GPS-Based Livestock Management

GPS-Based Livestock Management

April 22, 2019

Colorful GPS cow collars now help farmers track the whereabouts of their livestock and direct them to preferred grazing areas.  The eShepherd program, created by Australia-based Agersens, is being tested in the cattle industry here in the U.S.

“It’s a grazing control tool to improve productivity and profitability in a sustainable way,” says Agersens’ CEO Ian Reilly.  “The technology fully automates the controlled grazing of livestock 24/7.”  The system uses virtual fencing that can be controlled by an app from anywhere the farmer happens to be.  The cow hears a sound when it is getting too close to a boundary, and if it doesn’t veer away, it receives a small electric pulse.

This post is based on the Forbes article, How One Australian Startup Aims To Revolutionize Livestock Management, by Nicole Rasul, March 31, 2019. Image source: famveldman © 123RF.com

Discussion Questions:

1. How does using the livestock collar affect productivity?

Guidance: The collar helps farmers apply rotational grazing practices that allow areas to regrow and improve in nutritional content, thus benefiting livestock health.  Rather than building and moving costly fences to rotate grazing areas, farmers can quickly and easily adjust where Continue reading

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Search Continues for the Greenest Coffee Cup

Search Continues for the Greenest Coffee Cup

April 14, 2019

Most current disposable coffee cups are not “green.”  Many contain liners that will not easily recycle or decompose.  Considering that over 250 billion are used each year by restaurants and cafés, this presents a serious environmental problem.  In 2018, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and several other organizations got together for the NextGen Cup Challenge (see our previous post about the contest).

The objective: to find environmentally friendly coffee cups.

The approach: to either make the disposable coffee cup easier to recycle by developing better liners, use new materials, or to develop a reusable cup model.

Four hundred eighty teams attempted the contest.  Twelve winners were selected.  They will be receiving a portion of up to one million dollars in funding to further develop their ideas. See this OpenIDEO post for summaries of the winning products.

This post is based on the Nation’s Restaurant News article, Big Chains Offer $1M For Greener Cup: Winning Solution Gets Funding and Business Acceleration support, by Lisa Jennings, March 22, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Slava_kovtun

Discussion Questions:

1. Why use a competition to find the new approach?

Guidance: This is a big problem.  To find a Continue reading

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