Precision Agriculture at Warren Community College
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Precision Agriculture at Warren Community College

NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) paid a visit to Warren Community College today to witness firsthand the advancements of the Precision Agriculture Technology Project. This initiative, a part of the college’s Unmanned Systems Program, aims to address the agricultural needs of the region by enhancing farm land management.

The college, which introduced its Unmanned Systems Program in 2018, has been a pioneer in drone industry education. Senator Booker was briefed by educators and officials about the college’s efforts to train students in the deployment of drone technology for improved farm management and sustainability. The college boasts a state-of-the-art outdoor flight training center, a fleet of over 75 unmanned aircraft systems, and has secured multiple authorizations from the Federal Aviation Administration for operator training.

The latest initiative by Warren Community College is to expand the Unmanned Systems Program. It plans to introduce career pathways in agriculture, focusing on precision agriculture. This technology holds the promise of revolutionizing current farming practices, leading to enhanced profitability.

Senator Booker expressed his admiration for the program, stating, “Incredible work is taking place at Warren Community College. I am thrilled to witness the progress students and experts are making to assist local farmers in saving money, boosting crop yields, and optimizing land management.” He also emphasized his role in advocating for the project’s federal funding, amounting to nearly $700,000 in the draft Senate appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2024.

Dr. William Austin, President of Warren Community College, expressed gratitude for the Congressional Appropriation and Senator Booker’s support. He highlighted the potential of the project to introduce innovative farm management practices. These practices aim to ensure precise chemical application and land management, leading to increased farm profitability and sustainability. The approach also focuses on reducing the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, which will benefit the environment and result in increased crop yields.

Yvonne Reitemeyer, Board of Trustees Chair and an alumnus of Warren Community College, lauded the funding and the precision agriculture/drone program. She acknowledged Senator Booker’s support as invaluable.

Precision agriculture employs advanced equipment, software, and artificial intelligence to provide real-time data about various farming conditions. This data-driven approach allows farmers to make informed decisions, leading to sustainable farming practices. Warren County Community College’s initiative promises to equip students with skills that will make them eligible for high-paying jobs upon graduation.

Senator Booker’s visit to the college is a part of his 2023 Jersey Summer Road Trip. This tour aims to spotlight the progress across New Jersey’s 21 counties. The focus of the trip is on securing funding for essential state projects, addressing key legislative priorities, and supporting local businesses and organizations.