Blake Chance used scholarship support and inspiration to create a device that helps farmers.
Evening was on the rise, and Blake Chance had finished baling hay for the day. When he went to clean his baler, he noticed something strange; twine had wrapped around a shaft on his baler, heated and hardened into a plastic. Blake recalled how many hay balers had caught fire in his neighborhood in the past years and how lucky he was that he was not next.
“After this moment I started to think about how, if the baler did catch on fire, I would get my tractor unhooked quickly enough so it wouldn’t get destroyed too,” Blake said. “That’s when I developed my ‘Quick-Pin’ concept.”
Blake invented a hitch pin that allows quick release of the baler from the tractor for cases when hay catches on fire.
“It works like a regular hitch pin, but there is probably going to be pressure on the hitch when your baler catches on fire,” Blake said. “If you can’t pull it off the draw bar, the hitch pin I created allows the shaft to fall through the hole of the hitch when the pressure is released and you can get away.”
Thanks to scholarships, Blake was able to take his idea to an entrepreneurial competition for K-State students.
“I took an entrepreneurship class at K-State, went into K-State Launch and became a finalist for my ‘Quick-Pin’ concept,” Blake said. “If I had not received these scholarships, I would not be able to do things like K-State Launch.”
After taking third at K-State launch, Blake took the next step to advance his product.
“I talked with a lot of professors at K-State and they all encouraged me to keep moving forward with my invention,” Blake said. “I saw a lawyer and got a patent pending. After one year, I’ll have the patent, so I’m now trying to find somebody to produce the product.”
Blake is grateful his invention has the potential to help farmers in the future who face the same bumps in the road.
“Someone invested in me, which allowed me to pursue my passion, and that passion is now serving a greater purpose,” Blake said.