Growing up, Judy was always at the pond fishing on her family farm. In fact, she recalls a time when they first moved to the farm where her parents and siblings were scrambling to find her around six in the morning only to find her back at the pond fishing. Her passion for wildlife and nature were already guiding her.
Her dad bribed the family to move to a farm with fishing, mini bikes and a pony and the rest is, as they say, history. Growing up on the farm taught Judy some valuable life skills as they were always outdoors, fixing things and being kind to the land.
Judy started as a tournament angler in her mid-twenties. She fished everything and anything she could.
One particular tournament at Kentucky Lake has always stood out to her and has been the reason behind her company. Anglers have always had difficulties keeping their fish alive however over the years with Judy’s invention anglers have been able to reduce delayed mortality.
Those first three days back in the water are the most critical to a bass’ life. But that day at Kentucky Lake Judy recalls the amount of fish that died being plentiful. As a tournament angler that was not a proud moment for her as she watched anglers try to revive their fish with children standing at the edge of the lake asking about the floating fish they were seeing.
As her life progressed, and she stepped away from tournament fishing, she hoped that someone would come into the industry and help with this problem. Pursuing her passion for wildlife and nature she completed her college education at Murray State in Natural Resources and Biology. She went on to own her own publication company that provided research for various conservation groups. She has also worked for and taught with the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Conservation as well as the US Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
It wasn’t until she had a personal setback that kept her from keeping her day job that she actually took action on her invention. She could have let the loss of her day job run her down a path of unhappiness but instead she went back to what she knows best and that is wildlife and nature. Nature helped cure Judy from her setback and she has never felt better. Judy is the owner of New Pro Products and sole inventor of the V-T2 live well ventilation system that allows your fish to stay in better health. Twenty years later, during her down time, she filed for the patents and designed the technology for the V-T2.
In addition, to add to her own knowledge base, she has learned a lot from Gene Gilliland’s (a 30-year fish biologist and Bassmasters conservation director) book Keeping Bass Alive: A Guidebook for Anglers and Tournament Organizers. To her the book was instrumental in the development of the V-T2.
[Judy has always been an inventor and to this day keeps a notebook by her bed for her invention ideas]
Judy kept her identity hidden with regard to the V-T2 for some time because she was worried about how she would be perceived in the industry. For those not familiar with the fishing industry, it is a male dominated industry. Judy did not want anyone to overlook the product so she always told vendors, friends and the like that she just worked for New Pro Products.
“Let the product work for itself” – Judy Tipton
When the V-T2 was introduced it was not well received because people couldn’t understand it. Some anglers thought it was too simple and couldn’t possibly work, however, that was Judy’s goal- simplicity that saved the fish. Through some trials and tribulations she was able to develop a system that mimics what the lake is doing to help keep the fish alive. The V-T2 doesn’t run on a battery or make a fancy noise, it just works.
The pros don’t have time to sit and babysit their fish so if she can help our anglers become successful then she feels like she is also successful.
She does hope that she can open the door for other females that want to be on the inventing/conservation side of the fishing industry. The sport has come a long way but still has a ways to go. Nonetheless, she couldn’t be happier with the way the fishing industry did welcome her with open arms when she revealed that the V-T2 was her invention.
The future of New Pro Products is bright! New Pro Products is changing the way fish care has been done during tournaments and making it healthier. Judy is currently working on a weigh-in bag that will allow for the fish to breathe with lower CO2 levels. She will debut the product this summer.
Judy is passionate about her products and passionate about conservation surrounding our fish and wildlife. You can hear the love pour out when she talks about her company. She is chasing change and wants every invention she creates to solve a problem that in return is beneficial to our health and environment.
[As a female inventor she understands failure happens but her takeaway on failure is always follow what you love]
“Everyone on this earth has a purpose and if you are true to who you are you will be successful” – Judy Tipton
Judy is living proof of that statement, standing at the boat ramp that day at the Kentucky Lake tournament, seeing the faces on the children and watching those fish struggle she knew that the industry needed a system that solved the problems anglers were facing. So she did just that.
Most recently, Judy’s life took her back to her childhood farm when her father got sick and while she doesn’t have animals on the farm she is using the land for wildlife conservation, specifically the monarch butterfly. She plants just about two million wildflower seeds a year as well as milkweed. She has seen new species of birds she’s never seen before, giving them a safe space to breed and feed. She continues to buy property all for the conservation of our wildlife.
“We have to be good stewards while out in nature.” – Judy Tipton
When Judy isn’t busy inventing or visiting a National Park, she can be found fishing, teaching her nieces and nephews about the outdoors, camping, hiking or planting milkweed for the monarch butterfly population.
She will always keep an open mind so that she never stops learning. She certainly isn’t done inventing or caring for our fish and wildlife.
Article by Michele Eichstead, CONTENDIR Staff Contributor