Dairy shed cleaning products made using a by-product of kiwifruit, silage and hay netting made from wool and liquid based fertiliser made from seaweed were just some of this year’s Year 13 Agribusiness class innovations presented at St Paul’s 2021 Crocodile Pit.
Students put their concepts on the line in a ‘dragon’s den’ style pitch with hopes of winning a spot to present their innovation to thousands of attendees at the 2021 NZ National Fieldays.
The Crocodile Pit is a challenging project where students are put to the test not only on their ability to create a new agribusiness product or service, but in how they present and convince the panel of ‘crocodiles’ there is a market for their invention.
The panel of crocodiles get to ‘snap’ questions at the group trying to bite holes in their ideas, scrutinise their planning and press them on their market research.
From the 15 groups presenting this year, the winning concept was Tape Cage, a roll cage made from alkathene pipe that attaches to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and acts as a time saver for farmers, who can simply drive safely under electrical tape gates without having to get off their vehicles, to unlatch them.
The product was designed by Luther Yates, Brad Foster, Thomas Matthews and Thomas Came.
“We would like to develop the product further by inserting metal rods into the alkathene to prevent vehicles from rolling. We are aware of the number of accidents on farms using ATVs and this additional design feature may just help address farm and quad bike related accidents,” says Brad.
Winning first place gives the group $400 cash and the opportunity to showcase their product at the NZ National Fieldays Innovation Hub.
Second place went to WoolWrap designed by Cole Hood, George Oliver and Nick Healy. WoolWrap is a wool based alternative to plastic silage and hay netting. It is 100% wool which is biodegradable, eco-friendly and promotes sustainable farming. The group received $300 cash and a place at the NZ National Fieldays Innovations Hub.
Whoof the third-place finisher, is a healthy alternative dog treat using the byproduct of horse hoof trimmings turning them into a less processed treat. Maddie Kitchener, Lincoln Winter, Oscar Coxhead, Sam Ward and Toby Robb came up with the concept as the industry looks to improve the quality of pet food products and noticed how farm dogs were attracted to chewing horse hoof trimmings.
The group demonstrated just how popular their treats were by bringing along a dog and feeding her the treats as part of their presentation. The creators of Whoof won $200 cash and a place at the National Fieldays Innovations Hub.
Each year, the calibre of innovations improves, and we are grateful to have a panel of expert judges to find the top three inventions. This year’s Crocodile Pit judges were Carla Muller (Senior Consultant at Perrin Ag Consultants Ltd), Charlie Verstappen (Agrbusiness Banker at Rabobank), Peter Welham (St Paul’s Business Manager), Elaine Cook (Director and Chair of People and Culture Committee at DairyNZ) and Julia Jones (Head of Analytics at NZX).