As the fall season approached, Greg Clary and I went on a road trip out west to visit with folks at the Idaho State Police (ISP) – Brand Board Office, a staff of professionals who oversee millions of cattle each year. We timed the visit based on the office staff going live with the new Mi-Corporation Livestock Identification, Brand Recording and Disease Traceability Software System featuring the Mobile Impact Platform. The visit also gave us the chance to meet with folks from a neighboring state who stopped by to see how Idaho is addressing their needs. The visit, as always, was enjoyable and provided additional insights into the industry.
From arrival to departure, there were many highlights of the trip including hearing the office staff speak about the project and watching them take stage to show their visitors how they have embraced the system and how they were able to demonstrate the key features after only using it for a short period of time. Change is never easy, and IT projects always present unique challenges, especially when systems that have served for over a decade are replaced with new technology that looks and feels different from that which users are accustomed. With that said, to their credit, the staff at ISP has quickly adapted to the software.
Cody Burlile is always a gracious host and as State Brand Inspector, he manages to keep a thousand balls in the air while tackling the day’s priorities as the new Mobile Impact Platform implementation is coming to fruition. This is no easy task when you are responsible for tracking the movements and brands of millions of cattle each year. Cody has memorized the vast majority of the 18,000 registered brands in the state, runs the office, visits the sales, does inspections, and oversees the care and feeding of his own herd. By the way, with a little help from his friends, his herd was moving down from the high grounds back home as the weather was already changing.
As part of the visit, and to accommodate a request from the Mi-Co contingent, Cody was nice enough to take us out to a cattle sale. Greg Clary, Mi-Corporation CEO, although having a family history in the cattle business, and who still has family intimately involved in the business, had never been to a livestock sale. For many years, it had been on his to do list. We rode through Treasure Valley arriving at the Emmett sale just as most of the action was completed for the day. However, our saddened expressions quickly turned to broad smiles when we learned there were 12 head that had been delayed due to a flat tire, and this trailer would be arriving shortly.
While we were in the process of walking indoors through the facility and out to the area where trailers typically unload the livestock, the delayed trailer arrived and unloaded a small number to be sold. We could already hear the rapidly banging gavel, and Greg’s fear that he would again miss the opportunity of an actual sale was painfully obvious on his face. This was the process Greg had longed to witness and if only I had a camera to catch this well-dressed CEO sprint from the chutes to the sale arena, without care for those dress shoes as they tiptoed through what you would expect to find outside at a livestock auction sale yard. But with no regard or hesitation, he ran without reservation and managed to catch the last two head as they paraded through the ring to the final “SOLD” #58 was announced by the auctioneer. A dream fulfilled.
ISP plans to roll out the Mobile Impact Platform for the Field Inspection staff and the Sale Yards this year.
With Cody Burlile pictured on the left, Greg Clary on the right, and “Beemer” in the middle - I just can’t miss the opportunity to say: “Now that’s a lot of Bull”!