Tim Bennett – Past President of the NFU

I would like to give you some information on the National Livestock Management Database or the NLMD as it is commonly known. The National Livestock Management Database is all about the cattle and sheep industry making better use of one of its last untapped assets, that being the information that it already holds on its animals.

The concept has been developed by Shearwell Data Limited, a company owned by Richard Webber, a farmer who has built up a substantial business in animal identification and recording products. Richard has always believed that the farming industry has a great opportunity to benefit from the improved use of its livestock information and that the industry should be in a position to be able to take advantage of any other benefits that can be derived from that information

To move that belief forward, the concept of the National Livestock Management Database came to mind and has now been turned into a reality. The NLMD is an internet based tool that gathers information from a variety of sources and then works with that information to present it on demand to meet the requirements of those who would like to make use of it.

Developing this concept is something that is long overdue in the farming world as most other industries already utilize their information to much greater effect. However even though it is overdue, what makes this website different and special is that it will eventually be owned by you, as farmers, so that you are the ones that are in line to benefit from it. As it is your data that will be used this is surely the right way forward.

I appreciate that the NLMD may initially appear to be difficult to understand and something that you may not regard as a priority for your business, but believe me it has the potential to give everyone in the farming industry so much more control over their businesses – and we all know just how much we need that whilst operating in today’s marketplace.

Obviously for the database to be successful, it needs to have information to work with. There are many sources from which this information can be taken, including direct from your Farmworks program. As you will see from the rest of this presentation, you are being asked, as a Farmworks user, to allow the database to have a copy of your information. This is done by simply using it to back up your information on to its database.

By doing this there is a benefit to you of giving you the security of knowing that there is a safe and independent copy of your data, which might prove invaluable should you have problems with your own computer systems. If anyone is concerned about their livestock information being held by a third party I would like to offer an assurance that it will be used only in line with terms and conditions that require your prior approval.

The NLMD is an excellent idea which can do a lot of good for every farmer in the UK but it needs you to take the first steps so please do back up your data on to the website.