Farmer's idea featured in national magazine
CIRCLEVILLE - Rethinking a common tool for cattle rearing earned a local farmer national recognition.Successful Farming, an Iowa-based magazine, highlighted Steve Barthelmas of Circleville in the "All Around the Farm: Idea of the Month" column in its December issue. About 100 submissions are received monthly, said marketing assistant Sally Odam of Successful Farming Magazine.Barthelmas raises cattle on a farm off Ohio 104. He frequently uses a cattle chute, a metal stall or cage, for medical purposes. In place of the traditional hydraulic powered door, he installed an air cylinder. He said hydraulic pumps are expensive and the amount of power output is unnecessary."In the winter, the oil in the pump can get stiff, which makes it not move as well," he said.The farmer got the idea from working in the printing industry, where most equipment is operated by air. He experimented with different types of equipment before finding an adequate combination of air and pressure."It's been in place for about two years now," Barthelmas said. "I can run the cattle through by myself with no problem."Magazine editors were impressed with the level of innovation and practicality, Odam said."Steve's stood out the most. (His submission) had more details," she said.Barthelmas submitted pictures to Successful Farming about eight months ago. The publication called back several times to ask for more pictures. Finally, he interviewed with Paula Barbour, content editor."I was really pleased with how it worked out," he said. "Guys in my situation can apply it to their own farms."The Idea of the Month awards $2,500 in-store Firestone credit. Submissions used with a sketch are awarded $200 and text only $100. Barthelmas said he would find the credit useful and that he has many vehicles around his property.Submit an idea, pictures and contact information to Successful Farming Magazine, All Around The Farm, 1716 Locust St., Des Monies, Iowa 50309.