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Student develops time and money saving device for farmers

28 June 2013

Lincoln University student develops time and money saving device for farmers

Second year Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) student Brendan Herries has developed a dual vaccination gun that will have many benefits for farmers; a device which has earned him the 2013 Fieldays Innovation Grassroots merit award.

From spending time in the yards injecting stock with two vaccines or minerals, Brendan witnessed first-hand the inefficiency of having to run the stock through the stock race twice or needing two employees vaccinating at a time.

As part of his agricultural engineering class within Lincoln University’s Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) degree, Brendan took the opportunity to develop a dual vaccination gun that will allow for the administration of two vaccines, two minerals, or one of each at the same time.

For Brendan, the idea of making the dual vaccination gun by adding another cylinder seemed simple at first.

“As it turned out, that wasn’t the case,” says Brendan. “There are many different vaccination guns available and I narrowed it down to three – revolving, side-by-side and under and over cylinder guns – to look at adding another cylinder.

“After testing the first two options, these were ruled out, being bulky, dangerous or difficult to hold and control. The third option, the under and over cylinder, worked, thankfully, and we didn’t have any issues with control or health and safety.”

An issue that required consideration was ensuring no animal health problems for the stock being injected with two needles simultaneously, such as the possibility of a reaction. For example, if injecting a vaccine that contains live spoors, the other injection should not contain chemicals that could deactivate these spoors. To prevent this from occurring the needles were positioned 3cm apart.

The benefits to farmers are three-fold says Brendan. “Farmers will save time and money, and, as a result, there will be an increase in stock productivity back out in the paddock and a decrease in stress for stock and farmer alike.”

Another key benefit of the dual vaccination gun is that both cylinders can be set to administer different volumes and can be administered by just one pull of the handle.

Lincoln University’s Senior Lecturer in Agricultural Engineering, Ian Domigan, says that “Lincoln University students have great success at the New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays. It highlights the emphasis the University places on innovation and entrepreneurship and we congratulate Brendan on his achievement.”

For Brendan, the next stage for the dual vaccination gun is to further develop it for the commercial market and look to work with industry to encourage investment in development, production, marketing and distribution. “My hope is to have this product available for farmers within 12-months,” says Brendan.


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