West Fargo, N.D.-based Bobcat Co. last week announced that John Shepherd of Porter, Ind., an Indiana apple-orchard owner and beekeeper, will claim the grand prize in its “Great Bobcat Tractor Pull” contest, which asked entrants to describe how they would use a Bobcat compact tractor to accomplish tasks ranging from common acreage chores to major undertakings.
Shepherd will receive a Bobcat CT235 compact tractor and implements package.
Shepherd, referring to his story as a “21st-century, reality-version of ‘Green Acres,’” called his wife a “city girl,” and added, “I’m kind of country.” His entry was selected from nearly10,000 that came in from March through August. Contest judges appreciated the detail Shepherd used in describing how he and his wife would use a Bobcat tractor to move hive bodies, plant trees in the orchard, and put up fencing — among other things — on their 25 acres near the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan, about an hour’s train ride from Chicago.
“We recognize how much our target market can relate to the Shepherds’ situation,” said Leroy Anderson, Bobcat marketing communication manager. “She prefers the city, he loves the country, and now they have the best of both worlds — along with the typical chores and projects that need tending to on a small to mid-sized acreage. That type of thing is very common among our target audience.”
The second-place prize went to Lucas Greff of Elgin, N.D., who will receive a Bobcat 2200 utility vehicle, which he can put to use while re-establishing the family farm he grew up on.
“Seeing the homestead farm actively running cattle again after 10 years of dormancy brings me great pride,” Greff wrote. “The Greff family farm was homesteaded in the 19th century and after a short hiatus is back in action.”
Fifteen third-place winners will receive Bobcat jackets for telling their stories. They are:
• Raina Anderson, Holt, Mo.
• Will Ashlin, Springfield, Mo.
• Brian Becker Sr., Shushan, N.Y.
• Daniel Bieger, Manassas, Va.
• Jed Baum, Gardiner, N.Y.
• Donna Cobain, Camp Creek, W.Va.
• LuAnn Johnson, Mount Pleasant, Iowa
• Mike Mitchell, Berlin, Mass.
• Reg Patchell, Baltic, Conn.
• Kenneth Rohlfing, Drakes Branch, Va.
• Robert Rand Russell, Kerrville, Texas
• Mike Sublett, Sanford, N.C.
• David Stephens, St. Joseph, Mo.
• Luis Vergara, Brooksville, Fla.
• Charissa Wertz, Red Lion, Pa.
Overall winning contest entries, along with weekly and monthly winners, can be viewed online at www.bobcat.com/landing/tractorwinners.