Technology Connects Sisters to Each Other, Their Dairy Farm
When they’re away at college and can’t sleep, Lindsay and Leta Larsen often turn on an app and watch their family’s dairy farm in Scottville, Michigan, from one of the seven cameras placed around the property.
The farm has been in the Larsen family for 60 years, and technology like this app keeps the three Larsen sisters, and their parents Burke and Lisa, close to the farm -- and each other.
With one app, the sisters can watch their family’s cows in areas such as the barns, the feed area and in the milking parlor.
“It’s been interesting to watch the cows when they don’t know that you’re watching them though the cameras,” Lindsay said. “It’s helped me understand them, and how to better care for them.”
Another app they use regularly connects them with the hi-tech collars the cows wear. The collars track how many steps a cow takes each day and how often they’re chewing their cud. By tracking this data, the family can keep tabs on the cows’ overall health.
It makes sense for the Larsen sisters to stay connected to the farm, because they’re all pursuing agriculture-related degrees in college. In fact, Lindsay is working on her bachelor’s degree and may attend graduate school to focus on dairy cow research. She is especially interested in cow health and care and environmental practices.
Leta plans to return to the family farm to focus on the business side of the operation and hopes to eventually open a farm store. Their other sister, Leah, is working toward a dairy science degree.
“I chose to stay involved in the dairy industry because out of everything I could possibly do for the rest of my life, owning my family’s farm and becoming a fourth-generation farmer sounded the best to me,” Leta said. “The farm is something that is so rooted in our bones, it just feels like it’s right where I belong.”
This story was brought to you by our friends at Milk Means More, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.