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Stillwater, OK 74074
NPDC Case Study: Fence Bullet
Ron Goedecke needed to keep cows in his pasture, but the pasture to be fenced posed several challenges. Ron developed a solution, and with the help of the New Product Development Center Inventor’s Assistance Service program, Ron has a product that reinvents livestock fence bracing systems.
Ron, inventor of the Fence Bullet and owner of Bullet Fence Systems, has an extensive background in livestock fencing. Ron grew up on a dairy farm in northeastern Oklahoma, worked as a Soil Conservationist for 32 years, and currently raises beef cattle at his home in the Okmulgee area.
As Ron was fencing a pasture, he ran into a problem. Fencing the pasture became a challenge as he needed a skilled welder. The contractor was unable to weld for several weeks due to a burn ban. Ron had an additional challenge when some of the brace locations were in a creek area and inaccessible with a welder.
In the midst of the fencing project, Ron looked for a solution. He began to pencil drawings for a no-weld pipe connector which evolved into the Fence Bullet. Ron installed the first fence brace using the Fence Bullet on his ranch, only needing end wrenches to install. He was able to stretch fence immediately.
Soon after Ron established his idea, he mentioned it to the OSU technology engineering department at the Okmulgee campus. The department directed Ron to the NPDC in Stillwater.
“The New Product Development Center is an outreach unit through Oklahoma State University that focuses on economic development,” said Robert Taylor, director of NPDC. “The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, also called OCAST, provides the funding for us to assist clients in Oklahoma.”
The NPDC processed Ron’s application through the IAS, a nonprofit, state-funded service that helps inventors navigate the invention process through education, information and referrals.
Student interns worked closely with Ron to analyze his product’s marketability, similarity to products already on the market, and the overall function and design.
“The process had multiple links,” Ron said. “As it was processed through the hands of the students, I was able to make revisions on my side. I made about 15 to 20 changes that I presented over time to the staff and students.”
Ron was also introduced to the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, partners of the NPDC.
He takes pride in manufacturing the products himself.
“It’s a way I can promote the product and know all the logistics,” Ron said. “All parts of the product are either made in Oklahoma or within the United States. By manufacturing my own product I can ensure I am meeting clients’ needs and respond to orders.”
There are currently five dealers distributing the Fence Bullet – with locations at Morris, Adair, Pryor and two in Tulsa.
“The promotion and exposure retailers have make them keys players in making this product work and gets it in the hands of farmers and ranchers,” Ron said.
At home, Ron takes online orders and supports his product though his website bulletfence.com. Outside of manufacturing his product, Ron said he consistently finds himself on the road with his product attending tradeshows and conventions where farmers and ranchers are present.
“It’s the delight I feel when someone says, ‘This would be beneficial on my farm’ that gets me excited about this product,” Ron said.
Photos courtesy of Ron Goedecke