Published: 14:00, 22 June 2022
| Updated: 14:01, 22 June 2022
A newly-launched app designed to help farms manage their livestock online has been developed by sheep farmers on Romney Marsh.
The FlockFinder software is the brainchild of business partners James Stretton and Tommy Neeld, who hope their new product can replace traditional paper-based records.
Mr Stretton's family has been breeding Romney sheep for six generations and his brother Ed, who has been involved in the development of the app, is still farming sheep on the family farm on the Marsh.
The idea for the business came about in 2020 when during a visit to the farm Mr Stretton learnt of his brother's continued frustration at the lack of technology available to help him keep records of his flock and the medical treatments he had to administer.
Based on the outskirts of Aldington on Giggers Green Road, the family currently farms land in Aldington, Bonnington, Burmarsh and Dymchurch.
Now, after a period of beta-testing, the app they have pioneered has gone live and its three tiers of membership are open to farmers across the country.
Mr Stretton said: "I'm really excited to be launching FlockFinder into the industry.
"Our company was founded on a mission to unlock the unrealised potential that technology can deliver to the livestock farming sector.
"Built around a farmer-first mindset we are leveraging the very best in modern technology to deliver tools that really work for farmers, helping them to make digital records of flock and medical treatment data."
According to FlockFinder, the UK sheep farming sector, despite being worth £1.3 billion a year, still heavily relies on paper-based record keeping and physical markets to buy and sell livestock.
But with just a few taps in the FlockFinder app, farmers can record treatments in-the-field, instantly sharing the data across the farm and making it available on any device.
Mr Neeld, a friend of his business partner since university, said: "Along this journey, one thing I have learnt is how tight-knit the livestock farming community is.
"Not just tight-knit but extremely friendly and helpful.
"I feel extremely privileged to have been welcomed into this community and indebted to those individuals who have helped us along the way."