Coming from farm families, Cameron Eggersman and Jacob Wischmeier chose to join forces for a school project.
That decision paid off in a big way.
The Brownstown Central High School seniors were among nine finalists in the Jackson County Maverick Challenge, a business planning competition for high school students.
After presenting their project in front of three judges at the Community Foundation of Jackson County in Seymour, Eggersman and Wischmeier were declared the winners.
They will split the top prize of $2,150 and advance to the regional competition March 4 at the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.
Also advancing is Brownstown Central senior Tyler Neal, who placed second and earned $1,500.
Eggersman and Wischmeier developed plans for Cover Crop Seeder, a device that allows farmers to plant cover crops in one pass instead of two. Neal created Hunt Safely LLC, a mounted system that allows a person to install a hunting tree stand by themselves.
The seniors came up with their projects as part of an assignment in Robin Perry’s entrepreneurship class during the first trimester.
Eggersman said he took the class because it would prepare him for running his own business in the future, while Wischmeier said he wanted to know more about handling money and investing.
The Maverick Challenge allows students to compete individually or with a partner or two.
Eggersman and Wischmeier decided to come up with a product they and other farmers could use.
“It’s just a tool that mounts on top of a disc, and it’s going to throw the seed right in front of your disc. Then you can plant the seed and work the ground all in one pass. It’s a real simple tool that saves a lot of time,” Wischmeier said of the Cover Crop Seeder.
That would cut in half the number of steps it takes to plant cover crops, which are grown to protect and enrich soil.
Read the full story in Friday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.