July 29 2021 01:46 PM

How ‘Virtual’ Farming Keeps Dairy Farmers Connected

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

When Michael Johnson of Trailside Holsteins was growing up on his family farm in Fountain, Minnesota (USA), he did not expect that in the future as owner/operator of the farm, he would start his day by checking on his cows with a computer instead of a walk through the barn.

“I Can Attend My Kid’s Events or Go on Vacation”

In 2014 the Johnson family took the plunge and became one of the early adaptors of using cow monitoring technology to track the health of their registered Holstein herd. This not only changed how the Johnsons look at their cows’ wellbeing, but how they are raising their family in a life of agriculture.

“When my kids talk about checking a cow, they talk about looking at the computer or my phone,” Johnson says. “My 8-year-old can look up a cow for me. It’s pretty cool because he’s excited about it and talks about it at school with his friends.”

Johnson and his wife Margaret were both raised on Minnesota dairies and work alongside Mike’s dad caring for cattle and growing crops, giving much of their time to the cows. Now with CowManager, Johnson can check on his 680 cows while on the go, but still giving them the individualized care of a much smaller farm.

“I can attend my kid’s events or go on vacation and not be full of worry,” Johnson explained. “I am able to see if something is going on, I can make a decision, update my employees and the cow is taken care of. I can farm virtually.”

Technology Fueled Work

With the many functionalities of CowManager, Johnson has been able to visit far-away places from his farm including the Rocky Mountains and even overseas to Germany, all with the ability to see what is happening with his dairy herd back home. He believes this kind of opportunity is a big deal for the new generation of farmers, who are naturally more tech centered.

“I don’t want to be tied to the farm 24/7, I don’t think anyone wants to,” Johnson said. “I can care for my cows and live a life of agriculture and still enjoy my life and spend time with my family.”

• Read the full article: https://www.cowmanager.com/en-us/news/farming-for-family

• Questions? Please let us know. Contact us at communications@cowmanager.com.