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All Around the Farm Idea of the Month: November 2008

Harold Fratzke of Cottonwood, Minnesota, has another winner in a very long line of successful inventions.

"They always tell you if you've never had any failures, you've never done anything. So," he laughs, "I've got a few of those, too."

The Step-Up has a patent pending and is in manufacture today after winning Fratzke the grand prize at the 2007 Minnesota Inventors Congress.

"Today's trucks sit pretty high, so it's more difficult to climb into them. But everybody needs to get stuff out of the back of the pickup. With this, you can climb onto the bumper and reach over, or step right onto the tailgate when it's open," says Fratzke.

The device slides on over any two-inch receiver, which eliminates the need for drilling holes or using any special brackets. And it stays on all the time, regardless of the type of ball hitch on the truck.

Find out more about the Step-Up by calling Tebben Enterprises in Clara City, Minnesota, at 320/847-2200 or by visiting their Web site at www.tebben.us.

Harold Fratzke of Cottonwood, Minnesota, has another winner in a very long line of successful inventions.

Farming operation: Harold Fratzke and his son, Kent, grow 400 acres in corn and soybeans. "I farm 80 acres -- that's my retirement. I enjoy it. Kent works full time in a cabinet shop, and he takes care of the rest," Fratzke says.

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