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In the modern world, farming isn't what it used to be. Whether it's GPS systems that help farmers plant seeds at exactly the right depth, or sensors that allow them to keep track of soil moisture levels, modern farmers have made great use of technology to improve their crops and make their work easier.

Dieter of El-Shaddai Dairy Inc, a large dairy farm in Leduc County, Alberta explained why his cows wear Fitbits.

“Back in the day, you used to have one guy managing 20 or 30 cows and keeping a close eye on them all the time. These days you’re managing 100-150 cows and on top of that you’re still doing all the work outside. The Fitbit system allows us to keep an eye on their health status,” he said.

The Fitbits give him updates on the cow’s health and behaviours like how they perform in the barn and when they come into their heat cycle.

They monitor the cow’s breathing and the number of steps. That’s right – we’re not the only ones who need our steps!

When they change a cow’s diet, they also use the technology to track the cow's eating behaviours and how the new food is affecting her energy levels and overall health.

Did you know that when cows get sick they sit down? If you have a significant size herd, it's hard to keep track of how long they're sitting versus standing, so these Fitbits are a way of identifying potential illnesses early. That includes serious health concerns that require quick intervention.

“If a cow gets a twisted stomach, you have 24 hours otherwise, she dies,” Dieter said.

El-Shaddai Dairy are Xplore customers, and so these Fitbits are all connected to their Xplore Internet service.

The farm uses their Xplore Internet for all their business needs including communicating with customers and processing payments.

“A farm is a business and any business that doesn’t have good Internet doesn’t do well in this day and age,” Dieter said.

El-Shaddai Dairy also hosts an Xplore tower on their property.

Originally, we reached out to see if they would be willing to host our fixed wireless equipment on their silo. With the farm being located in an elevated location, it was the perfect place to broadcast a strong signal to them and all their neighbours.

After six years broadcasting from the silo, last year, Xplore built a tower so that there was ample space to add the latest 5G tech from Ericsson. With Xplore’s 5G Home Internet, powered by Ericsson, soon residents will get speeds up to 100 Mbps – enough speed to power even more Fitbits!

For Dieter, these Fitbits help him achieve his primary goal – ensuring the well-being of the animals in his care.

“That’s always our main focus, make sure that the cows don’t have any issues and can live life like they should.”