Flip through any dairy magazine these days and you will find yourself in a sea of buzzwords regarding the advancement of technology: Internet of Things, Analytics, Digital Disruption, to name a few. Progressive Dairy has an entire section of their magazine dedicated to the latest input from technology experts. If you find yourself reading this blog, you are likely interested in the world of robotic technology in our industry and, therefore, already on the cutting edge of technology. I, too, am a believer that these so-called buzz words are more than just the latest trend. The successful dairy producers of tomorrow are the producers who are incorporating the latest technology on their farm today.

                Now is the time that dairy producers should be dreaming big dreams about how technology can benefit their farm. You already know the benefits of automation in regard to milking and feeding, but what about the data that comes from automation? From the beginning, Lely has revolved around the belief that all data derived from Lely automation belongs to the farmer that owns the machine, and they are using that pillar to create more opportunities for their dairymen and women.

                For years dairy producers have struggled, largely due to the fact that they are the end producer in the industry. What if the dairy farmers of tomorrow produce milk, and data? Can producers envision taking the power back into their own hands and selling data back to industry organizations? I think so.

                I envision a system that benefits all. Producers being able to sell their data to companies creates a more sustainable farm and, therefore, a more sustainable industry. Data development throughout the industry benefits all. Imagine a farmer selling his or her reproduction data back to Artificial Insemination companies. Now we can create programs using Artificial Intelligence with that data and will be able to show producers the most profitable sires for individual cows ready to breed. This is just one example of the many emerging opportunities data will provide us.

                Next month, Lely is hosting their virtual Future Farm Days where they will discuss their vision for the upcoming years regarding data and technology. Now is the time for dairy producers everywhere to start imagining and vocalizing how they envision the use of data on their farm. Our industry is going through a massive technology evolution, and big companies are listening to the needs of producers. With everyone on board, we can create growth and advancement within our trade that makes it a more sustainable lifestyle for all.

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