For Immediate Release:
(www.peoplevox.co.uk), October 16, 2010
United Dairy Farmers are rolling out a herd management software system to capture data and store it in a web portal.
It is claimed to help fully manage their herd. Is this type of software really going to be used by the farmers, or just freak them out with techno-blurb? With my godfather having been a dairy farmer for about 50 years and also having installed a similar project in Croatia to track trees (sounds crazy different, but is similar concept), I had some thoughts and wanted to share them with you.
Let's take top comments on this news, looking at it from a farmer's point of view:
1. This herd management software is web based. This means you just need to open up Internet Explorer as if you were looking at Google on the Internet. Then log in to use the application. You will not need to worry about installing any software, backing up any information you enter or stress about your computer going pop and losing all your data. It is all backed up by the provider of the software.
2. Being a farmer these days is often reported as tough in the press. I cannot pass judgement, but I do know that with competition increasing across the world, our farmers in the UK need to maximise their assets...their herd. Having software to make your life easier, reducing errors and taking less time on paperwork is what many other industries have benefited from. I see many manufacturers in the UK each month. The news says they are suffering. They are, but in most cases they are to blame. Having worked in Eastern Europe for about 7 years helping manufacturing companies, I meet UK manufacturers and often feel like I have gone back in time. There is a general lack of innovation and 90% of them seem to be eyes wide open ignoring reality of the competition from abroad and just complain about the UK. The saying, 'those who are lame love to blame' pops up in my mind too often when visiting UK manufacturers. Our UK farmers will hopefully be innovative and open minded to enhancements such as this herd management software.
3. If you need other people to see the herd management software, you can give them access as they can view the data via the web site when logged in. This means people like vets and nutritionists can see the data you have put in. You may want to let them add information as well or just let them see parts. This is all now possible, rather than phone calls, fax and letters. Instant, same view, collaborative.
In conclusion, I hope that farmers embrace this type of technology to enhance their operations, making them more efficient and competitive against those abroad. We love fresh produce and our UK farmers. Other industries have embraced this change and benefited, whilst many UK manufacturers have not, and are therefore now in the history books. Let's not do the same with UK farming.