This past summer was the first time Gary Appleby had ever seen a drone flown. “A farmer I know just north of Villa Grove has one for scouting. He programmed a flight path into his laptop, took off, scouted the whole field, and then landed in the road.”
This growing season, Gary will have the chance to try it himself. He’s the winner of Birkey’s drone giveaway.
“I heard about the giveaway in their email newsletter and at the Oakland store, but I never win anything.” Gary has been a subscriber to Birkey’s email newsletter since 2012, so he knew he was entered in the drawing. “I get on the internet everyday, go on AgTalk, and read my email. I looked at Birkey’s email about lawnmower maintenance this past week.”
He was surprised when Oakland parts manager, Rick East, called him to let him know he’d won.
His friends were a little concerned. ”My friends said I’d be pretty dangerous with this!”
Luckily, Gary has a number of expert pilots to turn to for flight training. In fact, he learned that he had won the drone while he was visiting a friend who owns the local Tuscola airport and has a pilot’s license. He was on his way back when Rick called.
His brother, Jack, also has a pilot’s license and a Cessna, and the two scout in it. They’ve crop farmed together in around the Tuscola/Atwood area since 1973.
“I’m sure Jack will want to fly the drone, too. And we’ll get a hold of a friend who knows how to fly it before we give it a try.”
If the two ever try their hand at creating a video, chances are it will feature Case IH equipment. “I was born with red equipment. I’ve known Rick East for years, and [Birkey's salesman] Doug Warters–and Doug’s dad before Doug.”
Gary’s name was drawn using a random number generation the week of March 9. The presentation took place on Wednesday, March 25 at the winner’s farm.