MADISON (WKOW) -- At the University of Wisconsin's Arlington Farm Research Station, they're using modern technology to track herd health. In the past, that took a lot of time and paperwork. "We had lots of paper records and we wanted to turn that into something more functional," says Prof. Nigel Cook, of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine.
With the help of the "DoIT" center on campus, the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine developed a series of digital teaching tools, which continue to play a role in preparing the next generation of food animal veterinarians. "We now have an app with pictures, with a scoring system, with just a touch screen system to be able to screen for a lot of cows very quickly," says Cook.
What started as a tool to help streamline the teaching process for students, resulted in the development of mobile apps to help dairy farmers and dairy consultants in their day-to-day farm activities.
"These apps are really useful in giving me one space that has all of the information that I need and allows me to look at the visuals when I'm out on farm that otherwise I wouldn't be able to have access to," says Courtney Halbach, The Dairyland Initiative.
Realizing how useful the apps could be for non-students, the vet school made them available on iTunes for public use.
"We're seeing a lot of different people utilize the apps and buying them not only in the U.S., but also around the world," says Cook.
The apps offer visual aids and even video cues to help users identify ways to improve their dairy operations.
"Is there any other place to learn about dairy cattle than Wisconsin? You know, I'm biased, but I think we're leading the way with useable tools with a focus on helping farmers and their consultants solve everyday problems," says Cook.