By Kristen Kelderman, Farm Animal Care Coordinator, Farm & Food Care
The days of carrying a notepad around the farm still exist, but there’s a new kid in the barn and field that carries a lot more functionality than a farmer’s well-worn pad of paper.
Farmers love technology and have embraced it willingly, from GPS-equipped tractors, to radio frequency eartags, to robotic milking machines. Maybe some generations have adopted it faster than others, and certainly some forms more than others, but farming and technology go hand-in-hand.
Thinking back to where mobile tech was just a few years ago when I picked up my first cell phone. I was a late bloomer for a millennial. I distinctly remember a conversation with my dad about texting that went something like this…
“Why would you text anyone? If I want something I’m going to pick up the phone and talk to a person. Who needs texting?” My siblings and I just shook our heads thinking that dad will never get it.
Fast forward to today, most of my communications with dad are through text messaging. We kids had it wrong. Now dad sends me pictures from the farm, uses abbreviations like lol (properly!) and populates his messages with emojis. And I love it.
Usually he has a newer phone than me, carries it everywhere with him and is always asking me if I’ve downloaded the latest app. But the guy doesn’t use Facebook. Or that tweetagram thing, as he calls it. But, like many other farmers, he recognizes that some apps have made farming more innovative, efficient, informed, and sometimes even easier.
Whatever you can dream up, there is probably an app for that. And now with Farm & Food Care’s IMPACT program there’s an app for animal care information.
Accessing info on animal care has never been easier from the barn, field or beside the chute.
The multi-species app offers information on euthanasia, procedures, handling, transport and other general care. Videos, articles, decision trees, loading density calculator are all at your fingertips and in your pocket. It’s not your grandpa’s factsheet!
Don’t want to read an article or watch a video on your phone screen? You can email it to yourself and watch it later. You can also bookmark what is important to you and share it between your employees, colleagues, and fellow farmers.
The app is available for download for Apple and Android devices, and is free. Have a new employee starting on your farm? Use it as part of your training program or implement it into on-going training.
Download it today. If you don’t have a smart phone, not to worry. IMPACT resources are available online by visiting www.farmIMPACT.ca.
Technology can be great but if you regularly experience a slow internet, let the Farm & Food Care office know. A USB stick with videos and content can be sent to your farm. There are options, no matter your circumstances.
Regardless of how you prefer to access information today — apps, websites, carrier pigeons — there is no doubt that we live in the age of endless information and technology has played a large roll in this. Farmers know the value of continually learning the best practices for today, tomorrow and for generations to come.