In­ven­tion gains big rep­u­ta­tion

South Waikato News - - Property - RU­RAL RE­PORTERS

A calf feeder now sell­ing in 18 coun­tries is yet another farm­ing in­ven­tion spawned from a NZ Agri­cul­tural Fiel­d­ays com­pe­ti­tion that has be­come a com­mer­cial suc­cess.

Less than a year af­ter win­ning a ma­jor cat­e­gory in the Fiel­d­ays In­no­va­tion Awards, Cam­bridge cou­ple Ur­sula and Mark Hay­wood have com­mer­cialised their Trusti­tu­ber and Flex­i­tu­ber feed­ers in coun­tries in­clud­ing the United King­dom, Europe, the United States, Canada and Ja­pan.

Ur­sula Hay­wood said their com­pany, An­tahi In­no­va­tions Ltd, had gone from strength to strength af­ter the launch of its ‘‘kinder’’ calf feed­ers at last year’s awards at Mys­tery Creek near Hamil­ton.

Hay­wood, a Ti­rau dairy vet­eri­nar­ian, came up with the idea three years ago af­ter ob­serv­ing farm­ers dur­ing calv­ing sea­sons. Many farm­ers had told her that they dis­liked tube feed­ing.

‘‘There is some un­for­giv­ing equip­ment out there and I thought it could be done bet­ter. As a vet I knew about an­i­mal anatomy and I wanted to make a tube feeder that would be more com­fort­able and safer for the calves.’’

The feeder prod­ucts took more than two years to de­velop and have a flex­i­ble tube and easyswal­low safety tip de­signed to flex around a calf’s air­way.

Hay­wood said they had seen a 90 per cent re­duc­tion in calf stress. when their feed­ers were used.

Mak­ing tube feed­ing eas­ier on calves also made it eas­ier and less un­pleas­ant for farm­ers, en­cour­ag­ing them to treat sick or weak calves ear­lier, she said.

They re­ceived $5000 in le­gal ad­vice and sup­port from top Hamil­ton law firm Tomp­kins Wake af­ter win­ning a com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion award.

Hay­wood said the sup­port, men­tor­ing and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties from the com­pe­ti­tion had been in­valu­able for their busi­ness.

Crowds usu­ally throng at the pop­u­lar In­no­va­tions Cen­tre dur­ing the four-day event which last year at­tracted 130,684 vis­i­tors.

En­tries are be­ing ac­cepted un­til May 1 from ru­ral in­ven­tors.

SUP­PLIED

Mark and Ur­sula Hay­wood are sell­ing their calf feeder prod­ucts in 18 coun­tries.

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