As Bobcat Company marks 50 years of equipment innovation, the company is still seeking input from customers through the "How Bobcat Unleashed Me" Contest.

Some fifty years ago, Minnesota turkey farmer Eddie Velo asked blacksmith-inventor brothers Cyril and Louis Keller to build a self-propelled loader light enough to be lifted to the second floor of Velo’s turkey barns and small enough to clean around the poles that supported the floor above. In 1958, North Dakota-based Melroe Manufacturing Company, which later became Bobcat, partnered with the Keller brothers. This partnership led to the creation of the skid-steer loader and, over time, the compact equipment industry.

In 2008, Bobcat will commemorate the partnership between Melroe Manufacturing and the Keller brothers, which has unleashed generations of customers, in every imaginable market, from the drudgery of hard labor.

The How Bobcat Unleashed Me Contest asks users to share how Bobcat equipment has helped them perform jobs better, smarter and faster. To enter, equipment users need to write a brief essay about their experiences with Bobcat equipment and fill out an entry form at the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed Web site, www.bobcat.com/50. The grand prize winner will receive a $75,000 Bobcat gift certificate, good for products or attachments of the winner’s choice at a designated Bobcat dealership in North America.

Five second prize winners will receive $1,000 gift certificates, good for products or attachments of the winners’ choice at designated Bobcat dealerships in North America. Ten third prize winners will receive a Bobcat jacket and 50 monthly winners will receive the Limited Tailgate Edition of the book Bobcat: 50 Years of Opportunity, 1958 – 2008. Weekly winners will receive a Bobcat 50th Anniversary hat. The grand prize winner will be selected from the weekly winners.

Selected winning entries will be posted on the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed Web site. Entries will be judged on creativity, quality, completeness and originality of answers, as well as any supporting documents. The How Bobcat Unleashed Me Contest concludes on May 30, 2008.