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Sawyer Whisler This'll Do Farm BarnTalk

Peace of Mind with Mobile Barn Management

September 20, 2022

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Michael Hansen


Now’s Just Not a Good Time for a Phone Call

Picture this: you’re in the middle of a lunch meeting when your phone rings. You can see it’s important. Well, maybe. It’s your barn alarm calling, so it might be telling you that your power is out and the backup generator didn’t come on, or it might be telling you the humidity is a little outside your set parameters.

Since you’re not sure of its message, you have to interrupt the meeting to take the call and turn off the alarm to keep it from calling every 20 minutes. If you can get it to accept your code the first time. You think, isn’t there a better way?

For 5th-generation swine producer, Tork Whisler, this was a real scenario last June. It was a sweltering hot day in the middle of the World Pork Expo when Tork’s Agri-Alert called to tell him the temperature was rising in his barn. Not a surprise given the record heat.

“I couldn’t get the Agri-Alert to accept my password. It called three times before it did and even then, because I couldn’t raise my temp limits it just kept calling every 20 minutes. In the end, I had to get someone on the farm to go shut off the alarms,” said Tork.

Tork’s son, Sawyer, who was at lunch with him that day, faced the same heat challenge in his barn, which is located just down the road from his dad’s. The difference? Sawyer had BarnTalk, so his alert came via text message. He checked the mobile app, adjusted his limits with a few quick taps and went back to enjoying lunch.

Real-Time Insight for Easy, Mobile Management

Alarm systems that rely on a dialer have significant limitations and often interrupt users with a notice that could have waited. “If there’s a problem – minor or major – it calls you. A lot of times you get a call for small things that could wait.”

Tork Whisler BarnTalk

BarnTalk does things differently. The system’s universal cell carrier agreement eliminates signal problems and the Gateway conducts automatic connection checks every two minutes. “With Agri-Alert, the only way you knew it was working was if you did a test call or if you called it,” said Sawyer.

“With BarnTalk, you look at the phone and you know the information is recent. That’s just peace of mind.” “Plus, you can customize BarnTalk to make it really work for you,” said Sawyer.

For example, for non-critical issues, users can set up the system to just send a text. “For something like humidity, I get a text, acknowledge it and then just continue with what I was doing.” But when something really goes wrong, BarnTalk makes it known.

“I had just gotten my second group of pigs when the power went out and the generator didn’t kick on. I got an in-app notification, text and phone call. We opened the curtains, got the fans on and the generator up and running quickly.” BarnTalk is now in all the barns on the This’ll Do Farm.

BarnTalk is now in all the barns on the This’ll Do Farm.

“We have temperature and humidity sensors in every room, outside temperature and wireless water meters, and the alarm is wired to the environmental controller in every barn.

Over time, the system just keeps getting better. And the subscription fee is worth it because we get new features each time the app is updated.”

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