THE IDEA THAT HIT THE JACKPOT
Every great invention begins with an idea, and for ESTROTECT™, that idea came from an unexpected source. The story starts in Elmwood, Wisconsin, where a group of herdsmen were brainstorming ways to create an innovative heat detector for cattle. As the group grappled with the problem, someone made a suggestion that would change the course of the cattle breeding industry. “Let’s look at lottery tickets!”
From this unusual inspiration, the idea for ESTROTECT™ Breeding Indicators was born: a heat detection device with a rub away surface, showing farmers when cattle are in standing heat before their very eyes. Then-employee (now General Manager) Boyd Dingus and team became enthralled by the idea of using rub-away surface ink to indicate cows were in heat. So, a manufacturing partner was brought in and began piecing together a self-adhesive heat detection aid that would revolutionize the industry. But like any good success story, there were early obstacles to overcome.
Looking back, it’s surprising to think a product of such success had many hurdles to work through. The first one being the product did not initially stick to dairy cows. And the biggest headache was establishing distribution channels, since the agriculture industry is known for its tight-knit community and long-standing relationships.
But Boyd was determined to succeed. To ensure the product adhered to cows, he spent countless hours testing adhesives, even resorting to testing them on cowhides in the company office. Through trial and error, perseverance and dedication, he finally discovered the precise temperature that affected adhesion.
Getting the distribution channels nailed down was a whole story in itself.
GETTING THE WORD OUT
Boyd overcame the distribution challenge by leveraging his personal network and industry connections. He traveled extensively, attending beef and dairy cattle trade shows and conferences, to meet with potential distributors and demonstrate the product. He also worked to build relationships with influential figures in the industry, such as AI technicians, who could help spread the word about the product to their colleagues and customers.
Boyd recognized the importance of establishing trust with potential distributors and worked hard to cultivate those relationships. He listened to their concerns and feedback, then made changes to the product based on their input.
Over time, Boyd’s persistence and hard work paid off, and ESTROTECT™ began to gain traction in the market. But it wasn’t until a Select Sires Biannual Sales Meeting that ESTROTECT’s reputation for quality and effectiveness spread, and more distributors began to take notice.
THE BIG BREAKTHROUGH
ESTROTECT™ finally got its big break at the Select Sires Biannual Sales Meeting in 2004. At the meeting, Select Sires’ field personnel were asked to demonstrate how to apply various heat detection aids to an animal. To everyone’s surprise, all those who applied ESTROTECT™ praised its self-adhesive nature and ease of use, unlike the messy glue from competing products.
This experience confirmed ESTROTECT™ Breeding Indicators had a place in the market. Select Sires’ head of product research became an advocate for ESTROTECT™, and ESTROTECT™ gained significant traction in the industry. The rest is history.
See How ESTROTECT™ Works
Check out our product page to learn more about how ESTROTECT™ works and why it’s the go-to choice for breeders around the world.