Q & A: Reflections Of A Precision Ag Intern

Through a partnership program sponsored by MapShots, Inc., 21-year-old Austin Gulasky spent his summer as a precision ag intern. He split the 10-week period between Southern States Cooperative, in Richmond, VA, and MapShots, in Cumming, GA.

Now a senior at Virginia Tech University, Austin majors in agricultural technology, although he considers himself a “crop and soils” guy.

Raised on a grain farm in East Central Virginia, Austin wanted an internship that would put him on the leading edge of technology. His original goal: Bring valuable precision ag expertise back to the family farm. But his plans may be changing as a result of the internship.

Q: How did you first get involved with precision agriculture?

Austin: That’s interesting, because I’m not really a computer person! I don’t have a reputation for being tech savvy among my family and friends.
But all the equipment we’ve bought for the farm in the past two or three years has some sort of precision ag aspect to it — auto steer, GPS, cloud-based monitors, etc. I wanted to learn more about it…it is the future of farming after all.

Q: How did the internship come about?

A: My professor, Wes Gwaltney, felt very strongly that the best way to learn precision ag is to experience it day-to-day. When MapShots contacted him about the program, he offered it to his students. I was very lucky to be chosen for it.

Q: Do you know anyone else who’s had a precision ag internship?

A: No, I believe it’s a pretty new idea. Other internships I heard about wanted you to milk cows and do farm work. This one lets you use your brain more.

Q: What did you do during your five weeks with Southern States?

A: My first three weeks were spent in the office learning the MapShots AgStudio software platform. They had me doing case-by-case scenarios. For instance, if someone had trouble entering crop zones, I would help them. The last two weeks were spent on the road. I helped a local co-op do soil sampling. Then I went to Kentucky for a week, spending time at three different Southern States locations. Kentucky is a bit more advanced in precision ag than Virginia, so I got to see more intensive uses of data management.

Q: And how about when you went down to Georgia for five weeks with MapShots?

A: First, I put our family’s farm on the AgStudio platform as a demo for me to use. It showed me the nuts-and-bolts of the program. I worked closely with Field Product Managers Clint and Shauna Ingram, running scripts and doing testing. I also spent time with the support team, listening in on phone calls. I got to the point where I could answer questions and that felt pretty good.

I went on the road for them too. I traveled in Alabama with Mathew Tapley, business development rep. He took me to Auburn University’s Central Alabama Crops Tour, where I got to see cotton and other crops I wasn’t too familiar with. The Drift Control experiment was the highlight for me there.

Q: How has the internship changed your future plans?

A: I always wanted to go back to the family farm. It’s a small operation and I wanted to bring my knowledge back to grow the business. But now I would consider the possibility of working for the co-op back home or another provider, maybe doing soil sampling and helping area farmers understand the data. A lot of farmers aren’t really tech savvy and they need help.

Q: Any other thoughts about precision ag?

A: Through my studies and this internship I’ve really seen firsthand how precision ag can help you. Precision ag allows farmers to work smarter, not harder.

Leave a Reply

Business Management Stories
Digital-Farming
Business Management7 Factors That Could Make or Break Digital Farming
April 13, 2018
Digital farming is the new technology genie – a genie that is now out of the bottle and cannot be Read More
SDSU-drone
Business ManagementInside the Key Strategies For Selling Precision Ag Services
April 13, 2018
In its earliest manifestation, the motive for developing precision agriculture service was entirely pure. Agronomists knew that crops were responding Read More
aggateway
Business ManagementAgGateway Encourages Use of Standard Identifiers with AGIIS Subscription Promotion
April 11, 2018
AgGateway, the non-profit organization with the mission to promote and enable the industry’s transition to digital agriculture, is offering a Read More
InSiteDCM
Business ManagementDelivering on Ag Data Value
April 3, 2018
Bruce Baier is another deeply experienced precision agriculture manager who survived the early years of ag technology while riding the Read More
Trending Articles
SDSU-drone
Business ManagementInside the Key Strategies For Selling Precision Ag Services
April 13, 2018
In its earliest manifestation, the motive for developing precision agriculture service was entirely pure. Agronomists knew that crops were responding Read More
CROO Robotics’ automated strawberry harvester
Robotics/Labor SaversSpecialty Crops: Get in Gear Now for Agriculture’s Robotic Revolution
April 11, 2018
While the immigration debate rages on in Washington, DC, with little chance for reform in sight, the uncertain labor picture Read More
InSiteDCM
Business ManagementDelivering on Ag Data Value
April 3, 2018
Bruce Baier is another deeply experienced precision agriculture manager who survived the early years of ag technology while riding the Read More
University-of-Georgia-photo-credit-USDA
Business Management25 Best Colleges for Precision Agriculture
March 21, 2018
Choosing the right college is a process. It’s one that I’m just now embarking on with my teenage daughter. Long Read More
Farmer-tablet
Decision Support SoftwareOpinion: The Missing Link in Precision Agriculture
March 15, 2018
The agtech boom over the last two years is indeed astonishing. Farmers are becoming more open to new, emerging technologies Read More
Filling The Planter from Cab
Service ProvidersPrecision Agriculture: What is it?
March 15, 2018
If we look at the title of the article, all of you will come to an answer. These answers will Read More
Latest News
Industry NewsClimate Corp Announces 5 New FieldView Integrations
April 23, 2018
The Climate Corporation announced the addition of five industry-leading partners to The Climate Corporation’s Climate FieldView digital agriculture platform. The Read More
Laura_Crook_WinterWheat_Blackgrass_PrecisionAg
Industry NewsKansas Software Outfit Ag Developer Announces agX Integ…
April 23, 2018
Ag Developer, a Kansas based software development company, is simplifying grower/advisor communications by connecting to the agX Platform, according to Read More
field_in_back_1000_wd-featured-image
Industry NewsAyrstone Introduces High-Speed WiFi System for Farms
April 20, 2018
WiFi has become a necessity, and a proliferation of new WiFi devices have come to market for urban homes and Read More
Indian-Agriculture
AsiaIndian IoT Platform for Pre and Post Harvest Raises See…
April 19, 2018
Indian startup AgNext has raised an undisclosed seed round led by India-focused Agtech VC Omnivore Partners along with Singaporean angel Read More
Bayer-Forward-Farming
Industry NewsMaryland Farm Opens as Hub of Learning about Sustainabl…
April 19, 2018
Fourth-generation Maryland farmer Trey Hill measures the success of his operation not just by how many bushels of corn, soybeans, Read More
THRIVE
Industry NewsAgritech Startup Backers Announce New Corporate Partner…
April 18, 2018
Entering its fourth year, the THRIVE Venture & Innovation platform announced today the nine finalists and investment in its spring Read More
computer-in-field
EventsFinding Our Way in the Business of Precision Agricultur…
April 17, 2018
Service providers are the essential link between precision agriculture products and practices and the farmers who are increasingly relying on Read More
Farm-Storm-Clouds-Photo-Eden-Hills
Data ManagementThe Precipitation Problem in Agriculture
April 17, 2018
Precipitation is arguably the most important agricultural weather parameter, yet it is the most difficult variable to precisely measure. For Read More
Digital-Farming
Business Management7 Factors That Could Make or Break Digital Farming
April 13, 2018
Digital farming is the new technology genie – a genie that is now out of the bottle and cannot be Read More
SDSU-drone
Business ManagementInside the Key Strategies For Selling Precision Ag Serv…
April 13, 2018
In its earliest manifestation, the motive for developing precision agriculture service was entirely pure. Agronomists knew that crops were responding Read More
Facebook-phone
Data ManagementWhat Lessons Can the Ag Industry Learn from the Faceboo…
April 12, 2018
Today, a seemingly endless amount of ag data flows from growers’ fields into a host of technology platforms. It is Read More
DronesWhen High Value Crops Meet Inaccessible Areas: How Dron…
April 12, 2018
Avocados are one of the few crops in Chile that can economically be commercially cultivated on hills. On one hand Read More
Almond-trees-blooming
Sensors/IoTWhy Virtual Sensors Could Save California’s At-Ri…
April 12, 2018
To say that the Golden State can lay claim to the title of king of almonds might be an understatement. Read More
AgJunction, InfoAg 2014, Autosteer, GPS
Industry NewsAgJunction Launches Online Store, Low Cost Guidance Sys…
April 12, 2018
AgJunction today announced the opening of the HandsFreeFarm.com online store to bring low-cost, simple-to-use precision agriculture solutions direct to all Read More
aggateway
Business ManagementAgGateway Encourages Use of Standard Identifiers with A…
April 11, 2018
AgGateway, the non-profit organization with the mission to promote and enable the industry’s transition to digital agriculture, is offering a Read More
Remote-Soil-Sensing-Mapping
Imagery/SensingRemote Soil Sensing Enhances Precision Farming, Promote…
April 11, 2018
Precision agriculture management requires understanding soil at increasingly finer scales. Conventional soil sampling and laboratory analyses often lack this granularity Read More
Data ManagementREPORT: Bayer’s Digital Farming Business Slated f…
April 11, 2018
Germany’s Bayer plans to sell its digital farming business to BASF as part of changes to concessions it has offered Read More
Corn
Industry NewsSentera Announces New FieldAgent Features
April 11, 2018
Sentera announces the availability of high-fidelity crop stand, weed pressure mapping, spot scouting maps, and free local image stitching within Read More