YOU may have wondered how Kirsty handled last week's advice from Ted, her grandfather on electronic identification.
He had said that the farm could benefit from EID without the need to buy equipment.
Kirsty was determined not to be gazumped and did some more research.
Kirsty reckons EID is about achieving outcomes, not buying fancy bits of equipment.
Her parents had said, "let's agree on the outcome, and then worry about how we get there".
The outcome Kirsty wants is to be able to accurately select ewes for the wool, meat and ram breeding flocks.
The need for equipment doesn't depend on the number of animals owned. It depends on the number of tasks to be undertaken, the frequency of tasks and number of animals.
Kirsty worked out that the ram breeding flock with 350 ewes - where ewes, lambs and sale rams are weighed, drafted and individually recorded up to 10 times a year each - has as many as 8000 to 10,000 passes annually through a drafter.
They could more easily justify an auto drafter than a producer with 5000 ewes who will only weigh and draft lambs once a year and has 5000 passes.
In the same way as Ted had looked at saving money, Kirsty looked at the advantages of owning EID equipment. She came up with an impressive list.
She told Ted flock improvement was essential and that by owning the equipment they could record as many pieces of information as they needed, on as many occasions as they needed and they could draft and re-draft animals at any time based on data.
Tasks can be done at short notice.
She also said that depending on the frequency of use and numbers, it might be much cheaper to own equipment than to constantly use contractors.
Kirsty was clever enough to steal Ted's thunder by also listing the disadvantages of owning EID equipment.
First, you need to know how to use the equipment effectively.
This could be a problem with infrequent use or once a year tasks.
There is also an issue for those who are "technologically challenged" like Ted.
The tasks are often complex and so the setup of recording equipment can also be complex.
Kirsty also conceded it could be expensive to have equipment sitting around only being used once a year.
Kirsty's trump card was that data management and making use of the information collected is the most crucial part of the process.
There is no point in collecting data if they aren't going to use it.
So Kirsty suggested that it would be worth paying someone to manage the data and buy a software program to make the task easier.
Before tackling Ted, she had secured agreement for her approach from Harry and Sally.
They were pleased she was concentrating on the thing Sally had stressed at the start, the outcomes.
Kirsty's discussion with Ted was to humour him; the decision to buy had already been made.Kirsty 15 - Ted 0.
- Mike Stephens is a consultant with Mike Stephens and Associates.