Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – A hot cup of coffee, a roaring campfire, and a conversation among family about agriculture and tech have turned into a pioneering endeavour to revolutionize how ranchers manage their herds.
Drawing inspiration from that conversation, the founders, Keith and Connie Day and Geoff and Mokah Schmigelsky, launched OneCup AI. Recognizing the potential of artificial intelligence to help ranchers monitor their livestock, even when they couldn’t be on the farm, OneCup AI developed BETSY – Bovine Expert Tracking and Surveillance – that aims to be the “Eyes of the Rancher.” Think of it as an AI ranch hand.
James Kinley, livestock specialist with OneCup AI, explains the basics.
“We use regular surveillance cameras with Wi-Fi uploading systems. The footage gets uploaded to our user portal. From there, it gets fed through our artificial intelligence pipeline where the footage then gets analyzed, and the system measures different things.”
BETSY continues to undergo training to look for a variety of issues. If a pressing issue arises, such as a calving event or disease detection, it notifies the rancher by text and email, allowing the rancher to deal with it immediately. Every animal has its own dataset, and all of BETSY’s observations get uploaded to the cloud for easy access when needed. When all the results are combined, you have a thorough overview of the herd’s operational well-being.
READ MORE: AgTech Tuesday: Streamlining Herd Management
Kinley says the system targets a massive need within the industry: labour.
“The beef industry is lacking a shortage of labour. Everyone always hears that. It’s not just the beef industry but agriculture in general. That’s the main focus we’re targeting, helping ranchers with their labour shortages, and that’s something that really changes quickly for farmers when they adopt our technology.”
The system has taken shape over the past three years, and Kinley says the feedback from farmers has been positive. Most are thrilled to be able to keep an eye on their herd over a cup of coffee, which was the catalyst for launching OneCup AI.
The plan moving forward is to expand beyond cattle.
“It’s not just cattle we specialize in. We can identify 40 different species of animals. We’re working with swine, poultry, sheep, bison, and horses. It’s not just cows we’re limited to,” says Kinley.
“The possibilities are endless.”
To learn more about OneCup AI, you can visit the website.