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Farmer uses STEM education in daily work

Updated: 05/30/2014 5:20 PM
Created: 05/30/2014 5:14 PM WNYT.com
By: Jason Caterina

Science, technology, engineering and math are more and more a part of our everyday lives.

Farmers are using new technology to help us all keep food on the table.

When you think of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, you might think of high tech fields like Nanotechnology or microchip processing, but more and more, these days they're starting to show up in fields like this.

Jason Zaleski operates a John Deere Tractor in Washington County, but he doesn't necessarily drive it.

“It’s in a way, like a video game. You get in the seat and you punch a few buttons and you watch your tractor go on the screen,” he explained.

The tractor drives itself, using global positioning satellites to make sure it uses every inch of available planting space.

It's more efficient, so it uses less fuel.

When it comes time to plant, the tractor knows exactly where to lay the seed and can help minimize the amount of not just seed, but also pesticide and fertilizer applied to the field.

It saves time, money and it's better for the environment.

“It’s just amazing that, a fact, that two percent of the population is feeding 98 percent. We have to make do with what we have. Land is not becoming available day after day. What we have is what we've got and we have got to work with it,” said Zaleksi, who first learned about this technology while earning his degree in agricultural engineering from SUNY Cobleskill.

“I never thought I would see it or use it any more than the college classroom and here today as we stand, I’m in it, working it,” he said.

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