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“There may be 10 animals out there that have a real problem, but could you pick them?” he said one morning, standing among a grazing herd of dairy cattle wearing what he calls “cow Fitbits.”
But on neighboring pastures here in rural Georgia, other farmers say they aren’t that impressed. When a cow’s in heat, they know she’ll start getting mounted by her bovine sisters, so they apply a streak of paint on the cows’ backsides and then just look for the incriminating smudge. No fancy AI required.
“I can spot a cow across a room that don’t feel great just by looking in her eyes,” said Mark Rodgers, a fourth-generation dairy farmer in Dearing, Ga., whose dad still drives a tractor at 82. “The good Lord said, ‘This is what you can do.’ I can’t draw, paint or anything else, but I can watch cows.”
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