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Early Spring HOWA 2010

Back in Business

Second-place contest winner puts 2200 to work on family dairy farm

Lucas Greff is no stranger to hard work. He grew up on a dairy farm in western North Dakota with 50 head of dairy cattle, 50 head of range cattle and 1200 acres, helping his family with the demanding daily chores.

"I think that I grew up on the only dairy farm in North Dakota that didn't have a skid-steer loader," he says, "and I thought I could do a lot of work with something like that, as my brother and I shoveled out each stall by hand."

Lucas Greff

Aaron Kleingartner (left) presents second place winner Lucas Greff with a new 2200 utility vehicle.

According to Greff, large loans, low milk prices, and tough years took a toll on his family and they had to get out of farming. His parents found jobs away from the farm, although they retained most of the land.

In 2008 a neighbor asked the Greffs to feed his cattle during the winter in exchange for a share of the calves. They jumped at the opportunity and fixed fences, prepared a new corral and got running water to the cattle.

Greff entered the 2009 Great Bobcat Tractor Pull contest with the dream of winning a new tractor for his family's renewed farming operation. He finished in second place and received a new Bobcat® 2200 utility vehicle.

The 2200 quickly made its way to the family farm where it was driven to check on cattle and repair fence lines. "My family has two four wheelers, but the problem with a four-wheeler is you can't carry anything, and pickups are just too big and they are a rough ride," he says. "The new utility vehicle fits in nicely between these two. We like the IntelliTrak® drive system the best when we're chasing cattle, because we don't have to worry about switching from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive.

"My mom will enjoy the electric dump bed when she does her gardening," Greff says. "I will be pulling a fencing trailer a lot this year. The diesel engine will come in handy for that."

Back to farming

Today the family farm is slightly smaller but the need to get the work done right, and done on time, is just as important as ever. A Bobcat 2200 utility vehicle ensures the Greff family can get chores done faster and better than other equipment.

"Seeing the homestead farm actively running cattle again after 10 years of dormancy brings me great pride," Greff wrote in his contest entry. "The Greff family farm was homesteaded in the 19th century and after a short hiatus is back in action."

Hands-on learning experience

Loader in Iraq

Lucas Greff operates a skid-steer loader in Iraq.

Serving in the U.S. military gave Lucas Greff the opportunity to learn how to operate compact equipment, specifically a Bobcat skid-steer loader. Greff served with the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion in 2004, and his unit had two Bobcat skid-steer loaders.

"I fell in love with skid-steer loaders there," he says. "My brother and I were assigned to look for IEDs and ambushes, and we repaired bridges and provided support to the Iraqi police."

Greff brought that operating expertise home with him and started a part-time job on nights and weekends.