Data course brings benefits to livestock farmers
Cynthia Naydani outlines how a new short course can help participants learn to use data to improve farm animal wellbeing.
A free online course aims to support farmers to learn data skills to help them improve the health and welfare of their livestock.
A short, flexible course from the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems will teach farmers and others working in the management of livestock how to apply data to improve efficiency, productivity, and costs.
The programme, developed with farmers, industry professionals, vets, and academic experts, aims to enable farming professionals to develop confidence in understanding data and making it work for them.
Suitable for all
Anyone who works with livestock, including farmers, farm technicians and advisors, as well as vets or student vets, can benefit from the programme, entitled ‘The power of data in farm animal practice: How can data be used to improve farm animal health and welfare?’
The course content takes a multi-species approach, and is suitable for anyone working in farming, regardless of the type of farming system or where in the world they are.
Participants can choose to follow the entire course, or select the content that they find most useful.
Lectures and other materials are available on demand, to allow flexible access suited to the busy, demanding lives of those working with livestock.
Through open-access video lectures, case studies, and interviews, participants will be shown the benefits of both low-tech and high-tech ways to gather and work with data.
Practical, accessible data tutorials are aimed at those with no prior experience using on-farm data, as well as those with some knowledge who wish to further develop their skills. These will enable those working on-farm to be able to use their own data as a decision support tool, understanding and making use of data. This could be used, for example, to save time, improve productivity, or reduce problems such as mortality, disease, or lameness.
This course, funded by The Data Lab, aims to enable participants to overcome barriers to using data – such as the need for investment of time or money – with practical approaches according to their circumstances.
“The agricultural sector is going through a digital revolution, and most farmers believe digital and technology skills are becoming increasingly important. New ways of working with data can help overcome challenges such as remaining profitable as costs and competition rise, while helping to improve the health and wellbeing of production animals. This programme aims to help break down barriers, in Scotland and beyond, to help farmers gain the confidence and skills necessary to benefit from the opportunities that data skills can provide for them.
- Video: The power of Data in Farm Animals
- Video promoting 'The power of data in farm animal practice: how can data be used to improve farm animal health and welfare?' course
Image credit: Getty Images