GWINNER, N.D. (AP) — Bobcat Co. on Saturday marked its 1 millionth skid-steer loader to come off the assembly line.
The West Fargo-based company celebrated the event Saturday in Gwinner with a 5K run, factory tours and a party at the city park.
The three-wheel, self-propelled loader was originally invented to ease manure-removal chores on area turkey farms.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-North Dakota, said the Gwinner community, Bobcat's employees and the state's effort to build a pro-growth business climate have enabled the company to thrive.
"Today's celebration of the one millionth Bobcat loader is a real milestone, and a symbol of the company's growth and dynamism," Hoeven said at the ceremony.
Gwinner-based Melroe Manufacturing Co., which later became Bobcat, bought the rights to the loader in 1958. It's the state's largest manufacturing company, with more than 2,000 employees across Bobcat's West Fargo headquarters and production facilities in Fargo, Gwinner and Wahpeton.
Bobcat manufactures other light construction equipment.
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the company is a major employer and a valued member of the state's thriving manufacturing sector.
"Achieving this remarkable production milestone is a testament to Bobcat's skilled workforce and to the company's commitment to quality and innovation," he said.