A DAIRY farmer from Laois has scooped a national award for an ingenious invention that makes animal handling infinitely easier.
Seamus Dunne from Rosenallis, who has a 60-cow herd, was presented with the Alfie Cox Founder’s Perpetual Trophy after winning the ‘On Farm Innovation’ award this week.
Seamus came up with his idea two years ago and officially launched his product called Crush Mate on his website last March.
His effort and ingenuity were rewarded at the 2021 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards, when he was announced as one of only 14 prize winners nationwide.
Crush Mate is an animal handling device, designed as an accessory for animal crushes, chutes or races to immobilise smaller animals safely. It can be fixed on the inside of an animal handling unit and will fit to size with its adjustable linkages.
This narrows the crush size and restricts the movement of the animal from side to side, so that freeze branding, castrating, clipping, inspection of sick animals and many other operations can be carried more efficiently and safely for both animal and user.
The Crush Mate can also be very beneficial for training heifers in robotic milking systems.
The judges described the invention as “a unique and new accessory with no other like it”, designed by a like-minded farmer for anyone needing to provide essential care for animals.
More than 50 entries were received for the competition, with 28 selected for virtual pitching.Winners of this year’s awards are automatically eligible to exhibit in the ‘2021 Winners Enclosure Section’ at the Innovation Arena in 2022.