“This foundational support by the Bezos Earth Fund will catalyze our impactful work in the 2030 Project and AI initiative, from local to global scales, leveraging Cornell University’s unique model of collaboration.”

  • Benjamin Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Benefits to the Environment, Farmers & Animals

Combats Climate Change

Mitigates greenhouse gas emissions through improved soil & grass health

Improves Livelihoods

Reduces farm costs & increases productivity

Protects Livestock & Water

Keeps animals away from predators & human water sources

Project Overview

This project will develop low-cost virtual fencing for low- and middle-income countries. At the core of our virtual fencing system will be a ruggedized wearable device with a geolocation mechanism, behavioral sensors and stimulus mechanism to control the location of animals within a virtually-defined perimeter. Sensors will monitor eating and drinking behaviors, physical activity and rumination. Individual animal and group behavior insights will drive herd management decision-making. We aim to develop, test, improve and pilot our product through rapid-cycle innovation sprints.

Supported by


Prototype development 

This work package will develop the novel, wearable device for cattle and goats at low cost, testing a range of technologies for implementing virtual fencing.


Field testing 

Field testing will be done in pastoralist systems in Kenya and Mongolia, in dairy and beef systems in Argentina and Brazil, and in silvopastoral systems in Colombia.


Real-world applications

Pilot applications will provide evidence to leverage new large-scale implementation projects.

Project Team

Mario Herrero

Principal Investigator; Director, Food Systems & Global Change; Professor; Nancy and Peter Meinig Family Investigator, Life Sciences, Cornell CALS Department of Global Development; Cornell Atkinson Scholar

Andy Jarvis

Director of the Future of Food, Bezos Earth Fund

Carlos Gonzalez Fischer headshot

Research Associate, Food Systems & Global Change, Cornell CALS Department of Global Development

headshot of julio giordano

Faculty collaborator; Associate Professor, Cornell CALS Department of Animal Science; Associate Director, Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture

woman in greenhouse

Senior Project Manager, Food Systems & Global Change, Cornell CALS Department of Global Development

Nicole Rossi

Communications Specialist, Food Systems & Global Change, Cornell CALS Department of Global Development