The Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) has awarded Smithfield Cattle Company’s MaxiMukMoover as the winner of the ALFA Innovation Competition, which was determined by popular vote at the SmartBeef23 demonstration day held at Elders Killara Feedlot.
Proudly sponsored by Integrated Animal Production, the ALFA Innovation Competition showcases feedlots and their employees’ clever ground-roots ideas that have been incorporated into day-to-day operations on site.
From the initial pool of entries hailing from across Australia and New Zealand, Smithfield Cattle Company’s MaxiMukMoover, innovated onsite by Sandy Hagan, was voted as the ‘niftiest’ innovation in the 2023 Competition for its ability to aid in efficient pen cleaning.
Sandy’s husband, Jim Hagan, was on hand to accept the award on her behalf said “Sandy will be over the moon with this achievement. She put in a lot of effort in coming up with the idea and building the prototype.
The innovation helps to maintain cleanliness along the pen fence lines to prevent fly breeding.
“Traditionally, this requires significant resources, including employee time, diesel fuel, and the use of a machine,” Mr Hagan said.
“Sandy’s MaxiMukMoover attachment transforms a standard spreader bar on a bobcat, enabling it to collect up to double the amount of manure per drag, ensuring it is efficiently relocated far away from the fence line.
“The low profile of the MaxiMukMoover allows for easy manoeuvring under the bottom cable, and even when fully engaged, the flexible rubber flap of the conveyor belt effortlessly bends to accommodate passing under low cables,” he said.
Announced as the runner up, Matthew Penna of Connors Junction with his T-Grab innovation, was developed to help shift tyres to silage pits.
“Traditionally when done by hand, shifting tyres to silage pits is labour intensive, dirty and time-consuming work,” Mr Penna said.
“With a limited work force and time being an ever-precious commodity, we needed a better method of getting tyres onto the pit for distribution.
Fitted to an excavator, the T-Grab collects, holds and transfers tyres from the tyre stockpile across to the pit simply and efficiently, with tyres only needing to be handled during placement,” he said.
ALFA President Barb Madden said the ALFA Innovation Competition is the perfect way to bring the creativity and problem-solving abilities in our sector to the forefront.
As the competition winner, Smithfield Cattle Company receives a cash prize of $2,500, and the runner up, Connors Junction’s T-Grab, took home a cool $1,000 in prize money.
To find out more about the winning innovation and view the other innovation entries, head to https://www.feedlots.com.au/innovation-smartbeef