Where to meet?

Clarion Congress & Hotel, Cosmos 3B


Dr. Roger A. Søraa
NTNU Norwegian University of Science and technology,
and Ruralis Institute for Rural and Regional Research

Dr. Jostein Vik
NTNU Norwegian University of Science and technology, Department of Sociology
and Political Science
and Ruralis – Institute for Rural and Regional Research


Topic: Digital fences for goats in Norwegian agriculture

Keywords: digital fences; goats; digital agriculture; Norway; Nofence


This paper explores a new technology for digital fences for goats called Nofence,
where digital technology mixed with mechanical goat-collars create novel ways of
goat farming in Norway. Digital agriculture poses challenges and opportunities both
for animals, society and the natural landscape. The Nofence technology allow the
farmer to define a digital fence on a map. When the goats approach this fence they
first receive a sound signal; if they continue to the fence they receive a small electric
shock. The technology allows the farmer to utilise grassland without physical fences.

Employing a sociological approach, we investigate both human and non-human
actors and their relationships in developing and implementing this technology, as well
as its impact on rural governance. How do innovation in digitization technologies give
new meanings to human and non-human relations and assemblages? Does
digitalization of agriculture make it more sustainable? How can Norwegian mountain
goats point towards wider implications for rural social relations and environments?

ICT has the potential for improving productivity and efficiency in agricultural
production. For goats, however, this technology may lead to surprising outcomes.
Our case study shows that goats can become digitally skilled and that goats who
possess these skills,may bee more valuable alive then dead, as they can be trained
to “EAT GRASS” in very precise areas. As the rural governing standards concerning
animal welfare have been slowing down the implementation of this technology, we
will also investigate how the implementation and innovation practises have been

Go back to the workgroup WG 1