David Foster, who is a fourth-generation Bourbon County dairyman, still makes his living providing for his wife and children on the family farm at 1035 Hwy 39.
In addition to tending to his milk cows, he started a new business this year called Terrakat LLC.
The equipment spreads the manure that his herd of dairy cows produces daily.
“The equipment allows the farmer to spread manure on the field providing nutrients to the soil that is needed to raise crops,” Foster said. “Manure is fertilizer.”
“Terrakat (his business) was formed in March once I knew I had found a product that not only would be beneficial for Foster Dairy but also be beneficial for others as well,” he said.
The equipment is manufactured in Turkey.
“I flew over to Turkey in March (2019) to meet with the manufacturers, that I would then contract to produce my first ag equipment product of a manure spreader,” Foster said.
He had done his research but wanted to see first hand the product.
“I have a good company with good quality steel, good workmanship and willingness to allow me to make any changes I feel necessary to make the product better,” Foster said.
“Once I had returned, I placed an order for two units that had a capacity of 20 tons of manure each,” Foster said. “We planned to keep one for ourselves at Foster Dairy and then to sell the second unit.”
Foster began the business to save money on agricultural equipment for Foster Dairy, and then to build a business that can save others money on needed equipment, he said.
“I am providing a quality product that is more cost-effective and (additionally)then spending dollars locally for my business needs, for example, Captured Images Photography, SkyyFoxx, My1Stop.com to name a few,” he said.
It’s been a project that has unfolded this year.
“They (two pieces of equipment) arrived in a shipping container in July during the Bourbon County Fair,” Foster said. “After getting them unloaded and finishing some assembly, we waited for a window to demo the spreader where the ground was not too wet to spread manure. Which was difficult this year. When we did, we hired a drone company to take some professional footage as well as a photographer to take some high-end photos.”
He made his first sale this month.
“I took one of the units to the Ozark Fall Farmfest farm show in Springfield at the beginning of October where I made my first sale!” he said. “To my surprise, it wasn’t the model on display but one size bigger. That order for a T28 Terrakat Manure Spreader was placed last week and expected to ship this Friday.”
“The highlight of my first farm show wasn’t simply making a sale, but more importantly, to get feedback from other farmers and ranchers in the four-state area and to compare Terrakat to five other well-know brands of manure spreader,” Foster said. “After hearing from them, I was even more pleased to learn that I not only beat the competition on unit price, but had more features packed into a lower maintenance design with more volume capacity!”
“I also had a promising meeting with one of the country’s largest farm cooperatives last week in partnering with Terrakat to offer my manure spreaders to all of their 14000 members across the country,” he said. ” I have generated a lot of interest in a very short time. Terrakat is still in the startup/launch phase. I’m booked to go to the Tulsa Farm Show on December 12-14th. I have already had people tell me they are looking forward to seeing a Terrakat spreader at that show.”
“Meanwhile, I have been working on some added features to include scales, removable beaters, and GPS-ready variable rate flow control to name a few,” he said.
Besides being a dairyman and this new business venture, Foster owns another business called Cash Cow Enterprise LLC where he has reclaimed and salvaged used metal buildings for the last 12 years.
Foster is still working on website design for Terrakat LLC, a promotional video, establishing a nationwide dealer network, designing feature enhancements, and “my next product- line rollout, and another trip to Turkey to work on designs and other products with my manufacturer.”
Foster graduated Uniontown High School in 1998, Fort Scott Community College in 2000, and Kansas State University with a degree in animal science and a degree in agricultural communications
He is involved in his community through Farm Bureau, 4-H, FFA, Bourbon County Fair Board, and Dairy Farmers of America.
Foster is the only employee at this time for Terrakat LLC, but expansion will require employees in the future, he said.
“Overall, I believe my new company will be successful because I am modeling it after my successful business of Cash Cow Enterprise LLC,” he said. ” I have learned that I don’t sell anything that I don’t use myself. I work on slim margins to make the best deal and to remain competitive. I take pride in feeling like I am helping farmers and ranchers like myself by providing a good quality alternative at a lower price than the competition.”