Article produced in collaboration with Jenna Hoffman.
With livestock practices under close watch due to consumer demand for animal well-being, farmers are looking for ways to bridge the rural/urban gap. One of those ways could be a mobile application, which would allow a consumer to look inside the barn.
Lucas Fricke, founder of ChorChek, says that is where it started. He wanted to get rid of paperwork.
“I started coming up with the idea that maybe this data that we’re doing for quality assurance could be applied towards the product itself and be able to bridge the gap between consumers and producers, and really give them more confidence behind the product. They can actually see the producer, they can actually see the data that’s coming from the farm.
Fricke wanted to ensure his product reflected good animal husbandry.
“We started with making sure people were showing up to the barn, walking down (to) the end of the hallway, and the pigs had feed and water. Moving through all those sensors also benefits the producer. We use of a different technology, which is long-power, long-range frequency called LoRa. We’re getting verified data and hooking it up with quality assurance. The last part is getting it towards the entire product, so when the producer takes his or her animals to the processing plant, the information travels with that group,” Fricke said.
Fricke explains how a consumer can access this information, as well as compare his operation to those in the area.
“When a person interacts with a ChorChek label, they are able to see Lucas has a 99-percent score. He’s in the barn everyday, the pigs have feed and water, and he followed PQA protocol. Then when consumers want to know the producer, how it (the product) was raised, where it came from, they can delve into that data. They can feel better (and know) they’re getting a good product from a good producer, and that can be looked up and verified.”
ChorChek will be available to producers and consumers in the near future.