The second in a series of interviews unpacking the potential of virtual fencing with the team of NoFence. This time Knut Bentzen, CEO of NoFence, we discuss the enormous potential of managed grazing of ruminants on food quality, protein production, soil carbon, water quality, animal welfare, etc. A holistic approach and virtual fencing offer a clear path towards regeneration.
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
How can virtual fencing enable regeneration? Why does it make sense to put a machine between the pasture and the ruminant? What’s the role of ruminants in the natural, holistic process of regeneration? How can virtual fencing possibly increase the involvement of younger generations of farmers?
The Rise of Virtual Fencing
With the rise of technology, it’s no surprise that technology is pretty much applied in many aspects of farming, hence the emergence of virtual farming. The fencing that has been done through physical fencing before is now possible through an app and GPS. The animals wearing the trackable collar can hear beeps that serve as an indicator that they’re approaching the virtual fence. For those who haven’t tried it, it may seem complex, but according to Knut, animals have no problems getting used to the system as these animals are smart.
“Telling these stories about how the animals behave when they’re using the technology, that’s a good thing.” – Knut Bentzen
The Future of Virtual Fencing
There is a huge potential of virtual fencing, and NoFence has been continuously developing its systems for 10 years. With 150 million hours of operation on animals, NoFence proves its system’s worth. Virtual fencing not only helps farmers with profitability but also with peace of mind as farmers can easily track where their animals are at any given time. This is why NoFence is looking into scaling their productions and helping ordinary farmers cover the cost through subsidies.
“Getting funding for farmers to drive that type of behavior and let virtual fencing be an enabler for managed racing and regenerative farming, I think that is the largest thing you could do.” – Knut Bentzen
The Role of Young Farmers
There is a shift in terms of what younger people know about regeneration—many of them appear to be more and more curious about regenerative practices. For Knut, virtual fencing could also be a way for younger generations of farmers to be more involved, as navigating and learning the system will not be a challenge. Virtual fencing playing a big role in attracting younger farmers can be quite helpful as transitioning to regenerative farming has a definite need for more hands, more brains, and more energy. This is very important because our farmers are getting older and older, and we need younger hands to take over.
“I think there is a growing consciousness around these things in the younger generation. So if they can connect those dots, I truly believe that virtual fencing is an enabler not only for managed grazing but also for helping the young generation see that technology can play a part in making this better.” – Knut Bentzen
Not Disrupting the Natural Process
Ruminants have always been known to produce methane, so there are some circulating studies about getting rid of ruminant methane through vaccines. However, methane, while considered dangerous, becomes carbon dioxide, which is vital in the natural process of photosynthesis. Koen and Knut believe that disrupting a natural process through an artificial procedure is not holistic and regenerative. Also, we don’t know enough about its downstream effects. Instead, according to research, it may be best to naturally reduce the methane production of ruminants by providing them with better pastures and implementing healthier diets.
“The research here, I think, is incredibly important, that’s why we do get independent research that goes in and checks these things out.” – Knut Bentzen
Other Points Discussed
Koen and Knut also talked about:
- Letting virtual fencing be an enabler for managed racing and regenerative farming;
- Approach regeneration holistically;
- The importance of collaboration;
- Listening to others’ opinions;
- Not underestimating people’s curiosity;
- Disrupt things that have been done for a long time.
To know more about Knut Bentzen and NoFence, download and listen to this episode.
- Dr Bronner’s view on regenerative agriculture
- Youtube video on cattle and methane
- Managed Grazing With Virtual Fencing Technology – Groundswell Sessions 2021
- Boyan slad Ocean clean up – River clean up
- Desert Control – Norwegian company
- Russ Conser tedX at Grassfed Exchange
- Oscar Hovde Berntsen on how a global leader in virtual fencing comes from a tiny Norwegian town becomes
- Frank Wooten on how virtual fencing unlocks the potential of carbon positive grazing at scale
- Russ Conser on using birds to sell climate positive beef and why regeneration is inevitable
- Brad Vanstone on why just being a vegan cheese company isn’t enough to have a big impact
- Les Szabo on why Dr Bronner’s, a soap company, leads the regenerative agriculture revolution?
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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.