Rancher uses drone to herd cattle

PENDLETON – Blue Mountain Community College is working with the Federal Aviation Administration, the military, and the Pendleton UAS Test Range to build an unmanned aircraft system program at the college. In its early stages it would offer short-term certifications, and would eventually grow into a two-year degree program.

Precision Irrigated Agriculture Instructor Drew Leggett said that the agricultural community in the region has already shown its eagerness to include drones in getting work done.

“Whether it’s wheat or working in the vineyards with wine grapes, we can fly any of those crops and detect issues in them,” he said.

Leggett says a rancher he knows has taken drone technology one step farther. He has been herding cattle with drones for about five years.

“He has perfected the ability to get that drone up in the air and go towards the cows just like if he was on a horse and he was going towards them,” Leggett said. “And the cows have been trained that when that drone is in the air, they need to move.”