At StrongBó Agritech, we strive to increase economic efficiency within the livestock industry, while minimizing the environmental impact of beef production.
Farming is in this nation’s blood. It certainly is a part of me.
Part of growing up on a beef farm in Galway, you develop a really solid understanding and love for animals. Despite this, I consider myself an engineer at heart. It was the combination of these two dominant and conflicting mindsets that created discomfort with the status quo in the beef production sector.
After some research, it became apparent that there are significant opportunities when it comes to the collection/analysis of data for farmers like ourselves.
Data such as animal weight, for example, maybe ascertainable after slaughter, but this information is of limited value. Farmers like my father need a way to discern their herds’ performance at all points in the chain of production: accurate, quantifiable information as to individual animal health and weight gain per day, to facilitate effective business management.
In 2015, armed with my Engineering degree, ambition and little else, I built a prototype to automatically weigh cattle and installed it on my father’s farm. Although I had to manually collect and transfer the information generated by it to my computer, it worked! My dad was delighted with the information generated; it enabled him to future-plan with far greater certainty than before. The system was left to work in its limited environment for three years.
In 2018, I brought the project to Ivan, an engineer turned computer programmer, who immediately recognised the potential to enhance its capabilities by connecting the device to the cloud. We invested in new electrical hardware and programmed it to communicate directly with the Cloud, where an online database for all data gathered could be accessed. Ivan set about creating proprietary algorithms to approximate an individual animal’s weight based on a handful of readings, which simplified data interpretation greatly.
But, that was only where the excitement started. Our technology roadmap extended from our simple weighing system into something we didn't expect, a technology platform that has the potential to reshape the methods of beef production.
It has been an exciting journey and we feel so fortunate to be able to channel our passion for farming and engineering into something positive; a technology that can improve animal welfare and support beef farmers in their future success and prosperity.
Micheál McInerney, CEO