By Steve Weisman
Since Bill Gallagher, Sr. founded Gallagher in New Zealand in 1938, Gallagher has proudly worked side by side with cattlemen helping meet their fencing needs by designing and manufacturing a wide range of electric fence applications. Believing that a company must look forward to innovation, representing only the best products and view every customer as a long-term partner, Bill Gallagher, Sr. created the foundation of what Gallagher is today - the leading provider of Animal Management solutions.
In 1977, Gallagher brought this philosophy to the United States with Gallagher North America dedicating itself to building great products and systems that strengthen the relationships with North American cattle producers.
Today, Gallagher North America offers producers a complete line of electric fencing systems, automated watering systems and weighing and Electronic Identification (EID) and data collection systems with the goal of keeping livestock safe and healthy, while providing producers with robust, easy to use equipment, along with a full support back up service to match.
In all of its products, Gallagher is constantly looking for ways to improve the products for its producers. Most recently, Gallagher developed new touch screen scales, which represent a complete re-work of the company’s weighing and data collection systems. The new Gallagher Touch Weigh Scale range makes weighing and data management easier than ever before. Producers can now manage their animal weights and data through an easy to use, fully intuitive touch screen.
Simplifying the Weigh Scale experience
Realizing that weigh scale devices are typically used infrequently by producers and that it is easy to forget how to use them, Gallagher went about making a system that is user friendly. “We were looking for a complete re-design from the ground up. We wanted a design that recognized how producers interact with equipment. Touch screens are part of their daily lives now, with smart phones and tablets with simple user interfaces, and we wanted to deliver a new generation of scales that shared that simple interface,” says Gallagher product manager Terry Cole.
In designing the new touch screen scales, Gallagher used feedback from its customers. According to Cole, “Many producers told us they only use 20 percent of the functionality in equipment and devices, because of complexity, so we spent considerable time developing a very friendly user interface.” Repeated trips out to producers to test and re-retest improvements in the interface proved invaluable. The resulting TW-1 and TW-3 screen interface is extremely intuitive, from initial scale setup to final weigh data download.
This new line of Touch Screen Livestock Scales usability is also reflected in their touch screens. Their full color displays deliver maximum screen visibility regardless of sun light conditions. They are designed to be robust and tough in harsh operating environments, repelling water and capable of taking abuse.
At the same time, the TW Scale series uses software that is designed to connect simply and quickly to load bars and readers regardless of what brand they may be. Both offer a significant advantage over competing brands by connecting with Gallagher’s own Animal Performance Software (APS) system. APS provides easy access to animal information, offering timely analysis and understanding of individual and mob performance. All data recorded in the field can be directly uploaded into the APS software, doing away with the one thing producers dislike the most – having to enter data twice. Cole agrees, “It is just something you do not want to do at the end of the day, and once it’s down loaded you can simply check out the results, not do more data entry.”
The TW-1 is ideally suited for producers already using livestock EID, and who want to weigh and draft by average daily gain, or draft on weight ranges. The TW-3 takes this a step farther. It has all the capability of the TW1, plus the ability to record animal traits, including ownership, breed, sex or age, and the ability to draft the animal based on the recorded traits. For commercial producers, the TW-3 gives them the option to manage animals based on attributes other than just weight.
“Given most producers are well familiar with smart phones and touch screens, the TW series will fit easily into their range of devices. It seamlessly delivers them very useful, easy to follow and actionable information on how their livestock are performing,” says Cole.
Mike and Robin Murray own the Mississippi Farm and Garden store in Hattiesburg, Mississippi along with running their own herd of 150 head of Brangus cows and a commercial herd of Baldy cattle. Ray Williams, a Gallagher sales rep, recently visited with Mike and Robin about the new TW series.
Mike says, “We are a Gallagher dealer and have been pleased with the quality of the Gallagher products and the customer service that they provide. Neither of us are computer savvy, but Robin and I were really excited when we saw what this new technology could do and how easy it is to use.” They chose to go with the TW-3 because of all the options that could be used.
Robin notes, “I am really excited about the TW technology. I am the one that does all of the paper work when we are working cattle. Before this, I had to write everything down on paper. That was really tough because there was so much going on, and we would often be doing more than one thing.”
It was frustrating for Robin to have all of this on paper and then after a long day go home and input the data into the program on the computer. “It was hard to go home and then do all of that paperwork. It was easy to put it off, which made record keeping even more difficult to do. This will be so much easier. It will all be done on site. Then all I have to do is take it home and download it to a file that can transfer right to the CattleMax program or the Brangus registry.”
Mike adds, “This also has a wireless capability, so if you are close enough to your computer, the data will actually download right to the computer.”