Throughout our entire research and development over the past many years, we have always taken the view that the individual animal should be at the centre of how we drive food chain sustainability. The cow is a salient being after all, that feels injury, pain and whose social, hierarchal and interactive behaviour within the herd reflects an individual animals response to its environment and disease that ultimately impacts on productivity and the sustainability of those dairy food chains.
From an economic standpoint the cow is the most important asset to the food chain and we know in very simple terms that a happy cow is a productive cow. We also know that as herd sizes have expanded to meet our growing global demands for food, that the minutes per day available, to know each and monitor every individual animal diminishes. This has well documented knock on negative effects, that impacts the entire food chain from cow to consumer (see previous posts).
Our focus is 1 million cows online, which some might say is only a drop in the ocean of cows when you consider that there are 270 million dairy cows globally, cared for and milked by millions of dairy farmers around the world. However this focus is more about building innovative partnerships with research and industry around the world, that like us share a passion for sustainable approaches to dairy farming and food chains. When you think of all those surveys, research publications with samples of twenty or thirty cows or even 1500 (and that's large), you can imagine what will be possible with a real time sample of 1 million cows.This will be about building an innovative platform that will provide a better understanding of cow behaviour and phenotype, that linked to our understanding of the cow genome and production environments will undoubtedly push the boundaries of genetics, welfare, health and productive indexes per cow. Diagnostic tools will be created that will enable a better understanding of those factors associated with disease. This will ultimately lead to the evolution of enhanced rapid detection, response mechanisms based on real time positioning and monitoring.
Building an innovative platform of 1 million cows online; the aim is simple.... reduce antibiotic, hormone use and create novel sustainable platforms that will benefit all and enhance food safety and quality assurance from cow to farm-gate to consumer.<p>