Premier Celebrates the Contributions of Farmers and Producers
Top Agri-Food Innovators Recognized at Annual Summit
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the winners of the 10th annual Premier's Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence today -- Ontario's highest honour for outstanding contributions in innovation to the agri-food sector.
The Premier was joined by Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to present the awards at the 12th Premier's Agri-Food Summit, an annual meeting with industry leaders from across the province.
Dairy Quality Inc., based in Newmarket, was honoured with the Premier's Award for a mobile testing device it developed that helps dairy farmers get information about the health of a cow in just seconds. In use around the world, the device gives farmers better control of the health of their herd and helps ensure top-quality milk for consumers.
Big Dairy Enters the Era of Big Data
A Canadian company, Dairy Quality, unveiled a new product called RT10, a small black box that slides onto the back of an iPhone®. A farmer inserts a plastic slide containing a milk sample from one of his cows, and the device counts the number of somatic cells (a high somatic cell count can be an indicator of mastitis, an infection of the udder tissue).
Counting somatic cells used to require sending milk to an offsite lab and waiting a week or more for results; using a microscope and an app, Dairy Quality can analyze a sample on location in six seconds or less.
By Sam Grobart
Published in Bloomberg Businessweek, Technology
Instant feedback and immediate access to test results are key: a sick cow can be removed from production right away, instead of waiting to find out if one needs help. And the timing for the introduction of the new technology couldn’t be better, the company reports.
New health standards for milk from North American farms, almost twice as stringent as previous in some regions, have recently been put into place.
– iPhone Leads the Herd with New Dairy App
By Lee Rickwood for Whats Your Tech.ca
SCC monitoring is important because high numbers of somatic cells indicate the presence of pathogens and toxins. Infection can lead to tissue damage in a cow’s udder, as well as a decline in milk production. Dairy SCC allows farmers to detect even minor elevations in SCC when they’re at the sub-clinical level.
“When infections are detected early, cows can be treated faster. Since the data is instantly available on an iPhone or iPod, it can be emailed to a vet right away,” says Chris Gans, Vice President Sales and Chief Marketing Officer. “The farmer and the vet can come up with a treatment strategy together, addressing problems before they get worse.”