Standing in his Louisiana pasture, Lee Robbins of Grand Bayou Farms greets the latest addition to his cow herd. It is calving time, once again, and Robbins pulls a trusty, black object from his pocket to record the birth. But this year it’s not a calving book, it’s his smartphone.
“I’ve gone all electronic now, and I won’t go back,” Robbins says. “It is a lot easier and faster for me to handle things on the computer and iPhone.”
Robbins’ digital calving book is courtesy of the American Angus Association®’s smartphone application, Angus Mobile. When using the app, his calving information quickly travels from Dubach, La., to Association headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo.
“A paper trail of certain information will always be important; it’s not going away anytime soon,” Robbins says. “But everyone is getting high-tech phones and it is necessary to stay ahead of that curve.”
The Association launched Angus Mobile in January 2012 and since that time, more than 3,170 users have downloaded the app. Calving data is just one example of how cattlemen are using the tool to manage herd inventories. The MyHerd function grants access to the Association database, AAA Login, where they can search for specific animals, update information and view performance records.
“If I am in the pasture with potential cattle buyers, I might not have paperwork with me, but I can pull up all the background information from as many generations as I need,” Robbins says. “It is a wealth of information at your fingertips.”
The Angus Mobile app also offers tools such as the gestation calculator and tables to tabulate the date when a calf is due, based on a 283-day pregnancy. Weekly National Cattle Evaluation reports, Beef Improvement Records and Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®) data can be analyzed through the smartphone application, as well.
Hayes Martens, who lives on a small Angus operation in Chillicothe, Mo., says he and his wife, Kelly, enjoy looking at the sale books and show results through Angus Mobile: “Even when you’re out in the pasture, you can look through sale reports and books. Just last night, I was reading through the show results from the Missouri State Fair.”
Users can also stay up-to-date on the latest Angus headlines, videos and upcoming events. And, the Association is constantly looking for ways to improve the app. In the latest update, available now on both Apple and Android devices, users can check out of their AAA Login cart through the smartphone. Previously, producers could enter calving records, but had to check out using a computer.
The next update in the works are more MyHerd options, including dam production, AHIR work history, and optional push notifications to alert users of updates or current news. In a society that is using more technology every day, the Association will continue to find ways to improve programs and services for its growing membership.
“Living in the country, you’ve got to find ways to adapt,” Martens says. “This is one tool for Angus breeders to use technology through a user-friendly app, and it’s much better than a piece of paper in the truck cab. You’re always going to have the smartphone with you.”
Download the Angus Mobile app
Visit the iTunes Store or App Store when using an iPhone, iPod or iPad. A quick search for Angus results in the application link. Click on install, and the icon will appear on the device’s screen or desktop.
The Angus Mobile app is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (third generation and fourth generation), and iPad. It requires iOS 5.0 or later, which can also be downloaded through iTunes and installed by connecting the iPhone to a computer.
Also, Angus Mobile users are encouraged to update the application whenever new versions are released. This ensures the best possible experience with the service.
The American Angus Association is the nation’s largest beef organization, serving more than 30,000 members across the United States and Canada. It provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on the power of Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.