Ag Teachers and FFA Members,


From the desk of Craig Kvien:


I would appreciate you letting the students know about a wonderful conference, dedicated to the use of wireless internet technologies in rural communities, coming November 1 & 2, 2005 to the Tifton Campus Conference Center.


Clearly one way to survive the rising cost of fuel is to communicate, monitor and control using Internet technologies.  Wireless internet technologies will soon be the standard way we operate both phone and computer, monitor and control many operations around the farm and entice many new businesses to rural communities.  To help people understand the potential wireless Internet technologies have for rural businesses and communities we have put together a wonderful conference and trade show.  The program not only includes sessions on how agriculture, healthcare and other rural businesses and communities are using these tools, it also includes information on grant funds to help communities lower the cost of implementing these technologies.


While standard registration for Unwired ’05 ( is $100 before the event or $125 at the gate.  FFA High School and College Students can register for $10, and since several of our Tifton Campus UGA students are helping with the event, we are registering all Tifton Campus students for FREE.


To plan meals and room sizes, we would really appreciate all that plan to attend to let us know they are coming. One method for them to register is to reply to [log in to unmask] with their:



(also mention if they are a UGA or FFAstudent)





Please see the press release below.  We really hope you will encourage people to attend this informative and timely event.



Craig Kvien




Rural wireless conference set Nov. 1-2 in Tifton


How can wireless technology help rural Georgia?


Wireless Internet communication technology can allow a farmer to work his land thousands of miles away. It can give a doctor quick access to patients' records. It can connect a country store to the world.

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Photo: Brad Haire

Stuart Pocknee, a program coordinator with the UGA National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory in Tifton, GA., uses a laptop computer to control an experimental autonomous tractor and monitor an irrigation system via the Internet.


By Brad Haire
University of Georgia

Wireless Internet communication technology can allow a farmer to work his land thousands of miles away. It can give a doctor quick access to patients' records. It can connect a country store to the world.

The "UnWired: Rural Wireless Conference" Nov. 1-2 at the University of Georgia's Tifton campus will bring experts, researchers and users of wireless technology to rural south Georgia.

"Most conferences like this take place in large urban areas," said Craig Kvien, chair of the UGA National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Lab in Tifton.

"We're bringing many people here that have worked a lot of the bugs out of this technology," said Kvien, who is helping to organize the event. "The conference will demonstrate and investigate how this technology can be used for rural economic development."

The technical jargon of wireless communications can leave many people scratching their heads. "But anyone who attends this conference will walk away with a much better understanding of the potential of this technology," Kvien said.

The conference keynote speaker, Hans-Werner Braun, spearheads the High-Performance Wireless Research and Education Network at University of California at San Diego. The National Science Foundation funds this project, which has set up a wireless network over hundreds of square miles, connecting schools, research stations and remote Indian tribes in rural San Diego County.

"Braun's work connects the unconnected," Kvien said.

Wade Mitchell will tell how wireless technology has revolutionized his Iowa farm. Mitchell and his son Clay farm 2,500 acres of corn and soybeans. Their farm-wide, high-speed wireless network with Internet access allows them to remotely control grain handling and storage facilities, auto-steer tractors and monitor fields.

Wireless technology has "turned our tractor cabs into mobile offices," he said. "It has saved us hugely in labor and time and allowed us to be more accurate in our operation."

Professionals from two Tifton healthcare facilities will discuss how going wireless has improved their operations and allowed doctors to more efficiently treat patients.

Paul Mask, an assistant director in the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, will explain how wireless communications can help extension agents better serve their clients.

The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences precision agriculture team will show how off-shelf products can monitor farm facilities and irrigation and control a robot.

And representatives from Cattlelog will show how radio frequency identification can help the cattle industry run smoothly and safely.

Funding agencies will be at the conference, too. So will those who've received funding for wireless projects.

"Not only will attendees learn about the advances and opportunities," Kvien said, "but also where to go to help fund them."

Other conference topics will include living wireless from a community perspective, funding a large-scale wireless network, setting up a wireless hotspot and pitfalls of going wireless.

Registration is $100 before Oct. 1. It's $150 after Oct. 1. To register or to find out more about the conference, go to