Sheep counting app helps farmers sleep better

Media release | 16 August 2018

Central West farmer Marian McGann is helping farmers sleep better at night by developing an app that counts and records their stock numbers while they’re out in the paddock.

Jobs for NSW New England Agtech Cluster Champion Chris Celovic said Ms McGann received a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product grant from Jobs for NSW to develop the ‘Stock Keeper’ app and a synchronised web portal to manage livestock counts.

“This is a fantastic example of how Jobs for NSW is helping regional technology startups become high-growth businesses of the future,” Mr Celovic said.

“Jobs for NSW is dedicated to supporting regional startups and scaleups with 30% of its $190 million fund earmarked for regional entrepreneurs.”

Ms McGann, who has a 2,000 hectare sheep farm with 7,000 fine wool ewes at Wyangala, said she came up with the idea after an ordinary day in the sheep yard sparked a family discussion about the difficulties of getting an accurate sheep count.

“We had sheep stolen seven years ago and it nearly broke the farm. So I went home that night and decided to develop an app to solve the problem,” she said.

“Currently many farmers record livestock numbers in pocket notebooks, on pieces of paper, diaries or some other medium, and often when they need to review the history of stock numbers it is a very frustrating process.

“I designed an app that would keep records on livestock events and tallies and commissioned Appiwork at Bathurst to construct the app with a web portal.

“The app and synchronised web portal creates records on livestock activity – making it a powerful reporting and decision-making tool for the farmer.

“The app was launched in July and is quickly attracting users. It can work without mobile service - so it’s always ‘paddock friendly’ - and automatically synchronises with the web portal.”

Ms McGann said Jobs for NSW and the NSW Government’s Business Connect service had been immensely helpful in getting the project off the ground.

“The Jobs for NSW funding and support from Business Connect advisor Russell Meadley helped me turn an idea into something tangible.

“I am now in the process of marketing the app across NSW and Australia and I think it would have a huge application overseas. I would like to take it global.”

Marian McGann, app founder