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Profile


Name: Aidan Connolly About: Aidan joined Cain- thus as CEO in January 2019. Prior to that, he was the Chief Innovation Officer at Alltech. He holds a Master’s degree in International Marketing from the Smurfit School of Busi- ness, University College Dub- lin, Ireland and is the author of the strategic business plan- ning book, ‘2-1-4-3, a Plan for Explosive Business Growth’. Aidan is often referred to as the fourth founder. The original founders of Cainthus are David Hunt, Ross Hunt and Robin Johnston.


How do you see the camera technique vs the wearables option? Farmers often question wearables and whether they have a fu- ture, but the reality is that wearable sensors are an extremely ef- fective technology and the technology is getting better and bet- ter. It can answer questions that cameras cannot answer today. We believe that in the future cameras will be able to do everything wearables can do and should become more reliable and affordable. Wearables can have issues – if they break, they fall off or you don’t get a detection, but if someone asks me whether they should go for a wearable today – I would say absolutely, it’s a great technology.


Cainthus has been involved with a farmer advisor group to develop the ALUS Nutrition; what were some of the recur- ring on-farm concerns? Farmers are concerned that a lot of technologies arriving into their farms today frankly don’t work. Farmers are presented with the new technology without realising that it is still in develop- ment and needs to be tested on farm. They are also very unhappy with technology that is expensive but unreliable. Unfortunately,


we hear that a lot, and that creates a bad reputation for all agtech among farmers.


Because of this, were farmers at all sceptical of this new product? No, but this was probably because we involved our customers in our development process. It also helped that the founders of the company all had farming experience. Our farmer group was im- pressed because they were meeting people who understood agri- culture to start with, and that gave us a huge advantage.


Can you tell me about the accuracy of ALUS Nutrition? It’s very accurate. It’s focused on one critical parameter: the availa- bility of feed. It’s not trying to answer all the questions and, if we had done that, then I’m sure the percentage accuracy would be much lower. We are answering a relatively limited number of questions now, and even that is still very difficult from a technical perspective. What we put into ALUS is very good and I don’t want to overstate it, but there has been a lot of work put into making sure that it works seamlessly. We have created an easy-to-use app


▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 28, No. 3, 2020 7


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