Labby Cows Bring Quality Milk to Farmers and Consumers

Learning Centre > Labby Cows Bring Quality Milk to Farmers and Consumers

"We believe happy cows get you better milk, and better milk leads to happy customers," Somerdin says.

 "We believe happy cows get you better milk, and better milk leads to happy customers," Somerdin says. "We believe happy cows get you better milk, and better milk leads to happy customers," Somerdin says.
Contents

Dairy farmers have a new tool to help with the quality of their milk. Labby, created by MIT graduate student Nadia Somerdin, is a company that uses mobile spectroscopy to get information on milk composition, such as milk fat, protein, and somatic cell count (SCC), an indicator of mastitis or infection. The company has been working with farms in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts since 2019. However, the pandemic slowed down the company's plans to scale. So this spring, three MIT graduate students will spend a week on Labby's partner farms in Pennsylvania as part of company-sponsored research to improve the product's design and make it more practical for farms worldwide.

Somerdin got the idea for Labby while she was a student at the MIT Media Lab. "I wanted to start a mission-driven startup," Somerdin says. "I wasn't interested in making another app. We have enough apps in life."

Somerdin says the conventional method for testing cow health and milk quality is time-consuming and expensive. "Mastitis is the most common and costly disease in dairy farming," Somerdin says. "Mastitis is contagious and hard to detect, so it very easily spreads to the rest of the herd ."

With Labby, farmers can place the scanner on the cow and get results in real-time. The device costs $2 per test, and Somerdin says it is more accurate than the conventional method. "Everyone wants more data, especially at the individual cow level, but that's been really hard to get up until now," Somerdin says.

Labby also sells its devices to universities and companies interested in studying the data it collects. Down the line, Labby wants its platform to help with community-building in the dairy farming industry. "We're a hardware company, but we see data as the key to our solution," Somerdin says. "We want to become a milk quality certification platform, which will improve confidence in the industry and for the consumer. In the industry, farmers can better maintain animal health and buyers will know they're picking up milk from the highest quality farms with good milk. And for the consumer, increased transparency allows farmers to communicate with the public and prove they're treating their animals well."

For Somerdin, all of Labby's work comes down to one simple belief. "We believe happy cows get you better milk, and better milk leads to happy customers," Somerdin says. "There's a harmony between the animal and the human. It's all connected."

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Dairy farmers have a new tool to help with the quality of their milk. Labby, created by MIT graduate student Nadia Somerdin, is a company that uses mobile spectroscopy to get information on milk composition, such as milk fat, protein, and somatic cell count (SCC), an indicator of mastitis or infection. The company has been working with farms in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts since 2019. However, the pandemic slowed down the company's plans to scale. So this spring, three MIT graduate students will spend a week on Labby's partner farms in Pennsylvania as part of company-sponsored research to improve the product's design and make it more practical for farms worldwide.

Somerdin got the idea for Labby while she was a student at the MIT Media Lab. "I wanted to start a mission-driven startup," Somerdin says. "I wasn't interested in making another app. We have enough apps in life."

Somerdin says the conventional method for testing cow health and milk quality is time-consuming and expensive. "Mastitis is the most common and costly disease in dairy farming," Somerdin says. "Mastitis is contagious and hard to detect, so it very easily spreads to the rest of the herd ."

With Labby, farmers can place the scanner on the cow and get results in real-time. The device costs $2 per test, and Somerdin says it is more accurate than the conventional method. "Everyone wants more data, especially at the individual cow level, but that's been really hard to get up until now," Somerdin says.

Labby also sells its devices to universities and companies interested in studying the data it collects. Down the line, Labby wants its platform to help with community-building in the dairy farming industry. "We're a hardware company, but we see data as the key to our solution," Somerdin says. "We want to become a milk quality certification platform, which will improve confidence in the industry and for the consumer. In the industry, farmers can better maintain animal health and buyers will know they're picking up milk from the highest quality farms with good milk. And for the consumer, increased transparency allows farmers to communicate with the public and prove they're treating their animals well."

For Somerdin, all of Labby's work comes down to one simple belief. "We believe happy cows get you better milk, and better milk leads to happy customers," Somerdin says. "There's a harmony between the animal and the human. It's all connected."

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