Small-town Iowa student's invention helps pigs avoid getting cru - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Small-town Iowa student's invention helps pigs avoid getting crushed

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Just because you're a kid from Iowa, don't think you can't have big dreams.

That's a quote Ashton Kutcher recently told students when he was in Oskaloosa this month.

KWWL spoke to two students who took those words to heart. 

University of Iowa student Matthew Rooda is from Oskaloosa.

He came up with an invention that can track health data for pigs and saves their lives.

While helping out on the farm, Rooda noticed that too often a mother pig will accidentally crush and kill one of her babies. 

He came up with a solution. 

It's called the SmartGuard. 

"Imagine a baby monitor that sits on the side of the pen. It listens into all the little baby's cries. When it hears that piglet that's in distress, we'll send a bunch of pulsating vibrations," Rooda says. 

Those pulsating vibrations cause the mother pig to want to stand up and save the piglet's life. 

The invention also regulates the environmental conditions within the pen. 

The SmartGaurd can tell a farmer when a mother pig is about to give birth, have a fever or eat. 

Right now this product is still being manufactured.

Some farmers will start using it at several facilities this summer. 

Another example of small- town Iowa doing big things...

University of Iowa graduate Dalton Shaull is the founder of HealthTech Solutions.

His company launched an app this year called Organizer. 

It improves the communication and coordination for organ transplants.

HealthTech partnered with the Iowa Donor Network to launch the app and improve the organ donor process.

Shaull is from Oskaloosa. He says what's helped him become successful is "not being afraid to fail." 

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