Extension News

Iowa’s Next Top Inventor Winner Chosen by Conference Crowd

Note to media editors:

To interview the contestants, contact Shay at (641) 782-0073 and DeBrower at (319) 530-5909.


AMES, Iowa -- An invention two years in the making walked away with the top prize in this year’s “Iowa’s Next Top Inventor Contest.”

The contest, held for the second year by the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, brought two finalists and their inventions to the 39th Annual Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference, held Feb. 28 in Ottumwa.

Cody Shay of Creston was awarded first place, including a $1,500 cash prize, for his co-product bucket invention. Roman DeBrower of Marengo received second place for his mixed feed invention.

The competition was launched for a second time in October 2008 and sought entries that demonstrated the most effective way to store, handle or dispense wet distillers grains. Wet distillers grains, a byproduct from the production of ethanol, are in great supply and can save farmers money on feed costs. However, they have a soupy, gooey texture that makes conventional delivery and handling systems difficult.

Contest entries were due Jan. 9 and the finalists were voted upon by more than 500 attendees at the Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference after the two entrants gave presentations on their inventions.

Shay’s invention, which he first drew plans for two years ago, was intended to help distribute distillers grains evenly onto his pastures. He created the co-product bucket as an attachment to his tractor after determining a feed wagon wasn’t feasible for his smaller operation.

DeBrower’s invention was a mixture of wet corn gluten and chopped sorghum, which he created in an effort to keep the gluten from rotting during storage. This cheap maneuver proved effective at limiting feed waste due to rotting.

The contest was sponsored by the Iowa Farmer Today, the Iowa Corn Growers Association, and the Iowa Beef Center.

The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It serves as the university’s extension program to cattle producers and is comprised of faculty and staff from ISU Extension and the colleges of agriculture and life sciences and veterinary medicine. Together, the Iowa Beef Center’s members work to develop and deliver the latest in research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about the Iowa Beef Center, visit www.iowabeefcenter.org.


Contacts :

John Lawrence , Economics, (515) 294-6290, jdlaw@iastate.edu

Taylor Gerling, Iowa Beef Center Communications Specialist, (515) 294-9124, tgerling@iastate.edu

Willy Klein, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0662, wklein@iastate.edu