Marble Hill teenager serves as entrepreneurial inspiration

Judson Mayfield, second from the right, poses with Bright Idea Contest organizers Barry and Michelle Aycock after winning the $12,000 grand prize. Also pictured are the Aycock's sons.

If you watch "Shark Tank," the ABC show that features entrepreneurs who pitch their ideas to well known business moguls, you know good ideas don't come with an age prerequisite. Likewise, not all good ideas need a national TV show get started. Just ask Judson Mayfield, 18, of Marble Hill, Missouri.

Mayfield recently won $12,000 for his manure-based skeet target product. The idea came to him while shooting clay skeet on the farm. He realized clay skeet had to be retrieve so as not to hurt the livestock, meanwhile animal manure could be left to help fertilize the ground. A better "mouse trap" was developed.

The Woodland High School graduate, who plans to attend Southeast Missouri State University in the fall, submitted the concept to the 2020 Bright Idea Contest. On June 1, he was recognized as the grand champion -- an award that came with $12,000. Mayfield plans to use $2,000 to gain a patent while saving the balance to help develop the product further.

We wish Mayfield well as he continues his studies at SEMO and develops this manure-based skeet target. And we're also inspired by the comments he made to the Southeast Missourian: "I encourage anyone that can to take part in the competition, to aim high, dream, believe and go ahead and submit!"

It's a lesson to those young and not-so-young to set big goals, be curious and work hard. The American dream is alive and well. Just ask Judson Mayfield.