LEXINGTON, Ky. — Beef specialists from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the University of Tennessee created a mobile app called X10D to modernize the way farmers and universities share information.
“It’s pronounced ‘extend’ as it electronically extends what we are doing for farmers,” said Les Anderson, UK extension beef specialist and professor. “We have an incredible amount of information through the Cooperative Extension Service and sometimes it’s not so easy to find, so we wanted to make it easier for people to find what they need on their phone; they don’t want to be sitting at the computer trying to figure it out at 10 p.m.”
Anderson describes the app as an information hub for cattle producers to manage, connect and learn about things that matter to their enterprises. UT beef specialist Justin Rhinehart partnered with Anderson to develop X10D.
“Producers will be able to manage data from their operations in one place,” Anderson said. “It will enable them to make data-driven decisions; nothing a producer can do can impact revenue and profit more like using data to drive decision-making.”
All the users in one county will be connected to each other through a message board. They can network and communicate about beef industry topics, items for sale and production practices. The learning component will allow users to bypass popular search engines and find unbiased educational content on the app. Users may opt to receive regular notifications about current educational content in beef production.
“We created X10D to modernize the connection of the beef industry to information,” Anderson said. “X10D links users to their peers and to the most trusted source of unbiased information—the Cooperative Extension Service. It also links other users to their businesses. The X10D platform is simple, easy, convenient and makes daily production data collection possible from any device. Most records can be input in fewer than 10 button pushes and 30 seconds. Reports can be generated in four button pushes and less than 20 seconds.”
Brandon Sears, UK extension agent for agriculture and natural resources in Madison County, has been part of the testing phase. He believes the app will help him interact in a more meaningful way with his clients.
“We will be able to interact with producers wherever they are,” he said. “In turn, beef cattle farmers can share with us information about their operations or about challenges they may have. X10D will help us develop a network of local farmers for idea sharing and problem solving. It’s a win-win.”
Anderson said the app received funding from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board and began beta testing in October 2021. Approximately 50 Kentucky counties have financially supported X10D. Some counties have already paid for subscriptions, so cattle producers should contact their local county agent to find that out before subscribing. Single-user subscriptions are $20 per year, and all the proceeds go to the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences to support beef extension programming.
For more information, visit https://x10d.org/. The app is available on Apple and Android platforms. Other partners include the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, Kentucky Beef Network and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
— Aimee Nielson, UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment