Lake City Research Center manager recipient of 2011 Spartan Innovator Award

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Doug Carmichael (view larger image)

Doug Carmichael, manager of the MSU AgBioResearch Center in Lake City, Mich., received the 2011 Spartan Innovator Award for designing and creating a cattle-handling corral out of previously used materials.  The award, given by the Michigan State University (MSU) Land Management Office, was presented to Carmichael during the 31st Annual MSU Farm Manager Seminar held earlier this year.

“We built the corral out of used oil well casings and harvester panels,” Carmichael said. “The used parts are less expensive and stronger than wood with a longer lifespan. The harvester panels allow for a smooth, curved surface with strength. In addition, the corral decreases handling times by as much as 50 percent and has the flexibility to handle both large and small animals.”

The innovation includes use of a modified wood splitter to compress the ends of the pipe for top-notch welded joints, an adjustable chute for calves (as opposed to cows) and harvester panels in a curved design. It also allows the required sorting to be accomplished at one time rather than the usual four handlings, saving four to five hours every time cattle are processed.

In its 10th year, the Spartan Innovator Award recognizes the outstanding efforts, positive contributions and achievements in the field by MSU farm and research center staff members to meet the ever-changing and continually growing challenges of regulations, safety, technology, research and funding in agriculture.  

“We have many conscientious, creative and talented people in the MSU/AgBioResearch farm, research center and property family,” Darling said. “This award is one small way to let them know that we notice and appreciate what they are doing and that it truly does make a difference.” 

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