ASHLAND, Ore.– An Ashland company is working to make ranching easier for cattle producers. It’s bringing thousands of years of practice into the palm of your hand with Bluetooth technology.
For the last three years, Kip and Molly Nix of Fickle Moon Farm, have been cattle farming in the nearby hills of Ashland. In that time, they have learned the many struggles of maintaining a healthy herd.
“We wouldn’t know there was an issue until we actually saw the cows or ran the cows through the chute to inoculate them and tag them,” said Kip. “So if somebody had pinkeye unless we didn’t see it we didn’t know it was there.”
Recently though, they got in touch with a local Ashland company that was working to help small farms. That company is called HerdDogg.
“Our interest is really in helping to advance the technologies that make livestock production possible,” said Melissa Brandao, the owner and CEO.
The technology they’ve developed uses Bluetooth analytics accessible from your cell-phone. Each animal is given a smart tag on the ear which reads the animals measurements such as temperature – finding out if the animal’s sick, hurt or even giving birth.
Then, it sends that vital information directly to the farmer who can react in real time.
“The producer, if they want, can go out into the field and look at particular animals and look at their individual records or interact with them via their telephone,” said Brandao.
The tech has so far been used by some 150 farms on the West Coast according to Brandao. For new farmers like the Nix’s, it’s helped them immensely.
“Especially for people who are newer to getting into ranching,” said Molly. “We may not be aware of some of the obvious things that other people who have been in the business a long time but this really helps us maintain herd health.”
But they say the tech can be used by anyone since it’s helped them react immediately to any problems their livestock may face. So you might say HerdDogg is ‘moo’-ving the industry towards new horizons.
“If we can catch any kind of a sickness ahead of time,” said Kip. “It’s going to help save that cow and a cow is a huge investment.”
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.