A SELKIRK company looks set to become a livestock farmers’ favourite.
For Roxan ID at Pheasant Mill, Dunsdale Road, has invented a system to double tag sheeps’ ears.
And the innovation has netted inventor Brian Eadie a silver medal from the Royal Highland Show organisers.
Mr Eadie said: “It’s immense! Our policy is to try and deliver something to the farmer.”
Double tagging usually involves farmers having to use two applicators and two sets of tags – including this year’s requirement of a yellow electronic (EID) tag – which have to be manually matched by the person doing the tagging.
But with Mr Eadie’s new applicator the line-up of tags are alternating, the yellow EID tag and another of another colour, so the farmer clicks the tags into one ear then the other, saving time and also knowing he has the correct tag number in both ears.
The 10 sets of tags are dispensed from the automatic applicator, which protects the tags in a tough transparent “horn” and gradually changes the tags from flat to folded as they are pulled around the horn by the tagging action.
And the yellow EID tag is also “decorated” with a patch of the same plastic “year colour” as the other matching visual tag to help in case of year-tag losses.
Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) director John Mackie, who chaired the assessment panel, said: “We were impressed with the innovative approach of the product manufacturers. In these cost-conscious times for both livestock and arable producers, efficiency is all important and each of the award-winning products will deliver tangible benefits.”
Mr Eadie nearly didn’t put the TagFaster forward for the RHASS competition, but was urged toby farming friend Graham White and others.
And because he was in Wales promoting the new system to farmers and unable to tell the judges about it, his brother, Peter, who makes fine electric and electronic wire, made the presentation.
The innovation means Mr Eadie is now competing with himself. For he invented a previous tag dispenser that proved so popular the world’s largest tag makers, Allflex, bought the rights to it from him. “It was before the electronic system came in – I tell people ‘that’s the Hoover now this is the Dyson’,” said Mr Eadie.
Part of the deal was that he would not invent anything in competition to the first dispenser for three years.
Just before the time was up last March, the Roxan ID factory in Philiphaugh burned to the ground.
But Mr Eadie has come back with the TagFaster and is advertising for more staff to work with the 10-15 people already busy at Roxan ID.
Inventing things is in the genes for Mr Eadie’s great grandfather’s spinning ring invention of 1871 is still in use today.
Mr Eadie’s father Denis came up with self-lubricating rings for the textile industry and the family firm Eadie Bros rings and travellers.
And Mr Eadie – who has invented more than 20 products, including some for the textile industry – has just taken over Roxan International in Selkirk, which makes bit fitters to prevent pheasants from pecking each other – which he and his brother invented 20 years ago.
The awards – sponsored by the Hillhouse Quarry Group Ltd – encourage innovation in the design and manufacture of machines, equipment and appliances which advance agriculture, horticulture, equestrian, forestry and estates services.
For more information about the TagFaster, a demonstration with Mr Eadie explaining how it works visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVpgK5DhpXE