By B.N. Frank
According to Land O’Lakes farmers interviewed for a recent 60 Minutes segment, their farm uses Ag Tech which includes facial recognition for their dairy cows that also wear Fitbits.
Teddy Bekele: So number one we use this thing called– computer vision or image recognition.
He’s talking about, I kid you not, facial recognition for cows.
Teddy Bekele: So the machine now is using the technology and we’re starting to see, “Okay, this cow is at ideal,” and as you can see I just recognized the cow. It says, “Is it ideal, is it over, or is it thin?” So those are the types of things we can–
Lesley Stahl: And this machine would look at each and every cow in the herd?
Teddy Bekele: That’s right.
Candice White: We work very closely with a nutritionist…
Candice White and Amanda Condo don’t yet have that tool on their farm. But they can run the whole place from their smartphones.
Candice White: We have this dairy dashboard.
Lesley Stahl: Ok.
Candice White: You know, today, we’re milking 1,051 cows.
And how do they keep track of them?
Candice White: If you see on their front leg, they have that little tag?
Lesley Stahl: Oh, yeah!
Candice White: That is their Fitbit.
Lesley Stahl: Oh my goodness, look at that.
Lesley Stahl: You are monitoring each cow separately.
MULTIPLE VOICES: Yes. Uh-huh (AFFIRM).
Lesley Stahl: And you can go out and say, “3079, right over here isn’t eating enough. Let’s–
Candice White: Uh-huh (AFFIRM).
Lesley Stahl: –go over there and find out what’s wrong.”
MULTIPLE VOICES: Yeah. Uh-huh (AFFIRM).
Candice White: That will track her milk production also in the milking parlor.
Lesley Stahl: Everything.
Candice White: Yes.
Beth Ford: I think people have this old-school view of farming as slower than, less than, smaller than.
Lesley Stahl: Hayseed.
Beth Ford: Yeah. And they’re not. They’re very sophisticated businesspeople, they are very tech savvy. They have to be to withstand this kind of market pressure.
Regardless of how sophisticated and tech savvy these farmers are, they are forcing their cows to wear radiation-emitting devices that have been known to harm people who wear them. Do you think they have any idea that wearing these Fitbits may be affecting their cows’ milk production and quality of life?
Unfortunately, Land O’Lakes isn’t the only company putting similar devices on cows.
Activist Post has reported MANY times about problems associated with Fitbits, Smart Watches, and other activity trackers. They have been the subject of class action lawsuits and recalls due to privacy and security issues as well as adverse health effects on wearers (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
So please don’t have a cow if you’re going to make her wear a Fitbit.
Image credit: Pixabay
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