Posted 24 May 2012
Although we enjoy working as herds-people, we wanted to start our own business in the foot trimming industry as it’s an area we feel very strongly about.
Two students from Harper Adams University College have designed an iPhone application that can help farmers to combat lameness in cattle.
Freddie Spencer and Lizzy Bourne devised ‘Lamescore’ – an app that e-mails mobility scores to the user’s home computer, allowing them to assess which cows need further evaluation and treatment.
The idea for the app came about as they were spending increased amounts of time foot trimming, a business venture which they are currently pursuing.
23-year-old Freddie from Winkleigh, Devon, said: “Both Lizzy and I spent our placement year working in the dairy industry and realised that we really enjoy foot trimming.
“Since then we have been gaining experience by attending training courses and shadowing a trimmer in Devon.
“I’m now qualified so Lizzy and I are busy building up a client base before launching the business full time once we graduate. We’ll also be relief milking during quieter times.”
The business, ‘Farmer Fred’s Food Trimming and Mobility Scoring’, works by Lizzy visiting farms to assess the overall mobility of the herd and help identify less obvious cows in need of treatment, prior to Freddie revisiting with the cattle crush and equipment.
Their aim is to provide a quality, personal service that farmers can trust and rely on.
21-year-old Lizzy from Reigate, Surrey, said: “Although we enjoy working as herds-people, we wanted to start our own business in the foot trimming industry as it’s an area we feel very strongly about.
“We even decided to choose subjects related to lameness for our final year research projects so that our findings could be of use to our future clients.
“Freddie and I work really well together. He is very hands-on whilst I’m good with the administrative side, book-keeping and client liaison.”
The couple, who met during the first year of their FdSc Agriculture degree at Harper Adams, don’t have traditional farming backgrounds.
Lizzy sparked an interest in large animals whilst she was gaining work experience to become a vet, whilst Freddie found his passion for agriculture after moving to rural Devon.
Freddie added: “I didn’t get on with school and found that I preferred doing practical tasks. We’re now looking forward to passing our degrees and developing the business together.”
Farmer Fred’s Food Trimming and Mobility Scoring will be operating in Devon from the end of term. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org