White Oak Enterprises
Owner: Howard Becker
Location: Carthage, Mo.
History and overview: Howard sells and distributes a product for cattle farmers known as Medi-Dart. A Medi-Dart kit includes a dart, needle, air pump, barrel and either a crossbow, recurve bow or pole extension. Basically this kit provides the means for a farmer to shoot a dart at a cow or bull that needs an injection, right in the field. Howard sells many Medi-Dart kits each year, to farmers all over the country. He also distributes the product to various retailers in the region. "My dad started selling the Medi-Dart kits about 14 years ago," said Howard, who bought the business from his dad five years ago. The product is designed in Canada, and since its beginning in 1992, has treated cattle all over the world with its patented dart system.
What's in the future?
"We anticipate continued growth as the idea becomes more accepted," Howard said. A lot of White Oak's business comes from farmers who had a neighbor or friend recommend the product.
"The fact that this product is self-injecting, and then ejects the dart back out of the animal, is a huge selling point. The medication is released into the animal via a pressure valve behind the medicine in the tube. You can drive up to an animal that needs a small amount of a minor antibiotic, treat the animal immediately with little stress to the animal or the herd, drive away, and it's done. There's no waiting until the next round up to treat a small, or a big problem in an animal. Plus the whole kit is reusable many times over, and will last a long time if taken care of."
By Jordan Haymes