Cows on the Phone?
At The Mountain View Dairy, Maria Nye’s smartphone is an essential part of how she keeps track of her cows. Just as technology has permeated all facets of our personal lives (many of us have internet access at our fingertips), technological advancements have changed the face of modern dairy farming, allowing for improved milk quality, healthy cows, safe and efficient procedures, and sustainable farming practices.
This post begins the first in a series about technology on the farm and how local farmers have embraced new concepts in order to care for their animals and produce high quality, nutritious dairy products.
Each of the Nye’s “girlies,” as she refers to her cows, has an RFID chip. The chip tracks information about the cows – movement, milk production, reproductive history, and health history. Each cow is scanned daily and if anything is amiss (e.g., she didn’t produce as much milk as she normally does), she is immediately pulled aside and given a check up. Maria keeps all of this information on her phone. She knows when each cow is expecting a calf, she knows the lineage of each cow and her typical milk production, and she can access it instantaneously while she is out on the farm or out on the road. Since all of the procedures on the farm are protocol driven, her ability to embrace technology as a means of tracking the details has created a successful operation for Maria Nye and her family. John and Maria have three children and several very helpful canine farmhands that make life on their Delta, UT dairy farm a true family affair.