A student from Rush County was part of the winning team of this year’s Corn Product Innovation Competition at Purdue University.
Jake Hoeing, a junior majoring in Ag Systems Management from Rushville, was part of the Sky Maize team, which won the $20,000 top prize for its corn-based firework casing.
Teams of Purdue University students who created fiber insulation from soybeans and a fireworks casing from corn won the top prizes in the annual Student Soybean and Corn Innovation Contests.
The awards were announced at a reception March 20 in Indianapolis.
The competitions, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council, teach students how to be innovative entrepreneurs with soybeans and corn.
Both teams received a $20,000 prize for their work.
“The experience that students have working with corn and soybeans during this competition is really an introduction for many of them to these crops, especially when it comes to how corn and soybeans can be used as a main component in so many different products,” said Jane Ade Stevens, chief executive of both organizations. “Encouraging students to think about corn and soybeans in creative, new ways benefits our corn and soybean farmers just as much as the variety of new products that the students generate.”
The winning soybean team produced Nature Loft, a soy protein fiber insulation that can be used in bedding, including sleeping bags; apparel such as hats, gloves and footwear; and other products such as headphones.
The winning corn team created Sky Maize, a biodegradable fireworks casing that is lighter and less expensive than what is now commercially available.