My favourite, and most used app, on my iphone (next to Willie Weather) is the Angus Australia App. As a seedstock producer it is an integral part of my daily life on the farm.
Why may you ask is it such an integral part of your daily farm life? Here are a few examples of how the app in my pocket integrates effortlessly into my farm life:
I see a calf that I particularly like while wandering through the paddock and want to know her pedigree. Not a problem, I head over to ‘Animal Lookup’ and type in the AA ID (Angus Australia Identifier) and I can see all the EBV’s and pedigree not only for that calf but everyone in her family tree.
A young bull lifts his head or with a turn of his ear looks at me the wrong way with a little too much spark! Again I pull out the iphone and check his family tree. Well, first obviously, I get out of the paddock or at least out of his way before taking my attention off him and transferring it to the technology in my pocket. Generally – I may have to go back 3 generations – but low and behold somewhere in his distant family tree will be a link to a sire or dam known for a little bit of spark.
A calf has wandered out in the laneway and I am unsure which mob the calf is from as the calf is equidistant from at least 2 different mobs. Not a worry, I pull out my phone …. Yip, you get the idea ….. type in the AA ID and low and behold I can easily see who the mum is. We run our females in their contempary age mobs so it is then easy to know which paddock to put the calf back into. No mismatched mums and bubs – means a quiet night for the neighbours.
What, may you ask, did we do before the app ?
Well, generally the paperwork was always in some other vehicle or at the house or been left out in the rain, so we had to make our way back up to the office or to wherever we left the paperwork last and grab it. Then after locating the paperwork we had to head back down to the paddocks; and as Murphy’s Law would have it this often meant a 2km trek in each direction! The app is way more efficient – saves me time and saves my legs!
…. And, thanks to the girls in the MSO team at https://www.angusaustralia.com.au, our data is always up-to-date.
So basically pre-app, there was a lot more walking involved and sometimes a lot more swearing!
Using the app is simple and straightforward – all you need is the animals unique Angus Australia Identifier (AA ID).
Did you know that each seedstock producer has their own unique herd ID?
For example our Angus Australia herd identifier is HOD, Te Mania’s AA ID is VTM, Lawsons AA ID is VLY, Irelands AA ID is VIC and so the list goes on. This AA herd identifier is typed into the ‘Identifier’ field under the menu ‘Animal Lookup’ along with the unique management number assigned to the animal. For example our animal Merlewood Docklands L32 (AI) has an AA ID of ‘HODL32’. This is a pretty handy tool for looking up the pedigree and EBV’s of any animal that catches your eye whilst reading the newspaper or featured in an advertisement or in a youtube video.
For, you the commercial farmer, there is a very handy menu ‘Sale Catalogues’ on the app. This lists in chronological order all upcoming autumn bull sales that are registered with Angus Australia along with their dates and number of bulls for sale in a nice summarized fashion. You can scroll down the page and then click on the sales that grab your interest. There you find the Angus Society generated interactive pedigree and EBV data for all bull lots in that sale. This allows you to research not only that particular sale animal but have a look around in his family tree too. Another neat function of this menu that I like is the ability to rank all your animals by clicking on ‘My Favourites’ and give them 1,2,3 or no stars. Then at the end you can sort according to either stars awarded or lot numbers. A great accompaniment on sale day to your paper catalogue so you can easily sort your lots in the order you want upon completing your viewing and transfer the notes accordingly to your catalogue.
As you know farmers are not the best photographers and bulls are not the most obedient models for any photographer (whether novice or professional). After all they are bulls and posing for a camera is not really a part of their DNA! They are born to breed and perform in the paddock; not pose for photographs. However all seedstock producers endeavor to do their best to get photographs for you as close to the sale as possible so the boys are looking their best. As my grandmother always used to say “No photo is better than a bad photo”. So please bear that in mind when you note the lack of photographs of the bulls. The EBV data and pedigree data are there for all sale bulls and provide very useful preliminary information.
Do you use the Angus Australia app?
Which features of the AA app do you like best?