BOONEVILLE – Gregory Chambers was driving a tractor when he was 7, and the farming bug never left him.
“It’s always been in my blood,” he said with a broad smile.
Now 44, Chambers has always looked to do things smarter and better, and his invention could help not only himself, but also fellow farmers across the country.
His mobile feeding tank – officially called the Chambers Feeding Tank – is used to collect, store and deliver livestock feed. Chambers received a coveted U.S. patent in December.
Chambers also is the first black Prentiss Countian in more than a century to receive a U.S. patent.
His prototype feeding tank was displayed Tuesday at the Prentiss County Ag Center, where Chambers, his family and friends and local officials were joined by Gov. Phil Bryant and state Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith.
Chambers’ prototype feeding tank is the first – but not the last – of its kind, and he hopes to begin manufacturing and selling them soon. He intends to take models to trade shows and other events to get it on the market as soon as possible.
The Chambers Feeding Tank has an internal system that prevents feed from caking or solidifying. It also keeps rodents and pests out. The tank is mobile and can be moved virtually anywhere. The feeding tank can hold 21⁄2 to 3 tons of feed, and there are other versions available as well.
“I’ve got 22 different designs,” Chambers said. “It’s not just one product – it can turn into 22 different designs, and it all has to do with feed.”
The feeding tank can help all farms of all sizes, he added.
Chambers has a 160-acre farm in Rienzi, where he grows soybeans and corn. He also has cattle and goats.
It was seven years ago when he got the idea of the feeding tank.
“It was raining, sleeting and snowing and I was out getting feed,” he said. “I said there has to be a way to transport feed and keep it dry.”
The initial tank was made from scrap iron and metal around the farm, but Chambers said high-quality steel will be used for the tanks made for sale. No retail price has been set, as details about manufacturing and distribution still have to be worked out.
Bryant said the Mississippi invention should be built in Mississippi, and Chambers said he is mulling options on where to build it, including in Booneville.
Hyde-Smith said Chambers’ invention “has the potential to benefit all American farmers. ... it is amazing. The accomplishment for getting a patent speaks volumes. It’s not just an idea, it’s a proven idea and it’s a proven idea that there’s nothing else like it.”
Chambers said he’s ready to get production started.
“I’ve got quite a few farmers ready for me to get it out,” Chambers said.