Case Study - Mavis and Russel Proffit

TSi Makes Life Easier for Mahoenui Farm

With two farms to run and a stud unit to manage, Russell and Mavis Profitt are right in the thick of things. Now they're using the TSi system to manage and monitor their animals, juggling the workload has become much easier and more efficient - and their animal data is much more accurate.

Mavis and Russell Profitt: The TSi is far more efficient
and accurate than 'the old pencil and notebook'.

A TSi system has helped King Country farmers Russell and Mavis Proffit simplify the management of their stud stock and commercial sheep and beef operation.

Russell and Mavis were sharefarming 370ha at Aria when life took a sudden turn in 2007. Russell’s father Jeff, a well-known sheep and cattle breeder, was diagnosed with cancer. Jeff and wife Lyn had been running their Mahoenui hill country farm with the help of Russell’s brother Bevan.

Following their father’s death, the King Country farm was split between the brothers, with Russell and Mavis moving on to their 300ha in June 2008.

Russell also took over the running of ‘Raupahu Stud’ which was founded by his parents in 1971. They originally started breeding Shorthorn cattle before moving into Perendale sheep and later Suffolks.

TSi saves time and effort

Russell and Mavis now run about 1500 stud ewes along with 1400 commercial ewes and the cattle stud. They still sharefarm the Aria property with the help of one labour unit. With two farms to run and a stud operation to manage, Russell suddenly found himself in the thick of it when it came to recording and weighing stock.

“Dad could look at a bull or heifer and tell you off the top of his head who its sire and dam were. But for me it was a matter of constantly flicking through old notebooks to find all the relevant details.”

This was a time consuming and laborious process. The solution was to go electronic and fit all the stud ewes and some of the cattle with EID ear tags.

 In September 2008, Russell and Mavis also bought a TSi - a 3-in-1 device that combines a weigh scale, computer and animal performance software.

Quick, accurate and easy

The TSi allows fast recording and instant access to data on individuals and groups of animals to help with critical livestock and farm management decisions.

As an animal passes over the weigh scale, Russell or Mavis can record information from their ear tag using a Handheld Electronic Reader HR3.  This is a portable tag reader which sends the information to the TSi unit via Bluetooth technology.

Russels Proffit quote: The backup support... has been nothing short of brilliant... and the TSi is very simple to use.

All the relevant details on that animal are displayed on the TSi’s innovative touch screen which is easily readable outdoors. Russell says the TSi is very simple to use.

“All you’ve got to do is point the tag reader wand at the ear tag and squeeze the trigger - and all the information you need appears instantly on the screen.”

 This screen is easily read and the whole unit is ruggedly constructed to handle the rigours of outside work.

Saving time and labour

Russell says the information the TSi provides is             ideal for making breeding decisions. It's far more efficient and accurate than 'the old pencil and notebook'. He expects the TSi to quickly pay for itself through time and labour savings. “It’s ideal for a stud operation, but this type of technology would also be very useful for commercial farmers when it comes to finding the best performing stock.”

Simple to use and support is provided

As well as the stud stock, the Proffits' weigh scale system is also used extensively to record the weights of sale stock. The TSi enables the user to view recorded information in both 'Yard Mode' and 'Office Mode'. Its APS office software allows comprehensive analysis and reporting of animal information collected previously in yards or on farm to be used on either the TSi or it can be transferred by USB to another computer and viewed with Windows PC.

While Russell admits he is no computer expert, he says the backup support provided by Gallagher’s Geoff Pooch, Graeme Sutherland and Colin Ranby has been “...nothing short of brilliant...”. “They’ve also been very open to any ideas I’ve had that might help them improve the product even more.”

His experience with the TSi and electronic ear tags has convinced him EID is the way of the future. “There have been a lot of complaints about a possible national animal identification scheme, but I say bring it on. People don’t realise how much easier life will be once you’ve got it.”