Livestock and Farm Security Helps Prevent Agricultural Crime and Loss
When we imagine livestock theft, we
tend to think of it in terms of old westerns. We picture John Wayne shooting at
cattle rustlers in grainy black and white. But any farmer or rancher knows that
livestock aren’t cheap, and anything valuable is going to be a tempting target
for potential thieves. In fact, goat
theft is a big problem these days in California. In one county alone, so
many goats have gone missing, the total loss adds up to $27,000.
More than 2 million farms are
spread across America. The sprawling state of Texas may be home to the largest
number of farms in the U.S., but Missouri was a close second in 2017. These
farms contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to America’s economy,
producing agricultural products that are exported to countries around the
world. Cattle, calves, and dairy products are among the top farm exports in the
In America, we enjoy a food supply
chain from farm to table that is generally affordable and safe. But how safe
are our farms and ranches from theft? With over 20% of all U.S. farmers having
been in business for fewer than 10 years, many farmers may not be aware of the
security risks that affect the industry or of what options they have available
to them when it comes to protecting their property, livestock, equipment, fuel,
chemicals, and other resources.
According to the Missouri
Department of Agriculture, law enforcement officials have investigated more
than 1,300 “rural crime” incidents involving agricultural property
since 2009. These thefts represent millions of dollars in potential losses for
farmers and ranchers in the state, many of whom may already be operating on
narrow margins to stay in business. Fortunately, commercial security systems aren’t
just for office buildings, retail spaces, and warehouses. Professional security
services are helping farmers in Missouri and across the country protect their
property, livestock, and other resources every day.
False Assumptions Come with High Costs
There is a myth that the types of rural areas where farms are
usually located are free of crime or that agricultural crime “doesn’t
happen often enough to matter.” However, data from law enforcement
agencies suggests that property crime is actually fairly common and that this
type of crime can cost farmers a lot. Midwest ranchers and farmers are
extremely aware of the value of their cattle. A 500-pound calf can go for
$1,200 or more at auction. While cattle thieves see this as a low-risk, high-reward
crime, it has a huge impact on the victims. It’s money straight from the bottom
line and bread from the table.
The Basics of Ranch and Farm Security
Most farmers and ranchers probably have insurance coverage
that helps to protect against losses from theft of vandalism. They also employ
fences and gates, use lighting around barns and other outbuildings, keep
records, and use other measures to help identify animals and tell which ones
are theirs. But in spite of all those fences and gates, many farms lack
commercial security systems.
Commercial Security Systems on the Ranch or Farmstead
Today’s commercial security systems offer a wide range of
security options—from security cameras to intrusion alarms—that can be
configured to keep an eye on ranch or farm property just as easily. This can
mean hooking up lights to motion sensors, putting access controls on gates and
building doors, monitoring livestock and water supplies, or keeping an eye on
expensive farm equipment.
- Access Controls: The same technology that secures gates on parking structures and
warehouses can help to protect gates and driveways on the farm. The ProdataKey
Gate.io is just one example of a solution ideal for protecting areas that are
exposed to the elements without the need for extensive trenching or wiring.
- Theft or Intrusion Detection: From glass-break sensors to door alarms, the same kinds of security
solutions that protect residential homes can also protect outbuildings, barns,
workshops, and anyplace else on the farm where expensive equipment, vehicles,
supplies, or chemicals are kept.
- Video Security Cameras: Odds are, most farms already have lights placed in the yard
and around important outbuildings. By hooking those lights up to motion
sensors, you’ve already added a layer of security to your farm. You can go a
whole lot farther, however, by placing security cameras in strategic locations
to help monitor everything from livestock to vehicles. With the right
configuration of cameras and network video recorders, you can keep an eye on
everything and even control your cameras from the comfort of your own home with
a network keyboard controller and joystick. Beyond security, these camera
systems can also help you keep an eye on livestock if they’re ailing or when
you’re waiting for a cow to give birth.
- 24/7 Monitoring: You can’t be on your farm every hour of every day. You may have to go
into town to pick up a part or a load of feed, or you might need to go to an
auction to buy more livestock. With 24/7 monitoring, you can keep your finger
on the pulse of your farm, even when you’re away. Notifications let you know
about alarm events in real time, while cameras and access controls can give you
immediate control through smartphone apps.
Don’t Be a Victim of Agricultural Crime
Your farm is more than just a business. It’s your livelihood.
In many cases, it’s something that’s been in your family for generations, and it’s
something that you hope to leave to your own children and grandchildren. With
commercial security systems configured for farm security, you can help protect
your farm from “unwanted guests,” allowing you to effectively watch
over your livestock, your equipment, and your supplies, even when you’re asleep
or away from home.
Farm and Ranch Security from A-TEC
At A-TEC Security, we’ve been providing commercial security systems in Kansas City for more than 20 years. KC may be an
urban area, but it’s surrounded by farmland on all sides, and we’ve all grown
up around farms and seen the importance of farming firsthand. That’s why we
understand the necessity of applying commercial security systems to farm
security needs, and we can customize a commercial security solution that will
help to protect barns, stalls, stables, lots, ranches, you name it.
Want to learn more about how A-TEC Security can help protect
your farm, your home, your family, and your livelihood? Contact A-TEC Security in Kansas City and get a jump start on keeping an
eye on your property and your future today!