Just a couple days ago my team and I launched our startup, LivestockCity. This has been a work in progress for well over 3 years, so it was awesome to finally see it go live. I have written on Medium before about why it took so long to launch and some of the mistakes we made along the way. But why did we make this site in the first place? It was because nothing like it existed, and as a livestock farmer, I wished it did exist. So I decided to make a product that I wanted to use, and I hoped other livestock owners would want to as well.
Keeping good herd records is essential to running a good livestock business, and I never had a good way to do it. Even if it’s not important to a farmer, if they are selling animals to others, it probably is important to the buyer. Rarely have I sold an animal, especially an expensive one, without first showing the herd records of the animal to the prospective buyer. Without good records, you could lose sales and much more. Not only do buyers want to see records, but in the Information Age, they expect a good bit of information — photos, pedigrees, registrations, show records (if any), etc. A seller sometimes gathers all of this information together from different places and sends to the prospective buyer, only to never hear back. What a waste of time!
LivestockCity addresses the herd record and gathering information problem. Now when prospective buyers inquire about an animal and want extensive information, all the seller has to do is enter the inquirer’s email address onto a page, click send, and all of the information is sent to that person. No more wasting time gathering information, and if the interested party does not reply back, it’s not a big deal. We’ve made it easy to add records to several animals at once, for example, if they all received the same treatment on the same day.
My business partner and I ran online auctions for llamas and alpacas for over ten years before LivestockCity was invented, so one day it just made sense that we should take our knowledge of creating online auctions and apply it to more types of livestock. This was the second leg of LivestockCity — we would provide record keeping, and we would also offer online auctions as a service (O-A-a-a-S if you will) as well as sales listings. And then from there our thought process was to allow sales and auctions of farming equipment and items. Finally, we felt there was enough interest by consumers to be able to purchase organic meats and products online, so we created what’s known as “Farm Stores” on the site, where farmers can post products they have for sale.
After these sections were made in the early stages, I felt “alone” when I looked at the website. It just didn’t feel very interactive because a social aspect was missing. So we added social features such as following users and internal messaging. We now allow users to post things for their followers to see and others can comment. We were not trying to be Facebook for Farmers, but the main difference here is that the users of LivestockCity are interested in farm animals, whereas, not all of one’s Facebook friends are. So the viewers are genuinely interested in the same things as the farmer. With the addition of some social features, we are hoping amazing collaborations come out of this as farmers connect both locally and distantly. If we are going to have this social presence, then we want this site to be the largest farming community online, hence the name, “LivestockCity.”
There are some other “by products” of this site, such as livestock farm directories and a list of people that offer livestock transportation. Also, users can post events for others to see, and the events are searchable. Advertising is available for those interested in sponsoring ads. We are still in our infancy, but all of this was created out of my own wishes to have these tools available, in one place. We have lots of options of where we can go from here — this is just the beginning.
Have a great day and thanks for reading!