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Going mobile

Each time ranchers must work cattle through a chute, there's usually a pen and paper involved.

With a clip board in hand, for every critter worked, producers must quickly jot down numbers and scratch out detailed notes for future reference. By the end of the day, the clip board and notepad is covered in manure or cow slobber, and the list of incredibly important data, sits on the office desk waiting to be filed away.

Sound familiar?

It doesn't have to be this way, says Kayle Walls, a cow-calf producer from Byers, Colo.

“CattleSort replaces the pen and paper that ranchers use when writing down information on cattle. CattleSort has a custom voice-controlled keypad with enlarged buttons to make entering animals number and specific data in the field easier. You do not need cell phone service for the app to function; it syncs when you reach service or wifi. CattleSort was made for cattle but is compatible with all livestock such as sheep, goats, etc.”Kayle Walls, CattleSort developer

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"We ship about 200 pairs to Wyoming every year," Walls said. "Every time we ship a load up there, we need 40 cows and 40 calves. We have to make sure all cows and calves are a match, so we make a lot of lists on a yellow note pad. After making the list of calves we want to take, then we have to make a second checklist as we locate and sort off the calves we need. It's a pain in the butt because none of the numbers are in order, so we usually end up going through about three pieces of paper before we get it done. One day, I was in the alley sorting calves, pad in hand, and just thought to myself, there has to be a better way to do this. I researched cattle management software and couldn't find anything to help me with the everyday functions of keeping track of my herd. I decided to take matters into my own hands and design an app to fit my needs."

Walls spent the last year-and-a-half developing a new app called CattleSort, which aims to help livestock producers easily manage data on the herd. Recently launched to the public at http://www.CattleSort.com and in the Apple and Google play stores, the app is designed to track data on the cow herd, from branding to shipping and everything in between.

"CattleSort replaces the pen and paper that ranchers use when writing down information on cattle," Walls said. "CattleSort has a custom voice-controlled keypad with enlarged buttons to make entering animals number and specific data in the field easier. You do not need cell phone service for the app to function; it syncs when you reach service or wifi. CattleSort was made for cattle but is compatible with all livestock such as sheep, goats, etc."

The CattleSort app allows users to make lists to help managing information even easier. For example, the pair-up list allows users to know which animals are missing. The side-by-side list allows users to view any two lists at the same time for easy comparison. The sexing list will show producers how many bulls and heifers are in the group. A list for color functions in the same way. A checkoff list will show ranchers which cows have been worked or still need to be done. A simple sort list is an easy way to put any list created in numerical order.

"Any list you make can be looked at and sorted on our website, as well," said Walls. "The app also keeps track of the entire herd for those wanting to keep track of all the animals they own. Now when I'm sorting calves to make a load for Wyoming, I can use the pair-up feature or a checkoff list, and it takes half the time to get a load ready to ship out. Every function within CattleSort came from a firsthand experience involved in ranching and working cattle. Most people won't use every function, but if you own livestock and it's got a ear tag, there will be a function that will make your life easier and more organized."

The app also allows users to email a list to anyone at anytime. The autofill feature makes for quick list creation. Simply plug in the first and last number, and the app fills in the numbers in between. Additionally, the app can track ear tag numbers and Bangs tag numbers.

"This is useful for operations shipping across state lines, as you can simply put your animal's primary ear tag number into the system, and it will draw all other data saved to make it easy to send to the veterinarian for health papers. If you already have all your tag info saved on Excel, you can sign into the app's website and import all data instead of inputting the data manually."

An app designed by a cattleman for cattlemen, Walls said the most difficult part of the process was educating the app developer.

"The hardest part of creating this app was explaining to our developer what we do on a day to day basis on the ranch," said Walls. "However, the final app is extremely user friendly for producers. Any list you ever make is one click away at all times. It was made to make a ranchers life easier, and our functions reflect that. This app is unique in the cattle management market in that you can make all your own lists on your phone and then log onto the app website to see all your data and sort it there, as well."

The cost for CattleSort is $29.99 annually. Walls has also developed a second app called, PregCheck, which is available at the subscription price of $9.99/year.

"We based our annual subscription price off making it affordable for all types and sizes of operations," said Walls. "It's not just for those who own the cows but those who work the cows, as well. Additionally, the second app, PregCheck, keeps track of cattle and livestock breeding rec-ords. It's very similar to CattleSort in that you can make lists of bred or open livestock, along with notes on each individual animal, and create multiple different lists that can all be accessed from the website."

"We've been using CattleSort to process cattle in our 10,000-head feedlot, as well as to manage our 1,500 pairs," said Cassidy Griemsman, a beef producer from Worland, Wyo. "The app is incredibly user friendly. Now instead of having to write everything down and check numbers, the lists make it easy to match things up. It saves us so much time and paperwork, and you don't have to be tech savvy to use it. Plus, we have the records forever. I can now make notes on a sick cow or calf or dates of vaccinations. I highly recommend this app."

"We've been using CattleSort for a few months now on our cow-calf operation, and we absolutely love it," said Cole Pennington. "We input our shipping information in the app to make sure our cows and calves are paired up. This is really useful for us in tracking our cattle as our herd is spread out quite a bit. With the app, we can easily keep track on individual animals from calving to shipping. It's incredibly easy to input detailed information on each animal, and it's definitely a great tool for all cattlemen that's worth the annual fee."

As calving season draws near, CattleSort could be the perfect management tool to keep ranchers organized. Learn more about the app at http://www.CattleSort.com. F