One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things - Henry Miller

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday on the Farm #7

Activity today has revolved around organising a pen of heifers ready for sale on Monday.

White NLIS tag clipped to  her right ear
The day began with a heavy frost just as it has for most of the week - the paddocks covered in a white veil and the cattle broadside to the morning sun for maximum warmth.

Young bull soaking up the sun
The water troughs were frozen over and it took twice as long to dress with all the extra layers.

Ice sculptures on the water trough
Before we began, I went up into the town for my daily check of the Discovery Centre, an accommodation facility run by local volunteers. I’m the janitor this week and the barnyard has been enjoying the bucket of wet scraps brought home each day. However they still want to line up for their daily billy of grain at the end of the day.

Where's our grain?
Just as the old pony has arrived for his slab of hay now the frosts are upon us. He is retired to the back paddock and ignored us all summer but winter has him back playing friends again! Poor old fellow is showing his age. He’s over thirty years old now. We bought him as a seven year old and he was my “stock” horse for many years.

The Pony
For lunch, I made a quick but tasty coleslaw - just some cabbage, grated carrot and apple with a sprinkling of chopped pecan nuts all moistened with mayonnaise; fried some thin slices of steak and popped them both between a couple of slices of toast “Just what the doctor ordered,” as we say.

Now we’re off to check that all the cattle have their NLIS ear tags. These tags are small round buttons fitted with a microchip that allows it to be read with electronic readers. They are clipped onto the ear of each animal when they are calves and permanently identify and trace their movements from birth to slaughter. All cattle on the farm have to have one. A white one says you have bred the animal and it has stayed on your farm till sale; an orange one identifies the animal as one you have purchased. All the information is gathered from the tags and stored in the NLIS central data base.

I find it amazing what Information and communication technologies are allowing us to do today.

When I was a principal, I was one of the guiding coalition of principals who drove the implementation of OneSchool in Queensland. OneSchool is a technology program designed and developed by Education Queensland to provide a consistent information management system for all our schools- a common system for managing student records, curriculum and learning plans, resources, finance and performance. It is a powerful program that allows access to data any time, anywhere, by anyone who needs the information - “A single point of truth”.

I found it interesting that when the OneSchool concept was first presented at a conference in 2006, a speaker from NLIS explained the power of their system and the benefits to the beef industry of this gathering of “single point of truth” data.

Where will this little fellow's life journey take him?
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1 comment:

  1. I find that so fascinating that the school systems are copying the agricultural system for tracking. It is a great plan. We are moving towards that system of tracking students despite movement. Very interesting post.