Kansas Farmer Gets His Cows To Say Howdy To Satellite

Mar 16, 2018
Originally published on April 9, 2018 1:55 pm

Derek Klingenberg is kind of a farmer celebrity.

His YouTube channel draws more than 70,000 subscribers for ag-themed pop-music parodies, trombone covers and, more recently, cow art made with satellites.

This week, the Peabody, Kansas, farmer took his cow art to the next level, or altitude. He posted a video showing his cows to form a giant “Hi” as seen from the heavens.

Klingenberg started out making cow art a few years ago, taking lower-altitude pics of his herd. He was just looking for some new tricks to do with his drone. (In one of his other videos, he appears to use a drone to catch a fish.)

Then the camera-friendly farmer saw that a company offered daily satellite images of farm. They’re marketed to give farmers as a way to monitor the health of their crops.

Klingenberg saw more aesthetic potential. He realized the service could be used to capture a shot of his cow art from space.

So he launched his own drone to see whether the cattle aligned properly, and for his YouTube video. The footage shows cattle, looking from high above like ants ambling in the dirt, getting nudged into place.

He timed the herding — mostly by truck, partly on foot — to form his “Hi” (dotted “i” included) for mid-morning when the satellite would get the best shot.

The “Hi” from space looks pretty fuzzy. The dot on that “i,” for instance is wasted in the satellite image. But the greeting is legible all the same.

Klingenberg said he wasn’t sure what sort of bovine art might come next.

“My brain,” he said, “changes fast.”

Ben Kuebrich reports for High Plains Public Radio in Garden City and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and HPPR covering health, education and politics. Follow him on @Ben_Kuebrich. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.

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