While managing the IT department in Farm Relief Services Fabien Peyaud wondered whether there could be a connection made between farmers and mobile technology. The whole area of compliance constantly came into play. Creating something effective for easy compliance was the whole idea behind the farming app Herdwatch. Celebrating two years this week since the launch of the app, Herdwatch has gone from strength to strength. An idea which started off as something small now has thousands of users. Fabien himself never predicted such fast success of the app:
“When I started this, I genuinely didn’t know what to expect and that’s the truth, I was hoping that it would be well received by farmers more so than successful. I was hoping for good feedback from farmers and I guess in my head if that happened it had the potential to be successful.”
The App offers farmers the quickest and easiest way to register calves “as it happens”, record remedies for Bord Bia compliance, and much more, through their smartphone, in seconds. The success of the app over the two years found thousands of farmers hopping on the Herdwatch bandwagon and also lead to the app winning eight prestigious awards. Many highlights over the past two years spring to mind for Fabien but the first stages after the app was launched stick in his mind:
“There are a couple of highlights that stick in my mind, of course winning all the awards was worth a lot in terms of confidence. But I will always remember when we first launched the app, our first customers, first calf registration, it was all very exciting.”
Herdwatch’s success is now beginning to grow further afield. The app recently scooped up an innovation merit award at LAMMA, the UK’s biggest agricultural and Machinery show. Spreading to the UK was not part of the initial plan for Herdwatch but the idea began to creep in as success mounted, according to Fabien:
“I hadn’t thought about the UK initially, but the idea came on quite quickly though because managing a herd in Ireland is not that far away from managing a herd in the UK. We share the same language, we are neighbours, so it was something I would have thought of but it’s a more recent plan to actually go and do it.”
Technology and farmers are two things a lot of people would not put together. The success of Herdwatch is bringing farming into the future and putting a modern angle on the way farming should be. Farming is growing with the times and Fabien and his team have seen that with the amount of sign ups they have received over the past two years. Farmers are using the app because it gives them easy compliance at the tap of their finger. Fabien said:
“One of my pet peeves is this misconception that farmers aren’t into technology, even when I first came up with the concept of Herdwatch I thought to myself how wrong it was for people to think that. The technology solutions that were available weren’t suitable and that is why farmers weren’t using them. They use Herdwatch because it’s easy to use, it’s mobile and it is value for money, in other words it makes business sense.”
95% of Herdwatch customers say they would recommend the app to other farmers. Fabien believes it will continue to grow with more hard work:
“We will keep innovating for farmers as we have in the past few years, we have some really exciting ideas which will make it into Herdwatch over the months and years ahead.”
Reaching its second birthday is an important milestone for Herdwatch. It has put a new twist on technology and the way farmers register their calves and manage their herd and farm compliance. Fabien expects the future to be promising.
“I’m looking forward to reaching big milestones such as 5,000 users in the next few months. Launching in the UK is also a big milestone. I can’t see any reason why in the next 3 to 5 years we wouldn’t have tens of thousands of farmers on Herdwatch in Ireland, the UK and other markets”.
A free trial of Herdwatch is available on www.herdwatch.ie.