LAWSONVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — Ronnie Heiniger was born to turn dirt. 

My great-grandfather was a farmer, my grandfather, my father farmed,” said Ronnie, who grew up on a farm and today, as a NC State University professor, teaches future farmers.

“That’s what I’m trying to transmit to them: the wonder and miracle of nature that we rely on,” he said.

On this agricultural day with Stokes County students, he’s introducing them to the latest farming technology.

“It’s like New Year’s Day for a farmer,” he said.

The new technology includes driverless tractors, drones and multimillion dollar equipment.

“I’m hoping to get them to get that same love that I have for this occupation,” said Ronnie, whose favorite crop is corn. “I love corn on the cob…every day of the week.”

The students were able to get a feel and taste of a number of farming elements, many from the past, at this year’s agriculture day. From mule-drawn plows to tobacco sleds and canning. 

“It’s more than a job,” he said. “It’s a direct connection to the land.”