The Welding Lottery

September 28, 2013 03:05 AM
The Welding Lottery

Miller Welding University includes training and prizes

Although they didn’t win millions of dollars, the grand prize winners of the 2013 Miller Welding University were thrilled for the opportunity to receive welding training from the pros. The two-day trip to Appleton, Wis., also included a tour of Miller Electric Mfg. Co.’s facilities to see how their welding equipment is built. Each of the three winners received their choice of a welder/generator, MIG welder or plasma cutter. Digital self-darkening helmets, welding jackets and gloves rounded out the prize package.

For Curtis Cooper of Greenville, S.C., whose name was drawn from the pool of Farm Journal $100 Idea winners, the best thing about the trip was watching how the welders were made. Curtis is semi-retired, after operating a machine shop for most of his life. Now he says he gets to farm and do what he wants to do—like using his new Bobcat 250 EFI engine-driven welder/generator to create more $100 Idea entries.

Welding U2

Alan Henrickson, from Allegan, Mich., won the trip by filling out a survey on AgWeb. Like Cooper, Henrickson enjoyed seeing the quality control measures that Miller invests in every step of the production line.

Henrickson also chose the Bobcat 250 EFI welder/generator. "Because of the portability of the Bobcat 250, I can fix equipment in the field where it often breaks down," says Henrickson, who farms 1,200 acres with two nephews.

Ron Brooks, a row crop and dairy farmer from Waupaca, Wis., uses his welding skills in his "I Built the Best" winning shop. Before his visit to Miller Welding University, he was retrofitting a rescue truck into a service truck and was having trouble welding aluminum on the trailer. "After learning tips on welding aluminum at Miller, I was able to get the project done," says Brooks, who also chose the Bobcat 250 EFI welder/generator to take home.

The chance to participate in Miller Welding Univeristy is a once-in-a-lifetime experience regardless of welding aptitude. Like the lottery, though, you can’t win if you don’t play. 

Two Ways to Win

There are a couple ways to enter to win the latest welding tools and training at the 2014 Welding University: win the $100 Ideas contest or fill out a survey at

To watch video coverage and see more photos from the 2013 Welding University, visit

You can e-mail Pam Fretwell at

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