a software engineer, a rancher or a farmer… A rancher? A farmer? In fact, the answer is yes. Technology is not limited to the urban millennial or Silicon Valley wizards.
Technology in Agriculture
Technology is utilized in agriculture today and is improving both efficiencies and production in ways that refine and define Ag operations. Tech in the Ag industry includes farm machines, crop sensors, GPS in land assessment, biotechnology, animal management, and much more.
Clinton Small, a rancher in southeastern Montana, runs his cattle, fencing, and hay operation by drone. We visited Clinton’s ranch to watch him in action. He describes how, due to the rugged nature of the landscape of his ranch, his drone is an enormous help in the day-to-day management of his ranch.
Jumping on a couple of 4-wheelers, we drove up the side of a mountain to launch his drone. This is where the fun really started! As the drone soared high in the sky, Clinton recalled a time when he launched his drone and spotted a calf that wasn’t moving. He was able to bring the drone in close enough to identify the calves tag number and get someone over to administer medication and assistance. Thanks to this powerful technology that assisted Clinton, he is happy to report that the calf recovered and is doing very well.
With the help of his drone, Clinton has been able to spot the exact location where fences are down and get the section repaired before the cattle wandered away. The time it takes to walk, drive, or ride to cover every section of his ranch would take days. The drone is literally Clinton’s eyes in the sky.
Technology is changing farm and ranch management with improvements in production and productivity. Watching Clinton skillfully use a high powered drone for both his land and cattle illustrate just how quickly technology advancements are helping farmers and ranchers with their day-to-day operational management. Next time you think of agriculture as a simple way of life, you may need to reboot many of your preconceived notions.