Rural

New app tracks beef from paddock to plate

DO YOU want to know where your steak came from and what that animal ate before it hit your plate?

Calliope cattle farmer Will Wilson says his industry is facing increasing pressure from consumers to supply detailed information about their beef.

With no official system capable of digitally reporting or tracking that data, Mr Wilson created an app called iHerd.

Mr Wilson runs Calliope Station and now, at any given time, he knows exactly where to find each of his 14,500 cattle.

The app has already been put to use by beef producers around the world, on stations of 30 million cattle in the USA and in South America.

>> US's most innovative farmer shares his secrets

This year, Mr Wilson will get the chance to showcase his technology to industry leaders at Beef 2015 - a national beef exposition held every three years.

"It started the day I got an iPhone," he said. "I looked at it and thought - this isn't a toy, it's a tool.

"There's a push for transparency, sustainability and traceability in our industry because consumers want to know details about their beef.

"But the systems in place can't deliver that information."

TECH SAVVY: Calliope cattle farmer Will Wilson’s iPad has become a vital business tool to use the app he developed and will showcase at Beef 2015.
TECH SAVVY: Calliope cattle farmer Will Wilson’s iPad has become a vital business tool to use the app he developed and will showcase at Beef 2015. Helen Spelitis

iHerd can, he says.

It is a device for farmers to record exactly where in Queensland that animal was, the exact date it was moved and the weight gain over its lifetime.

It has the potential to revolutionise the industry.

Farmers can use the app to sell cattle to nearby buyers, cutting out the need to pay for transport to saleyards.

It's not the only piece of technology Mr Wilson will put on display at Beef 2015.

He has developed another app to simplify weighing and recording data, and is pushing for digital tags to replace numbered tags required by the State Government for each animal.

"We need to move forward with tracking," he said.

"It's just a number that lives on a database no one can search so it's useless."

There are 10 software developers working on Mr Wilson's technology, but he needs 80 and the only thing standing in his way is raising the capital.

Mr Wilson said the rapid uptake in just three years was proof the system was worthwhile and said the Australian beef industry would suffer if it did not adapt to the digital age before its competitor markets.

"If the US rolls something like this out before us, we will be in deep trouble," he said.

"If consumers and suppliers want sustainability and traceability they need to realise farmers are a key part.

"How can they go to a consumer and say we are doing everything right if they are not getting that information straight from the horse's mouth?"

Topics:  app beef calliope cattle farming iphone



CHARITY THIEVES: Donated items stolen from local garage sale

DISAPPOINTED: Robyn Moody president of Blue Care Auxiliary with some of the items for sale at their regular garage sales.

Thieves stoop to stealing from charity.

'Not holding my breath': Optus newst fails to assure local

Generic picture of mobile phone tower. 4G tower, mobile black spots on October 7.

Optus is building a new mobile site at Boyne.

WATCHFUL EYE: Gladstone Police given more body worn cameras

Frontline police equipped with Body Worn Cameras (BWCs). Photo: Contributed

Police officers in Gladstone and Tannum Sands to be better protected

Local Partners

SQUAD GOALDS: Under 13s dominate their netball division

Gladstone's under-13 netball team have returned from the recent State Age Championship as Division 5 winners.


Your Chance to Win

A Holiday to Kingfisher Bay!
Learn More

Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

Tables turn as rescue crew takes on gruelling mountain

EPIC CHALLENGE: Hundreds of runners will tackle the 4.2km run from the heart of Pomona to the top of Mt Cooroora and back on Sunday.

They are usually the people coming to the rescue of adventurers

VIDEO: Girls can feel safe at Splendour

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay.

High visibility police will be among the crowd at all times

OJ Simpson loses cool as he begs to go free

OJ SIMPSON has been allowed to go free from jail, despite his parole hearing turning tense when he took exception to a line of questioning.

Lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, dies age 41

Coroner spokesman Brian Elias says they are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide but no additional details are available.

Chester Bennington's body was found in LA at 9am local time.

Chester Bennington’s tragic Chris Cornell connection

Bennington sings at Chris Cornell’s funeral on May 26 in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Bennington reportedly godfather of one of Cornell’s three children

Holy schnit: This steak's the size of a small child

WHAT A STEAK: Sarah Atkins was amazed to see the Pinnacle Pub crumbed steak was bigger than one of her four-month-old twin daughters, Jorja.

It's not every day you get served a steak as big as a baby

Tamara's bittersweet MasterChef exit (take two)

Mackay's Tamara Graffen has already gained valuable work experience since her elimination from MasterChef.

MACKAY cook's heartwarming send-off from finals week.

Why Sleeping Duck turned down a $500,000 offer on Shark Tank

Sleeping Duck founders Selvam Sinnappan, left, and Winston Wijeyeratne.Source:Supplied

Melbourne university mates turn down hug Shark Tank ffer

Lisa Wilkinson portrait wins Packer Room Prize

A portrait of Lisa Wilkinson by artist Peter Smeeth has taken out this year's Packer Room Prize.

"The winning of this award is 99 per cent due to Lisa."

Locky eyes next 'series' win

WINNING COMBINATION: Rugby league great Darren Lockyer is to launch his collection of house designs with Ausmar on Saturday at Caloundra.

NRL legend Darren Lockyer in Sunshine Coast partnership

Charming west Gladstone Queenslander with local history for sale

BEAUTIFUL: This unique Queenslander at 44 Charles St is for sale in Gladstone.

IF YOU want to invest in local history, this house is for you.

Alex beach or bluff at your front door

ALEX LIVING: 9/252 Alexandra Pde, Alexandra Headland.

Beachfront unit among the picks of this week's auction line-up

Open for inspection homes 20 - 26 July

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.