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From Medford KDRV NEWS 12 August 10, 2010

White city inventor designs beach cleaning hand tool  used in the Gulf.


By Ron Brown
August 9, 2010
MEDFORD, Ore. - A Rogue Valley company may prove to have the best tool for cleaning up the tons of tarballs scattered on Southeastern U.S. beaches caused by the Gulf oil spill.
While British Petroleum's Gulf oil well is no longer leaking, there is still a great deal of cleanup to be done along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Demand is growing for the Shake'n Fork, a self-sifting fork, originally intended for making the cleaning of horse stalls easier. The plastic fork was designed by White City-based Equi-Tee Manufacturing to separate road apples from straw and sawdust in horse stalls. Inventor Joseph Berto says it is perfect for cleaning beaches too. He says it will separate the tar balls and sludge from the sand.
"When the time came for BP to scale back their operation, they started to look at productivity. And they found that the contractors that were using our product were more productive. And they offered those contractors their 18 month contracts. So for the next 18 months, our products are gonna be used on the Gulf," said Joseph Berto, Sifting Fork Inventor.
Berto says it was almost impossible to get an audition to demonstrate his self-sifting fork, until one contractor saw a YouTube video and internet ad.
Now he expects the fork to gain worldwide acceptance for cleaning resort beaches of cigarette butts and other trash. For more information visit



This video may not open on all browsers, here is the Today Show link.

Reporter Janice Lieberman with the Today Show was at the L.A. Inventor Day hosted by Telebrands president A.J. Khubani. Shake'n Fork inventor Joseph Berto was there to pitch his smaller Kit'n fork version of the auto-sifting Shake'n fork. He was one of the few pitchmen that received the approval of the judges, and Janice interviewed him as he exited the presentation room.  Hopefully we will be producing the Kit'n Fork soon, there certainly seems to be a large consumer demand for it.


Inventors pitch products to the Infomercial King

March 3, 2010 | Brian Watt | KPCC

The Windshield Wonder, the PedEgg, and the GoDuster are just a few of the products A. J. Khubani has marketed into household brands with relentless TV ads. Khubani is the chief executive of Telebrands and known as the "infomercial king." The king held court Wednesday in Los Angeles as more than 30 inventors from across the country pitched their concepts and creations.
A room on the 18th Floor of the LAX Marriott was jam-packed with people convinced that their product is the next big thing.
Michelle Reuven of Lakewood thought it was her "Hair Therapy Wrap"
"It's a cordless heated turban, you heat it in microwave in 90 seconds, and you put your conditioner on your hair, so it's for deep conditioning treatments, for scalp treatments," she said.
Joseph Berto has been driving around the western United States in a horse trailer to market his "Shake'n Fork" - a battery-powered pitchfork for cleaning horse stables. He'd like to downsize it for use in cat litter boxes.

"It can't vibrate because the vibrations would simply break the manure or the kitty pooh apart," he explained. "So you had to have something that was going to do exactly the motion that the human does, which is to loft it in the air and as it comes back down, it falls through the tines, and the remainder - the pooh - is what you would throw away. Try to say that with a straight face."

Keeping a straight face was only one of the goals of the inventors as they entered the next room. There, each inventor got 5 minutes to pitch their product to Infomercial King AJ Khubani and 3 other judges. Janet Feil of Kerman in California's Central Valley was a little nervous as she began to sell her "Snazzy Sun Float."

"If you're one of the 22 million Americans that suntan yearly, then I'm sure you've experienced the frustration of lying face down on a float," she said, sticking to her pitch script. "You're always turning your head from side to side to make your neck stop hurting? Well, you won't have to do that with the Snazzy Sun Float."

The mild-mannered Khubani offered encouragement - and a reality check.

"There is a seasonality aspect of it because normally people only sun tan in the summer," he explained. "It's a bit challenging for our business model to sell seasonal products, but it's definitely an interesting product, and I think we're gonna think about it."

The bell sounded and signaled the end of Janet Feil's 5 minutes. Afterwards, she said the Snazzy Sun Float was her first invention, born of economic necessity.

"I've been a customer service rep for over ten years, lost my job in October 2008, and have been looking for work ever since," Feil said. "So unemployment's almost done."

That's why Feil hopes she's invented the next big thing.


Daily Breeze reporter John Bogart wrote a very nice two part article about the L.A. Inventors Day.  His story captures the stress and drama that was so evident, and presents the inventors in a way that is respectful, reflecting the dreams that we all have for business success.

JOHN BOGERT: Inventors present ideas to the king of 'As Seen On TV' universe

By John Bogert Staff Columnist

Home Back Issues January 2010 Inventor builds manure fork out of obsession

forkThe route to creating a mechanized pooper scooper began, as do many inventor journeys, with another obsession, one that was financially foolhardy, yes, but what obsession comes cheap?

Joseph Berto is a jack-of-all-trades who has been inventing things since he was 14. “It’s basically what I do,” says the 51-year-old helicopter pilot/rancher/logger/firefighter. The obsession presented itself to him one day about 12 years ago. He had sold his California business and moved to Medford to start over. (“An inventor is an optimist,” he says). One day he was driving past the shuttered Medco sawmill. The company was formed during the Depression out of the bankrupt Owen-Oregon firm. One remaining artifact after the mill was closed in the late 1980s was the elegant “White House,” an office building built in 1927.

“I was driving by it one day and thinking about building a house,” Berto says. Instead, he spent $80,000 buying the old office, which was days away from being bulldozed. “Financially, you had to have rocks in your head,” he says.

Berto disassembled the structure and moved the pieces to his horse ranch in White City. “I didn’t look at it for seven more years,” Berto says. But eventually, he started putting the building back together.

This is where we get back to the pooperscooper.

“I had been in anguish trying to find a product to invent to supplement our income,” Berto says. “I wasn’t making money from my other inventions or in piloting helicopters, and I had just started in on this crazy house. Then I had a brilliant vision of a better manure fork.” The brilliant vision started with the prosaic fact that a horse produces about 30 pounds of manure a day, and mucking (de-pooping) those stalls is a lot of work. Berto and his wife board and train horses, and manure volume is something he’s expert at. So Berto developed the Shake’n Fork, which looks like a fork but has a small motor and rechargeable battery to produce a “unique” shaking motion that captures the solid matter (Slogan: “It’s mucking incredible.”). Berto has been selling the fork online for two years for $167 and estimates he’s sold between 500 and 1,000, or “not that many.” A YouTube video of Berto demonstrating the fork has been viewed about 2,300 times.

Back to the obsession. Berto has taken 2,500 square feet of the 5,000-square-foot historic office building and turned it into an office and manufacturing area for the fork. He hopes to turn the rest of it into a new home; he and his wife now live in a mobile home on the property. The rehab was helped along by former Medford Corporation CEO Bob Higgins. Higgins was head of Medco from 1974 to 1984, when Harold Simmons acquired the company. Higgins says he contacted Simmons, who sold the company in the late 1990s, and Simmons “made a very generous donation.”

But that and the current revenue from the fork sales aren’t enough to fund the rest of the rehab, and Berto has hopes of finding a strategic marketing partner to take sales from 100 forks a month to a thousand. “That requires resources that I don’t possess,” he says. “We go to horse shows and breed shows and hope that somebody will recognize the goodness [of the fork].”

“Joseph’s done a great job,” says Higgins, who spent a decade in the White House. “He’s put a lot of time and money in that building. I hope somewhere along the line he will get some reward out of it.”



Helping improve the quality of life for our animals, while significantly reducing the time and cost associated with doing that, was the objective in developing this tool
Medford, Oregon (PRWEB) January 12, 2010- The inventor who brought huge advances into the recreation and power tool industries has done it again with his most recent release. The Equi-Tee Shake'n Fork is aimed at helping caretakers in any industry that requires confining animals in stalls or pens. Proper care requires that manure be removed daily from an enclosure, and significant amounts of waste can occur if excess bedding is accidentally removed as well.
“Helping improve the quality of life for our animals, while significantly reducing the time and cost associated with doing that, was the objective in developing this tool” says Joseph Berto, president of Equi-Tee Manufacturing. “The Shake’n Fork mimics the action of manually agitating the tines, yet the operator can separate bedding while standing completely still”.
This unique stall cleaning magic is accomplished by a tiny integral reciprocating motor powered by Lithium Ion batteries. The operator holds the fork handle in a conventional fashion and by depressing a variable speed trigger switch, moves the electrically powered basket. Only the tines “shake” and though they agitate 30 times faster than what can be done manually, there is no vibration into the hand pole, making the operation smooth and effortless for the user.
“Reducing the labor required to clean stalls results in savings for both the worker and their employers. The wasted motion of using a non-powered fork is instead converted into useful productivity. Stalls are cleaner, animals are healthier, and costs associated with bedding replenishment and removal is greatly reduced”, said Berto. “This is an innovative tool that quickly pays for itself”
The business of caring for animals has become increasingly more expensive in recent years. Slowdowns in the building industry have increased the price and reduced the availability of bedding. The Horse magazine reports that facilities are paying 70% more than what they had been and bedding suppliers such as Magnum Bedding and Permastall have introduced products to address this. “The fact that bedding suppliers are promoting alternatives shows just how deep the problem is, but the easiest way to reduce cost is simply to do a better job of picking, says Berto”. “Unfortunately, if you try to increase sifting manually with a conventional fork, you simply trade bedding costs for labor expense”. “The Shake’n Fork is the only way to effectively reduce the cost of both bedding and labor”.
The bedding of animal pens is not just confined to horses. Alpacas, llamas swine and many other animals also require the use of bedding. The Shake’n Fork addresses the needs of all of these industries with a professional quality tool designed for years of use. About Equi-Tee Farm and Fence.
Founded in 1998 as an offshoot of Equi-Tee Manufacturing, the company has already developed other well known horse accessories such as Equi-Tee Fencing. Inventor Joseph Berto and his wife operate a horse breeding and training facility in Oregon and when it became clear that there was a need to improve the cleaning tools available, Joseph used the resources of the company to develop and test the Shake’n Fork. For more than two years it has been successfully marketed at major venues such as The American Quarter Horse Congress, and at other breed shows and Expo’s all across the country. It is manufactured and assembled in the USA by Equi-Tee Manufacturing. Purchasing a Shake'n Fork is easy through their manufacturers direct website.



Media Contact:
Joseph Berto



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