Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance
3C Cattle Feeders Expands Market with Innovative Product
3C Cattle Feeders has developed state-of-the-art cattle feeders that are efficient, effective and economical, meeting high standards of commercial livestock owners. The feeders are completely enclosed, which prevents feed from falling on the truck bed and include exclusive features such as sight holes and digital counters. The company currently employs 10 people at its facility in Millcreek, Oklahoma.
For the past 30 years, 3C Cattle Feeders’ products earned a sterling reputation among the agricultural community for their quality and design elements. With changes in the industry, company owner, Bear Runyan, began looking for a way to once again distance himself from the field, retain his market share, and grow his business. For help, he turned to Kay Watson, a manufacturing extension agent with the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance (The Alliance), a NIST MEP network affiliate.
Watson and Kenyon discussed aspects that would enhance current products. One situation that was addressed was the problem of wild hogs and other animals scavenging food from traditional feeders. Those varmints also spread disease while poaching food. Though it was a common problem, livestock owners had learned to live with the situation. “Ranchers don’t realize the amount of feed that is lost. It’s such a common problem, that can really add up financially,” Runyan said. Watson began working with Shea Pilgreen, an applications engineer with The Alliance. The two in turn worked with the Oklahoma State University New Product Development Center, a program of The Alliance. Initial designs were promising and helped secure a Small Business Innovation Research grant. Those funds were used to perfect the design and create a marketing plan for the high-tech feeder. Now put into production, initial sales are encouraging and have boosted the company’s potential future sales. With the help of Watson, the company recently moved to a larger location with additional room to expand.
- Increased sales by $500,000.
- Created 3 jobs.
- New product development.
“The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance was indispensable in the development of this new product, which is revolutionizing the industry and helping us grow our business.”
Bear Runyan, Owner