On 24 January 2020, the De Rust Futura Academy celebrated the opening of its brand new cattle handling facility, equipped with RFID technology, in Grabouw. Some of the events’ attendees included the Western Cape Education Department’s subject advisor for Agricultural Sciences, Albert van Zyl, executive director at BKB, Andre du Toit, and RFID-Experts Africa’s business development manager, Schalk de Villiers.
During the event, the De Rust Futura Academy students were given the opportunity to showcase the newly built equipment. The facility’s equipment was designed, built and installed by RFID-Experts Africa, who also provides the students and school with full training of the 3-Way Cattle Auto Drafter that works with RFID-technology.
This project, which is one of six in the Western Cape, enables the students at De Rust Futura Academy to understand not only the physical element of livestock farming, but the digital element as well. When asked what makes this technology unique and beneficial for both commercial and stud farmers, Schalk said:
“The system is fully integrated with management software so you don’t have to write down any data anymore. It eliminates mistakes. It assists you to identify good performing animals as well as bad performing animals, and it helps you to select your top performers fairly quickly. Also with problems like Foot and Mouth Disease, what this technology does is it logs all vaccinations, it logs your dipping records and it can also be transferred into the software and it keeps a full record of all the animals that have been treated for that specific disease and this makes it credible as it can also be uploaded onto a blockchain in the future.”