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HAYS, KAN. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) met with Fort Hays State University (FHSU) Departments of Agriculture and Biological Sciences faculty this week to learn more about the school’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) program. Three months ago, FHSU was awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop curricula focused on the use of UAS in precision agriculture. As Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Sen. Moran secured funding for the USDA program, which is furnishing the grant.

“Kansas is poised to see a tremendous economic impact resulting from the growth of the UAS industry, specifically its role in precision agriculture,” Sen. Moran said. “This promising program will give Kansas students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in operating UAS and incorporating the technology into agriculture. FHSU is leading the way making certain graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skill set to help keep our farmers and ranchers on the forefront of technological advancements.”

The UAS program is in the first year of a three-year grant partnership. In Kansas alone, the economic impact of UAS technologies is estimated at $2.9 billion over the next decade. During his visit, Sen. Moran met with University Provost Dr. Graham Glynn; Agriculture Department Chair Don Benjamin; Assistant Professor Dr. Craig Smith; Professor Dr. Bill Stark; Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences Dr. Greg Farley; Assistant Professor Robert Keener, DVM; and FHSU Foundation Director of Development Tammy McClellan.