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Farm Track Tech grows to help 21st century farmers

FarmTrack Tech is creating innovative digital tools to help 21st century farmers produce more with fewer resources.

The company began by asking farmers what technology they would find useful, said co-founder, Chris Karasewich. One answer took root: a digital log book.

“Most farmers still use the pen-and-paper method,” Karasewich explained, which isn’t as flexible or as portable as a smartphone app could be.

With co-founders Dustin Refvik, Dmitry Gritsenko and Karasewich, the idea went on to win first place at Innovate Manitoba’s Pitch’Day 2014 and North Forge’s Ramp Up Weekend event. FarmTrack’s Cow-Calf Mobile Log Book was ultimately launched in January 2016.

Now with more than 2,000 users, the app is designed to help producers track data such as weight, medications and vaccinations, illness and lineage.

FarmTrack’s latest product was piloted last fall following 18 months of development. The product uses RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags to track the feeding patterns of cattle. The product builds on recent research that shows an animal’s feeding habits can be used to predict disease. Designed for feedlots and large farms, the system promises to reduce the use of antibiotics and limit veterinary costs by helping farmers identify and treat sick animals early on.

For Karasewich, the launch of the system pilot has been their greatest accomplishment so far.

“Seeing the numbers, the data from our product as it came into the computer, that’s been my best day I think. The pitching competitions don’t mean anything compared to that,” he said.

North Forge has been a constant presence in their entrepreneurial journey, starting with the coworking space on Adelaide. The company has since moved to 321 McDermot and has also taken advantage of North Forge’s grant assistance.

“As an entrepreneur, it’s important to leverage as many government grants and opportunities as you can, and North Forge was great for helping us out with that,” said Karasewich. Mentorship from North Forge President, Jeff Ryzner, helped guide them through the IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) and CSB (Commercialization Support for Business) applications necessary for developing their technology.

For entrepreneurs wanting to get into agricultural tech, Karasewich emphasized the importance of knowing your customer.

“The product has to be something that a farmer will actually use, as simple as possible.” Farmers are busy people. “If they can’t figure it out in seven minutes, they aren’t going to use it.”

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Supporters

North Forge Technology Exchange partners with PCL Construction Inc.

PCL Construction Inc.

From small renovations to complex billion dollar projects; from modular construction, to advanced digital technologies, to cutting-edge sustainability, PCL has you covered.

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North Forge has partnered with 6P Marketing

6P Marketing

6P Marketing is your collaborative marketing agency, working with you to achieve your goals.

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Bell MTS

Bell MTS is part of Canada’s largest telecommunications company, providing Manitobans with Mobile phone, TV, high speed Internet, and Home phone service.

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Thompson Dorfman Sweatman

At Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), we are devoted to serving our valued clients. Our collegial workplace fosters greater teamwork, responsiveness and communication, providing better results for clients. TDS is Manitoba’s largest independent law firm.

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Bit Space Development

Bit Space Development Ltd. is an interactive digital media studio that specializes in creating innovative learning experiences for the classroom and workplace. We work with educators and industry professionals from around the world to develop effective solutions for education and training using cutting edge digital media technologies.

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Princess Auto

For more than 85 years, Princess Auto has been supplying trade professionals, home mechanics or people who simply love building things with the tools and equipment they need to figure it out – whatever that “it” may be. With a unique assortment of tools, equipment and products, ranging from hydraulics to welding, Princess Auto complements the home improvement sector rather than competing with it.

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Bockstael logo

Bockstael

For over 100 years the Bockstael name has been synonymous with construction in Manitoba. From the humble beginnings of a Belgian carpenter, to the fourth generation of family ownership, building is in our blood. We pride ourselves on world-class innovation and a client-first approach to doing business. This is our commitment to serving the province we choose to call home for the next 100 years — and beyond.

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Stu Clark Centre for Entreprenuership

The Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship (SCCE) is here to support entrepreneurial activities across the entire University of Manitoba campus. In addition to supporting students at the I.H. Asper School of Business we also support students from ALL faculties across the University of Manitoba – Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campus including: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Education and more!

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SevenOaks School Division

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Maples Met School

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LGD Pinawa

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North Forge Technology Exchange

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SEED - Altona

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Portage Regional Economic Development

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Morden & District Chamber of Commerce

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Morden Community Development Corp

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Community Futures Heartland

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Access Credit Union

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North Forge East

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Community Futures Winnipeg Rivers

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Barkman Concrete Ltd.

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Pinawa Community Development Corporation

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Western Economic Diversification Canada

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Government of Canada

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University of Manitoba

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Fabbaloo

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Red River College

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Manitoba Government

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