Bobcat Co. has announced the grand prize, five second-place, and 10 third-place winners in its “How Bobcat Unleashed Me” contest. The competition asked users to share how Bobcat equipment helped them perform work better, smarter, and faster. Equipment users across the continental United States and Canada submitted brief essays and photographs about their experiences.

The grand prize winner was Gregory Stone, Excavation Details, Rock Stream, N.Y. He received a $75,000 Bobcat gift certificate, good for products or attachments of his choice.

Stone, a skilled professional with a custom cabinet and millwork company, wanted to make more of his life and had a passion to operate compact equipment as a full-time job. He recognized a niche application in vineyards and developed a process to dig precise draining systems while preventing damage to the vines and soil.

Stone purchased a skid-steer loader and backhoe attachment to install the complex drainage systems in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The compact loader and backhoe attachment proved to be perfect for his niche application. Today, Stone is a successful contractor with a business that's expanded into other areas, including landscape contracting.

The second-place prize winners received $1000 gift certificates, and the third-place finishers received a Bobcat jacket.