Shurtleff Begins New Startup Irrigation Innovations Launches First Product the Primer Assist Kit



Dave Shurtleff former owner of the Coyote Ranch Restaurant has a new idea to make priming an irrigation pump a whole lot easier with his new product.

Shurtleff moved to Central Oregon about 14 years ago with a successful construction business Architectural Specialties, Inc., already to his credit. His company later remodeled a building in Redmond and he seized an opportunity to become a restaurant owner starting the Coyote Ranch in 2004. Now that he has sold his restaurant and pub Shurtleff has more time on his hands but he hasn’t stopped coming up with new ideas.

Upon moving to Central Oregon Shurtleff purchased a ranch property and in those years he had many challenges learning to efficiently operate the irrigation equipment. One of his biggest frustrations was getting blistered and sore hands using the hand primer pump to start the irrigation system Says Shurtleff, “I got tired of pumping this by hand for those past 14 years and went looking for an automated one with no luck.” 

After searching everywhere for a powered version of a primer pump and not finding one necessity truly became the inspiration for invention as he formed a new idea to make a powered primer pump. Shurtleff explains, “Not seeing one on the market anywhere, I took my idea to a friend of mine, Bob Wolstenholme, who owns Lancair…I met Bob several years ago at the Coyote. He has the manufacturing and engineer capability to bring an idea to life very quickly.”

Working out the details for the design and manufacturing of the Primer Assist Kit, has developed quickly starting last year in December and leading to the completion of the first 100 prototypes ready for the first phase of marketing and sales. Shurtleff reports, “The company’s name is Irrigation Innovations LLC and I have posted the story and uploaded demonstration videos on the website

“We hope to get orders on the website very soon, but we also will have these for sale at local feed and irrigation store. As we secure retailers we will list these stores suggesting that customers see the device there to avoid waiting for shipping and avoid those charges.  Eventually we will plan on selling only through those stores.”

Local and national market exposure is being planned says Shurtleff, “We will be taking it to the big irrigation trade show in Tulare, California in February. Locally we have only passed out a few to get unbiased opinions and they all have come back super positive.

“Further marketing plans include placing ads in local and national farm magazines and newspapers. Setting up displays in feed and irrigation stores and posting YouTube videos while optimizing for web search engines.”

Shurtleff plans on making it a new Redmond business. “The facility that machined and assembled this first batch is Redmond’s own Lancair. We machined the first trial hundred or so to test the market.  We plan on casting the rest for mass production. We will be posting pictures and product reviews as we receive them on our website.

“This will be a new business in Redmond and who knows at this time how many employees, but it will keep me off the streets for awhile.”

Irrigation Innovations LLC

Phone: 541-410-6913


CEO/Owner: Dave Shurtleff

No. Employees: 3

Year Established: 2014

Product/Service: Design and manufacturing of the new Primer Pump Assist Kit.

Hot News: Newly developed irrigation product for power assisted pump priming. 

Outlook for Growth: June 2014 launched its website and produced 100 prototypes for initial market exposure and sales. Irrigation Innovations prepared to begin production as orders are taken through product launch and exposure to national trade shows and publications.


About Author

Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

Leave A Reply