Organisation Name: SmartShepherd
Name: David Rubie
Category: Animal Husbandry
SmartShepherd uses electronic collars to determine the maternal line pedigree in free-range livestock.
The Problem And How You Are Solving It:
Free-range livestock typically have a low percentage of maternal pedigree, due to the difficulties and expense in collecting it. Farmers wishing to determine profitability at a per-animal level and build breeding programs to improve maternal genetics must collect this information. SmartShepherd determines maternal pedigree in free-range livestock using low-cost Bluetooth LE hardware and a proprietary algorithm to determine pedigree in around 48 hours.
The information is then used to determine which female breeding stock are producing the best offspring. Pedigree information can be fed back into breeding programs to improve the overall level of productivity of a farm. A substantial portion of any offspring performance is determined by the mothering ability of their parents.
SmartShepherd uses locally based service providers to deliver the system. We currently have two operators (Sheepmatters in Australia with 15 service providers around the country) and Four Good Foods in New Zealand who recently purchased 2000 collars to set up a similar operation for New Zealand farmers. SmartShepherd revenue comes directly from collar sales to operators, as well as a per-use charge on each collar. The collars are rented to farmers (who undergo training from their local service provider). The operator’s revenue comes directly from farmers, while SmartShepherd revenue is gained from each operator. In the background, we are building an international pedigree database which will quickly grow in size and allow SmartShepherd to provide breeding insights to farmers internationally.