A leading developer of virtual fencing technology Agersens has been bought by Gallagher as part of the company's plans for commercial expansion across Australian and international markets.
Agersens, which was founded by Ian Reilly, designed and developed the eShepherd platform which allows graziers to control the location and movement of cattle using a web application and an intelligent, solar-powered neckband connected to the internet via a base station.
Testing, including a fully-subscribed beta trial program, shows the technology is proving effective in rotational grazing and protection of riparian zones.
The eShepherd technology allows the containment of cattle within virtually fenced areas. When cattle approach a virtual fence they are first given an audio warning and if they don't turn around they receive an electric pulse via the collar.
Gallagher had its beginnings in the early 1930s when New Zealander Bill Gallagher invented the electric fence.
Since then the company has grown into a global business and included in its product range is a large line-up of modern animal management equipment.
Leading the Agersens team during the past two years has been Jason Chaffey who said Agersens and Gallagher shared a common vision for farm automation, expansion into global markets and partnering with industry to provide tools that facilitate data-driven decision making.
"Gallagher's long and respected history in livestock management, international reach and vision, not only for virtual fencing but for promoting a more efficient, productive and sustainable grazing industry, means it is ideally placed to provide a strong foundation for the future growth of eShepherd," he said.
"Agersens and Gallagher will work closely to maximise synergies and grow commercialisation of eShepherd, a technology we are confident will be a game-changer for livestock production.
"eShepherd is performing well at our test sites across Australia and New Zealand and the acquisition by Gallagher will accelerate growth and development of the product, to move towards providing producers in multiple markets with access to this tool which can genuinely improve the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of grazing businesses," Mr Chaffey said.
Gallagher chief executive officer Kahl Betham said his company was delighted to add the new technology to the Gallagher lineup.
"This acquisition further cements our commitment to investing in new ways of farming that will support customers with smarter, simpler solutions that make farm life easier and more profitable.
"We are thrilled to be adding further talent to the Gallagher family and are excited about what we can achieve together through our combined passion for innovation and customer experience."
Gallagher started investing in eShepherd in 2016. The acquisition will be finalised by June 21 at which time the current Agersens team of around 35 people will transition to Gallagher.
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