The Kentucky Agriculture Training School will host its first Drone Pilot Certification Workshop to help producers prepare to become a certified remote pilot with the Federal Aviation Administration. The workshop is Dec. 20-21 at the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center in Princeton. 

The KATS program has received numerous requests for unmanned aerial systems (i.e. drones) training,” said Josh McGrath, soil scientist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “In response, we have worked with professionals to develop focused training on precision ag topics. This initial event will prepare attendees for the Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate test. We will be following up with training focused on applied field techniques and uses for aerial image acquisition and analysis.” 

The workshop will help participants prepare to become FAA-certified remote pilots. Photo by Matt Barton, UK agricultural communications.

Drones have many potential applications in agricultural production systems and becoming a FAA certified remote pilot is the only legal way a person can operate a drone for commercial use. During the intensive, two-day training, Mandy Briggs, assistant chief flight instructor with Parkland College’s Institute of Aviation, will help participants get the skills they need to receive their certification. Briggs’ students have an over 99% success rate on the exam.  

The cost to attend the UK workshop is $400. Certified Crop Advisors will receive 12 continuing education units in precision agriculture for completing the workshop.  

After the training, participants will take their certification exam at an FAA testing center on Dec. 22 or Dec. 23. The exam costs an additional $175 and is due when the exam is scheduled.  

Space is limited. Individuals who wish to register for the workshop, should contact Lori Rogers, KATS coordinator, at or 270-365-7541, ext. 21317.  

More information about the requirements for the FAA exam is available at 

— Katie Pratt, UK College of Agriculture

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