The innovative farming tool winning national awards
AS MORE farmers leave the land, those who choose to stay are often left without a helping hand.
When family moves away, producers are forced to employ extra staff, something which they often can’t afford to do.
That’s why Killarney based business, Offsider Ag Equipment, decided to create a helping hand.
Their revolutionary invention, Spin-A-Calf, means that farmers can mark and brand cattle by themselves, using the Spin-A-Calf’s turntable to work at their own pace.
Andrea Brosnan, daughter-in-law of engineer Gerald Hicks, and Offsider Ag Equipment’s marketing manager said, after looking around her hometown, she realised how vital it was to invent a way to keep farmers thriving in the region.
“The age range is shifting and farmers are getting older, especially in our area,” Ms Brosnan said.
“We wanted to find a way people can stay on their farms and don’t have to get someone to give them a hand.
“It’s about working smarter not harder.
“We’re called Offsider because the machine is the offsider. You don’t have to wait for kids to come home.”
The team opened their business 18 months ago and, even in the depths of drought, that hasn’t stop them from becoming a national success.
The business won two prizes for Agribusiness Excellence at the Australia National Field Days Awards and the NAB Agribusiness Awards of Excellence 2019 last Thursday.
Ms Brosnan said the whole family was ecstatic for the win.
“It’s just such a thrill.
“Gerald said ‘You know, I thought of this years and years ago and I could have sold it to someone else and that would have been the end of my involvement there, but working with you guys is just wonderful’,” Ms Brosnan said.
“We are really grateful to be able to work on it together and not send it off to China.”
But the big win didn’t mean the team would stop celebrating smaller ones, or forget their commitment to Killarney.
“You take the small wins when you can get them. We celebrate every single sell we get … we celebrate a $25 win like we’re getting an Oscar,” Ms Brosnan said.
“And the better we’re doing, the more local people we can employ.
“It gives people on the land struggling some work and keeps the spirit alive.”