Jeremy Cullwick grew up on Tapahia, a sheep and beef farm consisting of three blocks in Flemington, Central Hawke’s Bay. Jeremy and his wife Kate took over the farm two years ago and run about 6,000 stock units, with sheep making up 75% of the stock.
You don’t have to be a tech whiz
Jeremy freely admits he’s no whiz when it comes to technology, but that didn’t stop him giving Cloud Farmer a shot. After hearing about Cloud Farmer from other local farmers he signed up for a free trial. “Trialling Cloud Farmer was a pretty straightforward process and it allowed me to see if the app would be right for us, our team, and the farm.” says Jeremy. He admits “It’s early days and we’re still building on the info that we record in Cloud Farmer—we’re taking small steps.” Currently Jeremy and the team are mainly recording deaths, animal health treatments and tallies. They’re also finding the ability to record any maintenance tasks digitally really useful. “If we see a broken post, we can chuck it on the jobs list straightaway and when we have some spare time we can go through the list and complete any maintenance tasks. They’re visible to everyone and they’re not forgotten.” says Jeremy. Technology isn’t used extensively on Tapahia, “I’m not a super expert when it comes to technology, but I managed to get going on Cloud Farmer. I’m seeing a lot of value from being able to record on the spot and see what others are recording on farm.” says Jeremy. “The Cloud Farmer team have been really helpful and the support that’s wrapped around it is very good. It makes the whole thing a lot easier.”
No more doubling up
Before Cloud Farmer all record keeping was done in notebooks—Jeremy had one and his head shepherd, Nathan, also had one. At the end of each month Nathan would have to write up and send through any compliance records, which Jeremy would then enter in the farm diary. Jeremy describes the process “as cumbersome and time consuming.” Since using the Cloud Farmer app he’s found “there’s no more doubling up and the whole process of recording for compliance is streamlined.” This new way of recording has also made audit time a simple and straightforward process on Tapahia. “We passed our audit no worries, we’re absolutely stoked—capturing info on the go has made life so much easier.” says Jeremy. Hours worked are also recorded in Cloud Farmer at the end of each day, “As employers this is something we’re meant to be recording, having the functionality to record hours in the app is great.”
Teaching the next generation
When Jeremy first signed up for Cloud Farmer it was just him and his head shepherd working on the property. He’s since brought on a young fella who’s completing an animal husbandry course through ITO. Jeremy is looking at the bigger picture and how he can help the industry, “We weren’t really looking for someone, but with such a shortage of labour in the industry it’s great to be able to train up a young guy who’s enthusiastic and keen to learn.” Taking on a young guy has two-way benefits, “We’ll hopefully teach him the skills he needs, get him set up with a team of dogs, and he’ll also be able to use Cloud Farmer. Although he’ll probably show me a thing or two when it comes to using tech.” jokes Jeremy.