A new research project at the University of Waterloo in Canada hopes to educate consumers about the dairy industry through the use of Twitter and the daily activities of 12 Holstein cows.

According to one of the project leaders, “Many people still have an image of farms as quaint places where a farmer milks cows with a bucket, so we decided to launch this project involving cows and technology to shatter many misconceptions out there about what farmers are doing.”

The cows in this study are milked by a robotic milker. And when a cow approaches the robot to be milked, the electronic data tags worn by the cow is read, a tweet is generated and posted to Twitter. The tweets provide information on different activities, including feeding, how much milk each cow produced and how long the milking took.

Each of the 12 animals has its own Twitter profile but all the tweets are also posted on a single website so the public can follow the animals as a small herd, reports the Ontario Dairy Farmer Magazine.

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Source: Ontario Dairy Farmer Magazine, Lilian Schaer, Food and Farming Canada