The least expensive profit tip entered in Drovers' second annual Profit Tips Contest turned out to be the most valuable-at least in terms of prize money. Ruby and Levi Brackett, Rogerson, Id., share the $500 grand prize for their entry of color-coded vaccine bottles and syringes. The idea, developed by their father Chet, uses 69-cent rolls of colored tape to identify vaccines and syringes to prevent mix-ups during the hectic times of branding and vaccinating cattle. Two runners-up in the contest received $250 each. Rod Peppel, Wellston, Okla., earned runner-up status with his calving hot-box for warming newly born calves. And Daryl Wiegand, Drakesville, Ia., received runner-up money with his calf carrier used to transport newborn calves and their mothers out of the calving pasture.

Judges were asked to evaluate all profit tips contest entries for several criteria. The guidelines suggest that tips can relate to saving money, increasing income, improving cattle performance, reducing labor, reducing stress on animals or workers, saving time or other valuable business tips. Judges were also told tips should be practical, and they should be easy to understand. Information provided with the tips should allow readers to apply the practice in their own operations.

Each profit tip sent in with a photo and published by Drovers earns $50 and is automatically entered in the annual contest for the $500 grand prize. Entries are now being accepted for the 2001 Profit Tips Contest.

The winners