Born and raised on a dairy farm, Kelly Bean has been around the dairy industry most of his life. In that time, he has seen how difficult it is for farmers to monitor the value of milk produced and the cost to feed their herd in order to calculate what is known as the dairy margin. This revelation led Bean to develop Dairy Margin Tracker.
“Dairy Margin Tracker was created to make this job easier,” said Bean, who has been a dairy consultant for 14 years. He hired his son Keegan to simplify and automate the process in 2013 before legally forming Dairy Enterprise Optimization Systems and creating Dairy Margin Tracker the following year.
Bean is already seeing early demand for the software, which earned a 2014 Dairy Herd Management Innovation Award. Dairy Margin Tracker is currently being used in some locations in Michigan, but Bean anticipates growth as more farmers see the technology in practice. He has his sights set on expansion throughout the Midwest to help the dairy industry thrive.
“The Feed Tool allows the [person assigned as the] feeder to log in on their phone, enter the number of cows to feed, and then a feed sheet is generated. The feeder gets a feed sheet, we get feed cost numbers, and the farmer has a record of daily feed used,” Kelly Bean said.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the father-son team was getting accurate feed costs to, in a sense, “feed” Dairy Margin Tracker. For years, and even in many of today’s farm operations, dairy farmers use a clipboard and a paper feed sheet to determine how much of each ingredient to put into their mixer wagon. The web-based tool replaces feed sheets by capturing this data and performing the necessary calculations.
“Dairy Margin Tracker really brings some great innovation to the agricultural space and gives farmers an advantage,” said Erin Strang, president + CEO of Central Michigan University Research Corporation.
For more information on Dairy Margin Tracker and its technology, visit www.dairymargintracker.com.