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Producer develops helpful product for farmers, ranchers

Dick Schirado has spent his life farming and ranching, much of it without help, so he understands the importance of saving time and labor. That's inspired the inventive Glen Ullin, N.D., producer to develop a number of products designed to make l...

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Dick Schirado has spent his life farming and ranching, much of it without help, so he understands the importance of saving time and labor. That's inspired the inventive Glen Ullin, N.D., producer to develop a number of products designed to make life easier for farmers, ranchers and others.

"I pretty much ran a 300-stock cow operation by myself," he says. "That helped to get me thinking outside the box on some things."

Schirado developed and is marketing these products: one-handed grease gun system, remote-controlled gate, net wrap cutter (for bales), bottomless bunk bale feeder, portable fence and loader gate, remote-controlled water hydrant and magnetic clips. The devices are patented, or the patent for them is pending.

He's most enthused about prospects for the one-handed grease gun system, which he says can make any greasing easier, and the remote-controlled gate.

Schirado describes the remote-controlled gate as "all purpose," with potential uses including ranching and security. Other remote-controlled gates on the market are limited in size, he says, adding his product is durable, relatively affordable and versatile in differing weather conditions.

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Schirado, 60, now operates a 100-stock cow operation, and also makes and sell hay. Staying on the tractor, instead of repeatedly getting off for tasks such as opening and closing gates, saves time and energy, he says.

Sales a challenge

Though Schirado enjoys inventing, "Sales are extremely hard," he says.

The difficulty includes setting a price at which to sell his products. Would-be customers are encouraged to contact him for pricing.

Some of Schirado's products are made on his farm, others by outside companies. He has inventory for some products, but not for others. He's reluctant to build up his stocks, in case the products don't sell.

"There's potential to go broke real fast," he says. "There's also the potential to make money. It's teetering either way."

He's optimistic his products will become profitable eventually, but says that's unlikely to happen anytime soon for some of them.

Schirado expects to keep inventing. "It's in my blood," he says. "I've got a few more (potential products) that are flying around the back of my head," although it's premature to discuss them publicly.

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Schirado says he values feedback of all sorts.

"Let me know what you think, even if it's criticism," he says. "If I can better the product, I will. I try to get as much outside perspective as possible."

To learn more, visit schiradoinventions.com.

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTAFARMING
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