Cross-class collaboration combines cloud computing with ag

Colby Castle ’20, an animal science major who grew up on a cattle ranch, had heard of facial recognition for cows but never imagined how close the technology was to being widely used – or that he could have a role in developing it.

“Instead of having to go out and walk the entire pen looking for a certain cow, a mobile phone could tell you where to find her. I thought that’d be pretty cool,” said Castle. “It would be a very useful app, especially on larger dairies.”

It’s the kind of solution that might not occur to computer scientists, who don’t know much about farming, or to farmers, who generally lack expertise in machine learning and cloud computing.

But in a new collaboration, students from Dairy Herd Management, a spring 2019 class in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, teamed up with students in Topics in Cloud Computing, in Computing and Information Science, to learn how to work together to develop the kinds of digital tools that could reshape farming.

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