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Hi Tech Day At The Farm

October 29, 2022

OK, so the content of this email will be a bit different.

Today, I plan to share a major land improvement project that will use a Hi-Tech Drone and GPS Camera to map how best to fix a naturally occurring ditch on the new ground we purchased in 2018.

A bit of update to those new to our community - August 2018 we were blessed to be able to purchase 160 acres that joins our Eastern land line. Doubly blessed as this was the first time the land had been sold outside of the family (McKenzie) that originally homesteaded it back in the early 1800's.

The first year after purchase we had the trees harvested and the second year had the debris mulched. Both times working around the rainy seasons so as not to rut up the land.

There is a natural occurring drainage area that flows from east to west through the property. However, it does not flow well because of high areas that tend to dam the water. Some of this was caused by prior logging operations. The distance as the crow flies would be 2,640 feet. But, since the area follows land contours it is more like 3,000 feet.

Its important to note that the land only drops in elevation about 5 feet along this 3,000 feet path. Not a whole lot so every inch matters.

There is a company that used a Hi-Tech Drone and Camera to fly a pattern at a prescribed altitude of 300 feet taking pictures of the area. The goal is to collect the actual elevation of the area and use this data to build a path along the natural occurring low area. The path would be saved to a USB drive that is uploaded into a bull dozier specially equipped with GPS technology to follow the path and shape the elevation where the land will drain properly.

Before the drone could do its job we had to bushhog the area - which meant we had to wait until the area dried up. Two & a half months without rain gave us this opportunity.

For me, this is all pretty amazing. But, then I grew up in a time before cell phones and computers - and now cell phones double as peoples computer.

Here are some pictures to illustrate what was done-


Here the operator is laying out one of five setpoints along the route.


Setpoints are installed and turned on. They will communicate with the drone during flight.


Here the operators are programming the route parameters that will be uploaded into the drone.


After uploading the route the drone takes off and flies the mission. This took about 16 minutes to complete. Once complete the drone returned to the truck and landed. All of this without operator control. Yep, probably simple technology, but still amazing.

So, why all the fuss and expense? Well, if this route is not in the right place and cut to the prober depth then there will be low areas that become mud spots. Add cows and soon you will have large mud spots and erosion.

After the bull dozier completes its work we will plant a diverse perennial grass along the route to ensure our soils are not washed away.

You see, it is all about valuing the land and being a good Steward of God's blessing.

Sure hope you enjoyed hearing about & seeing our new project.

** Product Availability Update **

Chicken -Restocked Thursday, October 26th. Next harvest date is November 8th with restock the following day

Eggs - Eggs are still tight. New hens arrived September 16th. First eggs should be soon!!!

Beef - Restocked October 21st early afternoon. Next harvest is November 1st with restock about November 18th

Pork - Restocked bacon September 29th. Next harvest date is TBD.

Lamb - Next harvest date is later this fall.

Ben Simmons

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