Tractor Supply gives local farmer a ‘lift’

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‘CannonLift’ available online

By Jeff Bryan

When Ron Cannon found himself in a familiar quagmire, one in which he, his family and thousands of others in the agriculture industry have been in countless times before, he sought out a solution.

His solution was creating what he calls the “CannonLift,” and earning his patent on the device in 2016. So Cannon set out on a new journey: marketing his invention or finding a business partner to aid in the efforts.

A few months ago, the fifth-generation Florida farmer/rancher found his partner, when he reached a deal with Tarter Farm and Ranch (TARTER) and Tractor Supply Company (TSC) to offer the patented hay spear lift to TSC’s broad customer base in this initial market test, which is currently being conducted on TSC’s Online Retail store.

“We are certainly excited and extremely proud to be working with Tarter Farm and Ranch (TARTER) and Tractor Supply Company (TSC),” said Cannon, who applied for his patent in 2013.

Cannon created the device by combining his knowledge of welding and agricultural equipment to develop a solution to a decades-long issue: how to get the most out of a hay spear without additional equipment or putting costly tractors or, more important, others in harm’s way.

Hay spears have no practical mounting surface for attaching ropes, chains, cables, come-a-longs or the like to lift objects, Cannon explained. When an attachment is wrapped around the hay spear, he said, there is potential for slippage that can damage the object or equipment while creating an extremely dangerous condition for the operator and others nearby. The CannonLift is a removable mounting apparatus that can provide a secure and fixed mounting point for attachments on hay spears.

It’s a “yes” and “no” for Cannon when asked if it seems surreal that folks from all across the U.S. — perhaps the world — can purchase the CannonLift.

“We believe there is great market potential for this product in the U.S. and abroad,” Cannon said. “Anyone using a hay spear should be using a CannonLift to safely, effectively and efficiently lift items in their day-to-day activities in and around the farm.”

Cannon’s efforts are focused on the ongoing market test with TSC. His hope is to have the CannonLift on the shelf of the 1,700 TSC stores throughout the U.S.

“We are also looking at other sales and distribution models,” he explained, noting they are in initial discussions with a company in Canada to distribute the CannonLift product there.

While he has other products in the planning stages, the focus is again about “achieving success with the CannonLift.”

“Success with CannonLift will help to facilitate the development of several other products that would be very useful to those in the agricultural and broader industrial markets.

For information about the CannonLift, email Cannon Innovation at info@cannoninnovation.com.