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dairy cows
TRACK MORE THAN COWS: Researchers and dairy producers alike use pedometers to monitor cow movements. Why not use them to track people movements, too?

Would your husband wear a tracking device?

Hayhurst’s Hayloft: An idea from dairy cattle research just might help keep track of my farmer!

Did you know cattle can wear pedometers? Two major reasons why are tracking when they’re in heat and tracking their movements. Humans can wear pedometers as well — not for the first reason, thank goodness — but I love that they could be used strategically to track our movements.

As I learned from reading an article in The Furrow magazine, Oregon State University’s dairy program’s cows wore pedometers to determine individual animal’s movements, illness and other changes. Aurora Villarroel, OSU’s Extension veterinarian, explained the machine’s readings can look at deviations or changes in the same animal. Aha! What a great machine to strap to my husband’s leg!

If my farmer, Terry, wouldn’t strap the pedometer on his own ankle, I could try putting it on while he sleeps. I can ask a Purdue computer student to create a tracking system for me!

While we do have cellphones, that doesn’t mean he always can or will answer when I call or text him. If I don’t know what field he’s in, I could track him through his personal field-mapping software.

If he’s made a trip to the implement dealership, I could detect that because a beacon light would flash New Holland blue or yellow. Escaping with his cousins to Louisville’s National Farm Machinery Show would flash a bright dollar sign.

I also would create a bright red button with a fish symbol on it for when he goes to a business lunch at Red Lobster without me. Does this sound like I’m stalking my farmer? Certainly not. With my aging brain, I’ll have to remember to turn on his pedometer. Perhaps I can also install a bug zapper on it for when he goes outside his allotted boundaries.

Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute, Ind.

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