The Cow Goes "Tweet"?

Ontario farmer, Chris Vandenberg, has found an innovative way to tell his ag story…by letting his cows tell it on their own Twitter accounts!

Here’s how it works. In order to be milked by the robotic milking machine, each cows wears an electronic tag around her neck (pictured on the right) that tells the robot when she was last milked and tracks how much milk she produces etc. The tags on 12 of Chris’ cows are connected to Twitter, sending a tweet when they interact with the robot.

For example, here’s what “Attention Please”, the most popular bovine Tweeter with 19 followers, had to say on her Twitter feed over several hours recently:“9.2 kg of frothy deliciousness for the humans.” (5:38 pm)
“I said “please” but the robot just doesn’t go for manners. All business all the time.” (8:40 pm)
“Tried to get into the pen. No such luck.” (8:48 pm)
“Tried again. Wish I could read that robot’s mind.” (10:32 pm)
“It took me 5:35 secs, to give 11.4 kgs. Feel good.” (1:41 am)

The project, launched last December, is the brain child of Marcel O’Gorman, head of the University of Waterloo’s critical media lab, and Ron Broglio, an English professor from Georgia Gwinnett College. Their goal was to link farmers and technology in the minds of consumers by putting a spotlight on the highly technological nature of farming through social media.“Most of us think of technology only in fast-paced city life but it’s also on the farms,” says Broglio.”Most people don’t realize how embedded technology is in farming and how we need it in order to feed people.” Source: Food and Farming Canada

This is such a creative way to link agriculture with technology and social media. Some may think that the idea of “tweeting cows” is silly, but I can remember when the idea of a cell phone that took photographs was far-out. Find out more about the “Tweeting Cows” at their website. What innovative ways are you using to tell your farm’s story?

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