Have you often passed a herd of cows grazing in a lush green field and thought to yourself: “I wonder what their favourite type of grass is?” or “What part of the field do they prefer best when the sun is shining?” or “I wonder how they feel about getting their udders squeezed at 4am inn the morning?”
No, I thought not.
Information and milk on tap
The fact is now, believe it or not, you can gain all the information about individual cows, the herds they are in and the farms they are…well just standing on, through the thriving new technology of barcodes.
Barcode labels for accessing educational information
This may all seem a bit bizarre but it seems the wonders of barcode labels and QR systems has reached the agricultural arena and farmers are taking the first tentative steps in using it as a useful marketing and educational tool. Jane and Mark Barnes at Southfields Farm in Somerby in Leicestershire have employed the idea by placing a large painted barcode on the back of their prize cow Lady Shamrock. People interested in where their milk comes from, how Lady is looked after, where the farms website is and other information can now access all the information simply by using the applications on their smart-phones.
Jane Barnes stated to the Mail online: “We run a lot of farm visits and we’re always keen to try new things to help people get close to the cows and see first-hand what dairy farming is about. Everyone seems to have a smartphone nowadays, so we had the idea of letting Shamrock ‘speak’ to visitors who want to find out more.” Jane went on to explain that their website was especially set up by dairy farmers so people can find out more about what the dairy farming industry is all about.
Comments on the idea tend to be on the negative side ranging from questions about whether it is fair on the cow to cries of “waste of time” to “udderly ridiculous!”. It just leads to me thinking if they can do it on cows how long will it be before humans have a barcode on their foreheads…
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