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If you thought you needed to work in an office setting to use Salesforce, think again: even those who spend their days outdoors can reap the benefits. 

Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, an animal rescue and rehabilitation farm in Australia, regularly uses video to help tell its story. Edgar’s Mission is also a Salesforce customer, and recently submitted a video entry to the “Send Me to Dreamforce” contest. Edgar’s Mission was awarded $5,000 and two free passes to Dreamforce 2013 for its entry, which you can watch below.

We recently spoke with Kyle Behrend, the star of the video above (along with the animals, of course), and asked him about his experience using Salesforce to help manage the farm. Below is some of what he had to say.  

How did you end up using Salesforce?

We tried some other CRM companies, some that were free, and then someone told us about Salesforce. It's such an incredible product that Salesforce offers to non-profits for free, we just couldn't believe it. So we jumped straight into the opportunity, and worked with our account manager to get it all set up. We've got an incredible company, Clouding Around, helping us out to get the system connected to our website.

How are you using Salesforce day-to-day?

We asked whether we could make a database for our animals, and we were told that Salesforce can do anything. So I set everything up pretty much by myself. In the past we'd just been recording all of the animal information in books, but to be able to have it all online is incredible. To be able to access all of the information at the vet is such an important thing now. When the animal comes in, we'll record their name, their species, their breed, their arrival date, where they came from, their health status, their date of birth, weight, if they've been de-sexed, parasites and worming control.

It's so easy, with the importing tools, as long as you get it into an Excel spreadsheet, you can get it all into the system in a matter of minutes and everything's there. We can input medical history and medical needs for each animal, so if someone's in one of the cages, they can see on the iPad who needs medical attention in that particular cage, which is incredible. One of the big problems with farm animals is that there isn't much research into medication and usage, at least in the length that we go to, so it's important to be able to monitor and share with other sanctuaries the medical information we have.

What's the biggest benefit you've gotten from Salesforce?

I'd definitely say the organization of it is one of the most important things. You can just search for an animal in a search bar and it just pops up there.  It helps with organization, and efficiency, and the ease of use, to be able to access that information anywhere and to have it all there is something that we've never really thought about how important it can all be, it just changes everything.

How many people are using Salesforce on the farm?

We have four employees and the founder, Pam, so a couple of us use it for donor management and the reports, and then a few of us use it to monitor all of the different animals.

How long does it take to train the turkeys and other animals to use Salesforce?

Pigs have an intelligence comparable to a three-year-old child, so they're really smart. We've got some videos on our website that show that off. One of our pigs recently defeated a bunch of dogs in a trick competition. So it was easy to get her using the iPad, because they learn by touch, so you target them according to where their hand is, so if you give them something to touch, they just want to play with it. With turkeys, anything that's shiny, they'll just try to peck and play with. So they just love the iPad, and they try to see if pecking at it will get it to do something differently. So it's something I want to work on, with different apps on the iPad, to see if the animals will interact with some of the functionalities of the apps.

Register below to attend Dreamforce like Kyle!

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