Till The Cows Come Home Again

Team: 35

School: Melrose High

Area of Science: Animal Science

Interim: Problem Definition:
Ranchers have trouble finding calving heifers in time to help because they don’t know the condition of the heifer.
Even with artificial intelligence, livestock producers don’t know the condition of the calving cow. Using artificial intelligence would mean that the program would be making “educated guesses” about what the animal’s conditions are when calving time comes. The problem with calving season is that the season happens in the springtime, towards the end of winter. Because of this, there still might be snow, mud, or ice, making conditions harder for the livestock producer to come find the calving cow when necessary.
Time is important during calving season! Complications can arise fast, so no profits are lost. But this takes time and effort. Using artificial intelligence would be a good thing where it would empower the computer to think like a human to determine what the best method would be for completing the function. Also, by using artificial intelligence, there will be a greater chance of a better outcome.
Problem Solution:
Our plan is to use the same program from last year, but continue it. We will make it show the health aspects that the farmer looks for when helping the calving cow. We will show that time is cut in half when the trackers are used and show how long it takes without the trackers. The environment on the program is similar to a regular pasture in everyday life.
The program will have low spots, brush spots, and a “watering hole” to show where the cows might hide to give birth to the calves. We are also planning to show more than one cow in a position where it may need help giving birth.
Progress to Date:
We are utilizing the same program from last year to show where the cow might be during birth. We are doing the program on Netlogo. We are still researching the best possible ways to make our project more realistic to what a farmer sees every day. We are doing personal interviews, looking on websites, and much more to make this year’s project more realistic than last year’s project.
We are going to start making the model show the heart rate, metabolic rate, temperature, and stress levels of a cow being helped by the “farmer”, represented by the pickup. We are experiencing some glitches, but will get them fixed in time for state.
Expected Results:
My team and I hope that when livestock producers hear about what we modeled in our program, they will want to better their time management and profits with our project. The trackers will cut time in half and show that with easy tracking, profits will increase more than decrease.
We hope to fix the glitches and improve the program to show what we want.
Members: Rilee Priest, Josh Healer, Josh Gorely

Team Members:

  Rilee Priest
  Joshua Healer
  Joshua Gorley

Sponsoring Teacher: Alan Daugherty

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