Moocall Text Alerts Connect Farmers to Their Animals

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Emmet Savage was an Irish entrepreneur with business ventures in the areas of fashion importing and construction when he first got the idea for Moocall, a company that holds the power to revolutionize the challenges of calving season and bring a new form of smart farming technology to cattlemen all over the world. The creation and launch of Moocall sent Savage straight into the world of agribusiness where he decided to participate in the Pearse Lyons Accelerator Program. Savage sat down with our Jamie Johansen during ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference, where the final phase of the accelerator took place, to discuss his innovations and the ways his business has benefited from the resources provided by Alltech’s unique startup assistance program.

Moocall is a mobile device that attaches to a cow’s tail and has the potential to change the game for beef and dairy farmers during calving season. The device measures contractions on the onset of labor and uses advanced algorithmic technology to send a text message directly to farmers one hour before the calf is due to be born. Savage said the resources and expertise that were made available to him through his participation in the Pearse Lyons Accelerator has been instrumental in the growth and development of the company he has invested so much in.

“The Accelerator has been massive for Moocall as a business, and for me personally,” said Savage. “The program offered us tutoring, training, pitch coaching, and they’ve opened up a world of contacts to help spread Moocall around the world.”

Savage said Moocall has expanded to 38 countries around the world since it’s launch in January of 2015, and he is currently in late stage negotiations with four or five different countries that are interested in having Alltech sell Moocall products to their customers.

Listen to Jamie’s full interview with Emmet here:
Interview with Emmet Savage, Moocall

Download photos from the event here:
Alltech ONE17 Photo Album

Ag Group, Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, Alltech, Animal Agriculture, Audio, Beef, Dairy, Technology

Simplicity and Mobility with AgriWebb

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

The Pearse Lyons Accelerator program is a tremendous opportunity for a start-up company, says Kevin Baum, co-founder of AgriWebb. He and other members of the program were at the ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference this week to pitch their ideas in the final phase of their support training. For Baum that meant the chance to share about his digital farm management app designed for the red meat industry.

“AgriWebb is a simple app that farmers can use in the field, on the go, while they are doing their work and record things. Then we take that information- it’s cloud based- and then we can use it to create decision support tools and reports, as well as help people with their accreditation needs,” Baum said.

The app had to be simple and mobile, Baum notes, because no one wants to come home and input data on the computer after the day’s work is done. It’s also very visual and based on a farm map, with no nested drop down menus the first farm management software programs relied on. Instead producers enter the data from their mobile devices and then receive reports on everything from suggestions for optimizing grazing to a personalized calendar.

Learn more about AgriWebb in Jamie’s interview with Baum here: Interview with Kevin Baum, AgriWebb

2017 Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, Alltech, Apps, Beef

Ag Groups React to Trump’s Budget Proposal

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Despite Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s positive perspective, farm groups are reacting to Trump’s proposed 2018 budget in the opposite way. With more than $4 billion to be taken from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s budget, the Trump’s plan isn’t going over well with a whole host of ag organizations.

Several organizations point out the significance of such a cut in today’s economic climate. “Weakening crop insurance and making it more difficult for farmers to bounce back during tough times will jeopardize rural jobs and will find little support in rural America or on Capitol Hill,” say the Crop Insurers. “The rural economy is already suffering through a period of low prices and a multitude of spring weather disasters. Yet, the Administration’s budget proposal targets the primary tool farmers use to handle these risks.”

Agriculture has done its part to reduce the national debt repeatedly, reminds American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “The American Farm Bureau Federation and its members are concerned about the federal budget deficit. However, we also know that agriculture has done its fair share to help reduce the deficit. Going back to the early 1980s, agriculture often has been targeted to generate budget savings, from the reconciliation bills in the late 1980s and 1990s to farm bill reforms as recently as 2014.”

“Targeting the federal crop insurance program is extremely shortsighted,” the National Corn Growers Association said in a statement. “It is especially harmful during an extended period of low commodity prices. NCGA members consistently tell us that crop insurance is their most important risk management tool. This public-private partnership helps farmers manage their risk, and it saves taxpayers money in the long run by reducing reliance on ad hoc disaster assistance.”

“Thirty six percent is the most extreme proposed cut to crop insurance I’ve seen in my 40 years on the farm,” said Ron Moore, American Soybean Association President. “This is a program that exists to sustain farmers who suffer catastrophic losses. Coupled with the arbitrary caps the budget would impose on premium subsidies, it’s clear that this budget was written without input from farmers who would be severely affected.”

Cuts to conservation is also a sticking point for the groups. “We are very concerned that the president’s budget calls for privatizing conservation planning,” National Association of Conservation Districts President Brent Van Dyke said. “The need for conservation assistance is so immense across the country, it will take every dollar from both the public and the private sectors to get the job done.”

Ag Group, Crop Insurance, Farm Bill, Government

Sec. Perdue Defends Trump Budget

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Farmers and ranchers are concerned about President Trump’s “Taxpayer First” budget released this week but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended significant cuts to USDA in the name of balancing the budget.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to sugar coat this,” Perdue said to reporters on a press call Tuesday. “But I believe the people knew what they were doing when they elected President Trump…I think many believe as I do – I just don’t think it’s moral to continue to kick a $20 trillion debt down to our grandchildren.”

The budget cuts USDA staff, crop insurance, conservation programs, and food assistance and eliminates funding for some programs including the Market Access Program (MAP), Foreign Market Development (FMD) program and the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Joining Perdue on the call was Acting Deputy Secretary and Budget Officer Michael Young, who ran USDA for the first four months of this year and was the one who actually worked on the budget before Secretary Perdue was confirmed. He explained the budget cuts and answered all of the reporters’ questions.

Perdue and Young will both testify before the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture today at 10 am Eastern time.

Listen to the press conference here. USDA budget presser

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, Audio, USDA

ZimmCast with @IFAJ Presidents at #ONE17

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

LtoR: IFAJ president Owen Roberts, past presidents Mike Wilson and David Markey, IFAJ member Damien O’Reilly of Ireland; and past president Markus Rediger

The most recent four presidents of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ), representing four different countries, attended this week’s Alltech Ideas Conference and Cindy’s Golden ZimmComm Microphone got a work out interviewing them for this week’s program.

ZimmCast 544Cindy interviewed, in chronological order, past presidents David Markey of Ireland, Markus Rediger of Switzerland, and Mike Wilson of the United States, and current IFAJ President Owen Roberts, Canada. Each of them reflects on the relationship between IFAJ and Alltech and how it has helped develop new young leaders in the field of agricultural journalism.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast with IFAJ Presidents

2017 Alltech Ideas Conference Photo Album

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here. Use this url in iTunes or your favorite news reader program/app.

The ZimmCast

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Alltech, Audio, Media, ZimmCast

George Blankenship Receives Alltech Medal of Excellence

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons presented former Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc. executive George Blankenship with the Alltech Medal of Excellence at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky this week.

Alltech’s highest accolade, the medal is awarded annually to someone of great accomplishment and leadership. Previous honorees include former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Norman Borlaug, the father of “the Green Revolution.” Blankenship received the medal in recognition of his ability to create unrivaled customer experiences with two of the most disruptive brands of our time: Apple and Tesla.

“George Blankenship is the epitome of disruption, and I pay homage to his strategies in leadership and breaking the norm,” said Dr. Lyons. “Our ONE conference this year is all about celebrating those who take risks and disrupt the norm.”

“Never ever let anyone get in the way of what you know is the right thing to do deep down inside,” said Blankenship. “This conference is about the ONE thing that makes a difference.”

Blankenship helped develop Apple, Tesla and GAP’s revolutionary retail philosophies and transform the customer experience.

Blankenship’s presentation was fascinating but we can only use a few minutes of it, so here is his conclusion. George Blankenship at Alltech ONE17

Alltech ONE17 Photo Album

Alltech, Audio

Alltech Celebrates Joy of Disruption

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Dr. Pearse Lyons has built a small empire from modest beginnings in Lexington, Kentucky in 1980 and he has done it all by being disruptive.

“The question is what disruptive road are you on?” Dr. Lyons asked at the beginning of his presentation during the opening session of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2017 – Disrupt the Disruptors.

Lyons talked about some of the many ways that Alltech is examining disruptive ideas for the future of agriculture and beyond, such as finding a way to prevent Alzheimer’s, and said it all starts with a dream. “Mainstream companies do products, great companies do dreams,” he said.

Listen to Dr. Lyons and let him inspire you to dream disruptive dreams: Alltech President Pearse Lyons

AgWired Animal, Alltech, Audio

GROWMARK Foundation Announces Scholarship Recipients

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Fifteen agriculture students have been selected as the first class of recipients of the GROWMARK Foundation scholarship.

More than 125 students from across the United States and Ontario, Canada, applied for the award. Applications were evaluated by a panel of agribusiness professionals, and the funds are available for the fall 2018 semester.

“We are pleased to provide financial support to these fifteen outstanding students,” said Amy Bradford, GROWMARK manager, Corporate Communications and manager of The GROWMARK Foundation. “Their pursuit of higher education in agriculture will position them well to potentially become a part of the GROWMARK System in the future, whether that may be employment at GROWMARK or an FS member cooperative, or as a farmer-owner of their local cooperative.”

The GROWMARK Foundation is focused on programs and activities which support a variety of philanthropic efforts, including youth and young leader education and development and scholarships. ​
List of scholarship winners.

Education, GROWMARK

SMART Farmer Scott VanderWal

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

In this episode of the SMART Farmer podcast we meet Scott VanderWal, a third-generation corn and soybean farmer and cattle feeder from Volga, South Dakota.

In addition to operating the family farm with his father and brothers, Scott serves as vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, and is a board member of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.

In this podcast, Scott talks about how farming smarter helps him wear many hats: SMART Farmer Podcast with Scott VanderWal, South Dakota

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

Learn more about USFRA and SMART Farm

AFBF, AgWired Animal, Audio, SMART Farmer, USFRA

Monday Night Brewing Winner at Alltech Craft Brews Fest

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Dr. Pearse Lyons and Shakia Hollis of Monday Night Brewing, winner of the 2017 Commonwealth Cup, at the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest. Hollis took home the overall best beer award for Tears of My Enemies.

Besides missing the Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE17) this week I also missed the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest. It was another stand out event from the looks of it, with over 5,000 craft beer aficionados in attendance. The event took place Saturday at the Lexington Convention Center. This festival featured over 65 breweries from across the country, and food from local vendors and some of the best chefs in the state of Kentucky.

More than 50 breweries from four countries submitted 325 unique beers, which were judged by an expert panel of judges according to Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines. At the end of the day, and the bottom of the glass, the Commonwealth Cup was awarded to Tears of My Enemies, a scotch barrel-aged milk stout brewed by Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest marked the beginning of ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE17), held May 21–24 in Lexington, Kentucky. The international conference is expected to be attended by nearly 4,000 people from as many as 80 countries. For more information, visit

Look for more to come from Lexington since Jamie and Cindy are already there attending the conference this week.