An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is now among the tools Western Illinois University School of Agriculture faculty members will have access to thanks to Munson Hybrids (Galeburg, IL). On Friday (Jan. 16) officials from Munson Hybrids presented the DJI S800 UAV to Western. Pictured, L to R (back row): WIU Farm Coordinator Heath Geiman, WIU School of Ag Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics Win Phippen, WIU School of Agriculture Director Andrew Baker, WIU Vice President of Advancement and Public Services Brad Bainter, Munson Hybrids Regional Sales Manager Drue Calvert and WIU Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Center Director Chad Sperry. Front row, L to R: WIU Provost and Academic Vice President Kenneth Hawkinson, Munson Hybrids CEO and President John Hennenfent, WIU College of Business and Technology Interim Dean Kathleen Neumann and Munson Hybrids Communications/Marketing Lead Lori Theine.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is now among the tools Western Illinois University School of Agriculture faculty members will have access to thanks to Munson Hybrids (Galeburg, IL). On Friday (Jan. 16) officials from Munson Hybrids presented the DJI S800 UAV to Western. Pictured, L to R (back row): WIU Farm Coordinator Heath Geiman, WIU School of Ag Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics Win Phippen, WIU School of Agriculture Director Andrew Baker, WIU Vice President of Advancement and Public Services Brad Bainter, Munson Hybrids Regional Sales Manager Drue Calvert and WIU Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Center Director Chad Sperry. Front row, L to R: WIU Provost and Academic Vice President Kenneth Hawkinson, Munson Hybrids CEO and President John Hennenfent, WIU College of Business and Technology Interim Dean Kathleen Neumann and Munson Hybrids Communications/Marketing Lead Lori Theine.

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is now among the tools Western Illinois University School of Agriculture faculty members will have access to thanks to Munson Hybrids. On Friday (Jan. 16) officials from Munson Hybrids presented the DJI S800 UAV to School of Ag Director Andrew Baker at Western.

According to Munson Hybrids, the company purchased two UAVs in the past year to better understand the emerging technology and how it can fit into its business and overall seed production. The company decided to donate one of the UAVs to Western's School of Ag to augment the role academia will play in UAV technology advancements.

"The School of Ag recently received approval to hire a precision agriculture faculty member for Fall 2015," Baker noted. "Technology is a big part of production agriculture, as well as in the service-related sector of the industry, and we can see the UAV serving as a key piece in student projects, research and even service. This donation will help kick start our new precision ag program and give our entire faculty a chance to put into practice ways to help Illinois farmers utilize UAV technology," he added.

"Munson is excited about how the UAV donation will help the next generation of ag professionals coming out of WIU, as well as how WIU can help farmers with the technology," said Munson Hybrids CEO and President John Hennenfent. "UAVs have amazing potential in advancing agriculture, and a union like this amongst industry, academia and youth is always a positive outcome."