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Shepard melds two Fs: flying and farming

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 25th, 2013

Photo/Pat Mitchell. In his bright yellow aerial sprayer, Bunker Shepard gets the weeds before they get the crop.

WHEATLAND - At 13, he was in ground school under the instruction of Ed Snell. On his 16th birthday, he soloed. After graduating from Wheatland High School, he went on to college in Arizona where he studied aviation, was in Air Force ROTC and graduated in general studies with a 2nd Lieutenant rank.  He spent seven years active duty in the USAF flying KC-135 air refuelers. After leaving full-time military service in 1997, he joined the Mississippi Air National Guard and is now in the Mississippi Air National Guard flying out of Meridian, Miss. every six weeks. Sometimes a medical care suite is installed in the plane which transforms it into a medivac (medical evacuation) aircraft headed for injured soldiers anywhere in the world.

The balance of the time you might hear Lt. Col. Bunker Shepard before you see him and his yellow spray plane banking and diving low over a beet field, misting the foliage for plant-destroying bugs or crop-invading weeds. This owner-operator of Platte Valley Aviation “grew up sure I was going to be involved with aviation,” said Shepard.

For the complete article see the 09-25-2013 issue.

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