National success for two local students with innovative cattle-handling product

RCC students Gavin Moran and Michael Hanley pictured following their overall win in the Roscommon Student Enterprise Awards. Pictured with them on that occasion were Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Cllr John Keogh, their enterprise teacher Denise Staunton, and Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council Shane Tiernan.

Roscommon students Gavin Moran and Michael Hanley have been making national headlines ahead of their appearance representing Roscommon at the national final of the Student Enterprise Awards on Thursday, May 9th, because of the innovative cattle-handling product they have designed.

The two transition year students at Roscommon Community College developed the product while participating in their school’s Enterprise module, taught by teacher Denise Staunton. The pair were inspired to create a cattle-handing product after Gavin had been involved in several painful incidents while working with cattle in a crush.

The duo created a small business and brand, GM Engineering Ros, to market their product, which aims to improve cattle handling by operating as an anti-backing bar. The product has an L-shaped design and is described by the students as being safe, affordable, portable, durable, and adaptable to most crushes.

GM Engineering Ros’s appearance in the national Student Enterprise Awards finals this week comes after being named overall winners of the senior category of the Roscommon Enterprise final. The duo has also made it to Foróige’s Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship semi-finals with their product.

The company states it aims to build “a safer future for your farm” with the anti-backing bar, which functions by safely and effectively blocking the route and keeping cattle from backing down a livestock handling alley or crush, without having to manually keep the bar in place. Demonstrations of the company’s products can be found on their social media channels.

Their website claims that their product is a safer alternative to other bars on the market, explaining “it can just snap onto the crush in a second, and locks into place for tightening cattle into a crush”.

The students have reported that they have been receiving lots of positive feedback from farmers and agri-suppliers throughout the country, and are currently inundated with orders. The anti-backing bar, which costs €150 excluding shipping, can be bought via the company’s website, gmengineeringros.com, or through their social media channels (Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram) – though due to the high volume of orders they are receiving, there is currently a waiting list.