Over thirty members of the amenity turf industry press were taken on a trip of a lifetime to help celebrate this landmark event, flying out to Chicago on the 22nd April and returning from Washington DC on Friday 27th April.
John Deere has very good reason to celebrate such an occasion, having grown into one of the largest manufacturing companies in the world. Ranked amongst the best 100 global brands, the company has successfully weathered the storms of numerous economic downturns and structural changes in world agriculture. Following their founder's credo - "If we don't improve our products, somebody else will and we will lose our trade" - John Deere has continually invested in innovative products and intelligent solutions throughout its history.
The press contingent had representatives from a number of European countries, and were treated to whirlwind six day trip which took in four states - Wisconsin, Illinois, South Carolina and Virginia.
The tour took in several factory sites, including John Deere's historic home in Grand Detour, where the company was founded in 1837 and where the very first self scouring plow was made. Other places visited of note were the John Deere Classic TPC golf course and the Worldwide Headquarters, and formed part of the following itinerary
• JD Horicon Works (Riding Lawn Equipment, Gators), Wisconsin
• JD Historic Site in Grand Detour, Illinois
• JD Pavilion and World Headquarters, Moline, Illinois
• JD Classic Golf Course in Silvis, Illinois.
• JD Turf Care Factory (Commercial Mowing, Golf Equipment), North Carolina
• Visit to Carolina State University Turf Research Institute
• Stopover in Washington
A full report of this trip will appear in the next issue of the Pitchcare Magazine (June/July), with some views on how and why John Deere remain in the forefront of people's minds when purchasing turf grass machinery and products.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Deere for their invitation and excellent organisation and, in particular Steve Mitchell, Paul Trowman, Julia Piesker and Karsten Biber for making it such a memorable experience.