The simplest ideas are often the best, at least that’s how judges in our annual Profit Tips Contest see it. A relatively simple idea for storing syringes while working cattle earned Tom Jefferson of Carthage, Ill.,  the grand prize in Drovers’ sixth annual Profit Tips Contest (page 15). Mr. Jefferson received $500 for his winning entry.

Three runners-up in the contest received $250 each. Faith, S.D., rancher Bernard Beer received a runner-up prize with a screen designed to capture the fines from an overhead protein cube bin. Jim Brede of Bluejacket, Okla., earned runner-up money with his corral design that includes round pens and a curved alley. And Darryl and Debbie McNair of Hanna, Okla., earned $250 for their easy method of keeping barbed-wire fences tight.

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. Information provided should allow readers to apply the tip 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 2005 contest. Entries can be mailed or sent in via e-mail to Entries must include a photo.

This year's winners:

Past contests: