You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Clark State program targets UAS jobs

Precision agricultural program could create thousands of new Ohio jobs

Clark State Community College wants to create a precision agricultural program that could help bring thousands of new jobs related to farming and the unmanned aerial systems industry to Ohio.

The $520,000 project could start as early as fall 2014 and help bring an estimated 2,650 new jobs to the state by 2017, according to documents from the Dayton Development Coalition’s Dayton Region Priority Development and Advocacy Committee.

“It’s going to make farming and agriculture business more profitable and provide sustainability so that our children and their children can continue to farm,” said Aurea L. Rivera, local business owner and a Clark State consultant.

Clark State officials applied for $275,000 in funding from the state capital budget to establish the program, which could would be the first of its kind in Ohio.

Mandy Havenar, Clark County Farm Bureau organization director, said she was excited about the proposed program.

“It’s exciting, and an exciting time to be in the agricultural community,” Havenar said. “Farming has become an extremely technical field … It’s amazing what GPS has done for agriculture … The Clark State program can only help the industry grow and help the farmers.

The project would also be funded with matching dollars — $125,000 from Clark State and $120,000 in private funding.

“Program funding will support curriculum development, technology to support modeling and simulation analysis and student internships,” according to the Priority Development and Advocacy Committee documents.

The new training center would be modeled after a similar program at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa. A precision agricultural program is also available at Purdue University in Indiana.

Clark State officials say the curriculum in Springfield would provide students with knowledge of agriculture, technology and data information systems.

The Dayton-Springfield region already is positioning itself to be a nationally recognized hub of UAV research and development, and a drone for agricultural use hits home even further — one of every seven jobs in Ohio is tied to farming.

The region wants to become one of six sites nationally that soon will be designated by the Federal Aviation Administration for the testing of UAVs. The FAA wants to determine if UAVs can safely be integrated into manned airspace by 2015, and the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport has been eyed as one such testing space.

Whether the region wins a designation — which local officials say could also result in a number of new jobs — one thing is certain: There’s plenty of ground here for agricultural drones to someday cover.

In 2011, 153,400 acres of corn were planted in Clark and Champaign counties, with 147,200 acres of soybeans.

The program would also provide a path for students attending the Global Impact STEM Academy, which is currently on the Clark State campus.

“Clark State is transforming the way that training and education will be given to a new generation of agricultural students,” Rivera said. “If UAS comes (to the Dayton-Springfield region), it would be a terrific opportunity to expand what UAS will do for agriculture.”

Rivera said while there’s a lot of interest in unmanned aerial systems, much of the discussion has been about its use by law enforcement and first responders and privacy concerns.

She said more focus needs to be on how UAS can be used for precision agriculture.

“Clark State wants to take the lead on that,” Rivera said.

Staff Writer Andrew McGinn contributed to this story.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Florida art exhibit features Trump punching bag
Florida art exhibit features Trump punching bag

If you’re frustrated by the ascension Friday of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, ArtPalmBeach has the answer for you: A Trump punching bag. The red bag, with a scowling Trump face, is part of the exhibit “Left To Right,” by Cuban-born multimedia artist Antuan Rodriguez. Trump’s face is one of...
Thousands descend on nation’s capital for Women’s March
Thousands descend on nation’s capital for Women’s March

 A day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the nation’s 45th president, hundreds of thousands of people are descending upon Washington, D.C., to participate in Saturday’s Women’s March. The march — which will begin with a rally at 10 a.m. featuring speakers and musical acts — is based on a mission that the rhetoric...
1 man shot during protest at University of Washington
1 man shot during protest at University of Washington

The Seattle Fire Department said the man, who was shot in the campus’ Red Square, has possible life threatening injuries, reported. Police said the man was shot in the abdomen.
Sunday Calendar

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS MONDAY 10:30 a.m.: Overeaters Anonymous, a 12-step group for compulsive eaters, will meet at the Alano Club, 1557 E. Main St. 6 p.m.: Al-Anon, a 12-step program for families and friends of alcoholics, will meet at the Alano Club, 1557 E. Main St. Entrance in back. Handicap accessible. For more information, call 937-342-2218...
At the DC protests, a naked guy and a raging car fire
At the DC protests, a naked guy and a raging car fire

Protesters took to the streets soon after President Donald Trump was inaugurated today, and law enforcement officers were quickly there as well. The scene was initially tense, with flash grenades going off and pepper spray streaming, but things cooled after a while. At one point, with a phalanx of police officers blocking a street...
More Stories