Seniors in Industrial and Systems Engineering Create Revolutionary Poultry Farming Device, Reach Tiger Cage Finals

Mar 28, 2024

By Carla Nelson

Five industrial and systems engineering seniors are looking to revolutionize the poultry farming business with the invention of CowPaw.

Alex Washburn, Jordan Snyder, Emily Glaze, Maddy McCutchin and Maddie Robison are earning minors in the Business-Engineering-Technology program, founded ROME (Roller to Optimize Material Efficiency), created CowPaw through a class project, and will be among six Tiger Cage Business Idea Competition finalists to compete Friday for $80,000 in startup capital.

Other teams representing Auburn Engineering include AbGlo (Holli Michaels, engineering management, and Courtney Montague, computer science and software engineering), and Earlybird (Thomas Lester, industrial and systems management, and Eugene Asante, all-SEC linebacker and psychology graduate).

CowPaw addresses the problem of laying paper underneath the feedlines in poultry farms, which can be time-consuming and physically demanding. CowPaw, named after Washburn’s grandfather, is a device that holds and rolls out paper, making it quicker and more accurate.

Washburn was raised on a poultry farm and understands farmers’ challenges first-hand.

“When they roll out the paper, it’s pretty heavy, and it puts a lot of strain on the farmers’ backs,” McCutchin said. “Alex’s grandfather has had multiple surgeries due to different issues from doing this task and others like it.”

The team members realized the device could also work in different industries, such as construction and landscaping, and created ROME to address these issues.

“We have created a second prototype based on the feedback from the Tiger Cage judges,” Glaze said. “The new prototype is adjustable for different sizes of paper. We’re excited to see where the competition leads us.”

Presented by Auburn University’s New Venture Accelerator and the Harbert College of Business, Friday’s final round kicks off at 9 a.m. inside Horton-Hardgrave Hall’s Broadway Event and Space Theater. Awards are expected to be announced at 3:35 p.m.

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