Researchers at the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center will deploy a prototype network of integrated sensors in late May. Sensors will include "smart" halters for horses, "smart" collars for sheep and cattle, soil moisture sensors, and water quality monitors. The sensor network will be deployed in a series of phases. In the first phase, the hardware specifications of the sensors will be tested in the native environment with the various species of interest to confirm that the designs are suitable for use with animals. During the second phase, data collected from the sensors will be used to train algorithms to convert from raw sensor information into useful management information and recommendations. Finally, during the third phase, the deployment of the sensor network will be expanded to the farm-scale to test feasibility.
The research, extension, and management teams at the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center have created a OneHorse Initiative to guide efforts in the SmartFarming region. The One Horse approach integrates exercise, diet, and disease prevention into a tailored program for individual athletes while maintaining a keen eye toward the health and sustainability of the land. Our work at the nexus of stewardship, nutrition, and health allows us to offer unique educational programs for both stakeholders and students. Read more about our SmartFarm efforts under the OneHorse Initiative in our Spring 2019 update: