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Data Literacy Program for Cow-Calf Producers

Explore a Data Literacy Program designed specifically to help cow-calf producer realize the benefits of incorporating better data management into their farm operations using digital data.

The practical benefits include reduced administrative burden (fewer hours spent on record management), optimized performance, and increased profitability. We know that once agriculture data is digitized, replacing paper-based systems, the enhanced ease of access and reuse of information, along with improved strategic decision-making year-on-year, translate into a significant return on investment.

The program includes two workshops and a six-month mentoring program, all part of the Government of Alberta sponsored Alberta Digitalization Agriculture Program.

The program allows you to pick the digital tools that are right for your operations. Model best practices through case studies and real-life scenarios aimed at enhancing performance, compliance, and financial outcomes. Additionally, you'll cover the fundamentals of data governance, including agtech contracts and cybersecurity. You’ll be introduced to free and accessible tools for data management, with support for implementing new practices on your ranch.

Program partners include Olds College, Lakeland College, EMILI, Agri-Food Management Excellence, RDAR, and the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency.

To secure your spot, you must be prepared to attend both sessions in mid-June and late-November 2024. Join a group of 30 Alberta-based cow-calf producers and guest speakers, eager and prepared to roll up their sleeves and try out new practices for better data management!

Dates: Thursday, June 13, 2024 and Thursday, Nov. 28, 2024
Location: Red Deer
Participants: 30 cow-calf producers based in Alberta

If you’re interested in joining the data literacy program, please express your interest by completing the short registration form HERE.

Workshop #1: Thursday, June 13, 2024

Focuses on foundational skills and goal setting for data collection:

  • Introduction to agricultural data, the ag data ecosystem.
  • Reducing administrative burden, with an emphasis on traceability.
  • Animal performance management, focusing on key aspects of grazing, weight monitoring, and reproductive efficiencies.
  • Data contracts, data privacy, ownership, and data portability at contract termination.
  • Financial management: basics of income statements, balance sheets, and accrual accounting.

Workshop #2: Thursday, November 28, 2024

You choose which data you want to focus on for your ranch!

Producers are encouraged to bring back data for Workshop #2 to participate in exercises using any of their grazing data after harvest; weight data and/or feed intake; or calving distributions and open rates after the weaning of calves; to improve feeding, culling and breeding decisions.

  • Performance exercises: how data for weight monitoring, grazing, and reproduction can lead to insights for better decision-making.
  • KPIs and benchmarking: exploration of industry data and benchmarks to enhance farm management decisions.
  • Cybersecurity: basics of on-farm cybersecurity and readiness; vulnerabilities specific to cow-calf operations; hands-on worksheets and exercises.
  • Financial data: analysis, ratios and benchmarking; evaluating key data alongside industry KPIs.

For more information about the Data Literacy Program for Cow-Calf Producers, please contact Tarra Drevet, Manager of Business Operations at The Simpson Centre, at 

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