Fargo Drone Focus Conference Brings Visitors From Around U.S., Eight Countries

This is the fourth year the convention has been put on

FARGO, N.D. — Each year Fargo’s Drone Focus Conference continues to grow and this year was no exception.

Many people in the industry say the growth is due to the higher demand for more unmanned aerial systems within hundreds of different industries.

We live in a world where technology is the future and drones are going to be essential down the road ahead because the industry is only going to keep changing.

“We’re moving towards an unmanned arena in the world, not just here in the United States,” said Jacquene Curlee, CEO of Kids Drone Zone in Atlanta.

You could see that in the 600 people from 29 states and eight countries who all gathered in Fargo for the fourth annual Drone Focus Conference.

Unmanned aerial technology is changing each and every year, being utilized in every industry from film to cybersecurity, manufacturing and even agriculture.

“So if you have 100,000 acre farm, you can you can now take a drone and survey that land and understand that only 10,000 acres of the land needs some water. The farmer can now do what? Save a lot of resources and time,” Curlee said.

That time can especially be important to those who work in emergency response services, such as the West Fargo Fire Department.

They used four drones in February to get a bird’s eye view of a diesel fuel tank fire.

With so many industries using drones, it’s also increasing the need to fill job openings.

“You’re going to have to have somebody who provides maintenance, someone that provides software security, someone that provides software updates,” Curlee said.

With the more jobs that need to be filled, some say it’s important to start getting kids involved in the industry.

“We need to start shaping their minds in elementary and middle school and expose them to this technological industry so that by the time they get to high school, they’re already thinking ‘oh you know what? Let me go see what’s available in the drone industry,” Curlee said.

But some say that’s not the only benefit of putting a drone in the hands of the younger generation.

“A lot of the youth these days spend way too much time indoors staring at a screen. This is bridging the gap between still getting outside and still being able to play a video game,” said Chris Spangler, with DroneBuildz in Minneapolis.

The Drone Focus will continue tomorrow at the Fargo Civic Center from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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