Chris Bloomfield and Daniel Reisman – We need animals outside to feed the planet sustainably

A conversation with Chris Bloomfield and Daniel Reisman, co-founders of Collie, a provider of virtual cow guidance system for managing production in grazing, about enabling regenerative dairy, how virtually fencing and cow guidance drastically reduce labour and boost production. To feed ourselves and the planet sustainably, we need to include animals as part of agriculture. We dive deep into going from vegan to grazing, animal welfare, and the state of our planet. How do we enable more farmers to hold complexity on their farms? How do we use technology to enable complexity instead of using technology to make everything mono, as we have done in the last 50 years?


We need animals to feed the planet sustainably: that is the driving force behind Collie. The founders went on a months-long deep dive into the general food and agri space and systems change. They both came to the conclusion that in order to feed ourselves and the planet sustainably, we need to have animals as part of agriculture instead of separated, as it is the case now. And the biggest lever is getting more animals outside as soon as possible. So, what is holding us back? We have all seen the benefits of well-integrated animals in agriculture. Managed grazing does wonders for pastures and biodiversity, let alone when you graze cover crops. Why aren’t animals, mostly ruminants, but also others, an integrated part of agriculture anymore? This mostly has to do with, surprisingly, labour as grazing animals properly takes a lot of time, often multiple times a day moves, etc.


Collie’s technology uses vibrations to help limping cow, giving them all the time they need to slowly move to the milking shed, enhancing animal welfare.

One thing about using technology to guide an animal is that technology has unlimited patience. So, humans don’t have unlimited patience. Farmers get annoyed at slow cows; they actually scare the cows. They have their own timelines, they get stressed. Technology has none of those problems; we can actually give the cow as much time as it needs to do what it wants to do or what we want it to do.” 

Chris Bloomfield

”If you have a limping cow, it’s also more difficult. And what you see with our system, which has amazed animal welfare organisations as well, is that they all get their own vibration; they all get their own time to go to the milking shed, for example.”

Daniel Reisman


We need to stop neglecting animal agriculture to feed the planet sustainably. Daniel emphasises the importance of incorporating animals into regenerative agriculture, highlighting their role in enhancing and supporting nature.

”I would say we need animals in order to feed the planet sustainably. So, we should stop taking our hands off animal agriculture. And we should put all our money, time, and effort into making it more sustainable, making it more regenerative, and making sure that animals are used in a way that is symbiotic with plants and nature, to make sure that we go from monoculture to a diverse, regenerative landscape where both nature crops and animals can thrive, enhance, and support each other.” – Daniel Reisman

”We have been ignoring the role of animals, and we really should start bringing the animal back into regen ag and that’s for me very motivating as well because I see the shift now going from ‘animals are bad to actually they bring also a lot if used right.” – Daniel Reisman

”If you look at nature restoration, how important animals are in building soil, creating biodiversity, and improving the landscape. So, that’s where I felt the urge. It’s such an impactful industry.” – Daniel Reisman

”I think there is a role for animals in a positive way in the food system […] It’s really important that we unlock that diverse system. And yeah, animals and plants can support each other symbiotically.” Chris Bloomfield


Technology can help manage complex farming systems.

”I think we’ve sort of, for the last 50 years, used technology to do the opposite, right? We’ve used technology to de-complexify it and make it more monoculture. And I think it’s important that we now make sure that the technology is bringing back that balance.” – Chris Bloomfield

”I would invest a lot of it in technology that unlocks complexity. […] I think one big one is the whole circular nutrient problem. I think, at the moment, we have a very linear nutrient way that we look at the nutrient cycle, and that’s in and out at the other. I think if we can find ways of bringing back all of the nutrients that go to waste in our system- whether it’s through food waste, animal waste, all sorts-, I think that’s really interesting. And incredibly important.” – Chris Bloomfield


Cows in the Netherlands spend 25% of their time outside.

”Even the farmers that do put their cows outside don’t put them out for very long. 80% of them put their cows out for a minimum of 720 hours, which is not very many hours. So, in order to get the stamp, the cows that go outside on the milk only have to be outside for 720 hours when they could be outside for more than 3000 hours, at least.” – Chris Bloomfield

”A lot of farmers don’t put the cows outside because of the labour and also because they have less control. Because if you feed them in the barn, you know exactly what they eat and how much.” – Daniel Reisman

”In Europe, the farmers have lost that knowledge. […] also where we see our application coming in being able to actually guide farmers and visually show them data and visually give them suggestions, etc., on how to graze more effectively.” – Chris Bloomfield


Virtual fencing uses sounds and vibrations to manage animals without human labour, reducing pain and stress compared to traditional electric fencing.

”Virtual fencing is a way to manage animals, I guess, without the need for human labour. So, by training cows—not just cows, but animals in general—to respond to sounds and vibrations, which means that you can guide cows around the landscape at the cost of zero, using a finger on your phone. Technically, it works by training the animals to respond to sounds of vibration. The sound being kind of a warning, it gets louder and louder and louder until there’s a small pulse, which is a pulse. It’s much smaller than a normal electric fence.”

Chris Bloomfield


Koen, Chris and Daniel also talked about:

  • Connect animals and plants
  • With virtual fencing dairy farmers make more money from day one
  • Virtual fencing enables more complex grazing techniques because it removes the burden of labour




Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.

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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.

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