As a tool for farmers to manage their labor resources more productively and easily, Shepherd is an app specifically designed for agriculture, which is now available for download in the iOS App Store.
Shepherd has been developed by the team at Tycom, Inc. and has been part of the AgLaunch ag tech accelerator program. Prior to this public launch, in 2019 the app was used by the AgLaunch farmer network. Founder Tyler McGee says the experience was very valuable as it placed their app on farms which ranged from a 1 acre intensively farmed vegetable farm to a 20,000 acre cotton farm.
“All farms have challenges in managing the tasks they need to do, and the labor resources they have,” McGee says. “Everyone has a different way to handle it from morning meetings to texting through the day, but our app makes everyone more efficient and communicate better.”
McGee says the app has two core functions: intelligent task management and record keeping.
“Our task management tool allows farm managers to create tasks quickly and dispatch them to the workforce,” McGee explains. “And managers can assign a task to “anyone on the farm”, which reduces the need to assign a specific piece of work to a specific person, and that’s how most farms operate.”
Another feature that is integrated into the app is weather intelligence. If the forecast calls for inclement weather for the time and location when and where a task is created, the platform will automatically suggest alternate times that are likely to have better weather conditions.
The record keeping function of the app stores all the information about the tasks created and completed. The ability to manage employee payment was tested in research trials and will be coming soon. There are also usability considerations built into the app with farmers in mind. For example, the interface can be navigated with one hand.
“Something that is on the roadmap for later this year is to add support for livestock and ranching,” McGee says. “From a task management standpoint, anyone can use the app, but we’ll be adding vocabulary specifically for those applications.”
The app services are provided on a subscription basis, which is currently being offered for $125/month or $1,000/year. It’s a flat subscription for each farm account that includes an unlimited number of farm workers.
Search for “Shepherd Farming” in the iOS App Store. A version for Android will be coming to the Google Play store in the near future.