Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) has invested in SomaDetect, a dairy technology start-up that aims to help farmers use artificial intelligence to more closely monitor the health of their herd and improve milk quality.
SomaDetect recently completed the DFA-sponsored 2018 Sprint Accelerator programme which aims to grow start-up businesses.
DFA said that with SomaDetect’s technology, farmers can easily evaluate components of interest in raw milk, including fat, protein, somatic cells, progesterone and trace antibiotics.
While the technology continues to be refined for commercialisation, the platform is said to provide “cost-effective, instant analysis, which enables farmers to make rapid and proactive decisions related to the overall health and management of their cows”.
David Darr, president of farm services at DFA, said: “This is a potentially game-changing technology for our farmers and the industry as it allows dairy farmers to know the health of each cow and quality of milk in real time. With access to better data, our farmers can make more knowledgeable decisions, which is a huge value.”
SomaDetect founder and CEO Bethany Deshpande said: “DFA and their members have been a great mentor and partner for us, and we’re excited to continue working with them to help bring the SomaDetect platform to dairy farmers across the country.
“Dairy farmers have been our greatest teachers and allies throughout the development of our company and technology, and our goal is to show them the same care they show their herd.”
The 90-day Sprint Accelerator sees DFA provide mentorship, connections and resources to help accelerate the growth of the start-ups selected.
Features of the programme include: targeted, strategic meetings with the corporate partner teams to discuss business development, pilots and potential sponsorships; business building sessions around product, brand, marketing and entrepreneurship; and workspace facilities provided at Sprint Accelerator in Kansas City’s crossroads arts district.
The 2019 edition of the accelerator was launched in August and it aims to recruit early-stage, dairy-focused food company’s which are looking to introduce innovative food products, as well as pioneering ag tech companies.