Using Data to Help Improve Efficiency
Jill Weber Vanderwal and her husband are the fourth generation at Four Corners Farm in southwest Minnesota. Their sons and Jill’s parents are actively involved in the multigenerational cattle and row crop business.
“A while back, I looked at my husband and said, ‘it’s 2017 — why are we still writing all of this stuff down on paper and having to transfer it into the computer at the end of each feeding period for our closeouts?’” Jill says.
With all the precision ag tools they were using on the row crop side, they knew there had to be a better way for their cattle business.
An easier way to manage data
Jill heard about Performance Beef™ from her daughter, who used Performance Beef while working at the University of Minnesota feedlot as a graduate student.
Four Corners Farm was three days away from bringing in its fall calves when Jill made the call to her nutritionist and asked about the platform.
“He said he had a few customers on it and loved it. Within three days after that call, we were up and running,” Jill says. “Performance Beef blew my expectations out of the water .”
“Performance Beef blew my expectations out of the water .”
Even Jill’s dad, who’s in his late 70s, feels confident using the program to feed cattle. The easy-to-use platform introduced the simplicity they were looking for without changing their daily workflow.
“It has simplified feeding and data management in an industry where everything else is getting more challenging,” Jill says. “There are more demands on our time, and Performance Beef is giving us time back in our day.”
Simplifying animal health
At Four Corners Farm, they can capture every pound of feed and feedlot expense without double entry, plus Performance Beef helps them track health records.
Before starting with Performance Beef, Jill struggled to keep up-to-date health records since they have four people riding pens and pulling to treat animals at any given time.
“Now, we can put in the inventory, track the medication type and record how many cc’s I gave an animal. It instantly tells me treatment costs,” Jill says. “Then, I can go back into the program to search for that ear tag and see the animal’s complete treatment history.”
With cloud-based connectivity, everyone at Four Corners can access the same information to evaluate key nutrition, performance and financial metrics. The result? More communication, allowing the team to work together to make strategic decisions.
“Just working hard isn’t enough. You have to work smarter,” Jill says. “With Performance Beef, all that time sorting papers and inputting data can now be spent focusing on the future and analyzing data to help make better decisions the next time you buy a group of cattle.”
“Just working hard isn’t enough. You have to work smarter.“