John Deere in Moline, Illinois

Last week a group of young farmers headed back to the freezing cold weather to Moline, Illinois to enjoy some good old John Deere hospitality and see where all these green machines that we tend to favor (on our farm at least) get their start.



We were able to tour the Harvester Works Factory, Tractor Works, and Engine Works while on our three day adventure.  While I was there I realized that John Deere isn’t too different from our own farm back here in Oregon, for instance we both are the World Headquarters…

IMG_0693aPhoto outside what they call the “Rusty Palace”IMG_0723Photo of the front of our farm office….the door also reads…

IMG_0722Also another thing we have in common, they employee over 67,000 employees all over the world.  We employee 4 employees, who all love to travel all over the world!  Wow what similarities!  But in all seriousness I do have to say that John Deere started out in 1837 as just that, a family company.  And in many ways they are still holding true to core family values, even as such a large company that builds equipment for so many industries.

IMG_0709I was impressed by the thought to the future of prodcution.  It was something that was mentioned everywhere we went.  How do we feed the world in the safest and most prodcutive way possible?  They had displays with research showing what they were tracking and what they cared about.  A lot of is as you can see in the pictures below go over how to reduce our use of natural resources, and how do we continue to use technology to our hungry populations advantage.

IMG_0711 IMG_0712 IMG_0714 IMG_0715Another subject that was continuously seen was John Deere’s commitment to be always be linked to the land.  Linked to those farmers who are using their products, relying on their products, and then going out and feeding the world.  Throughout their headquarters even they had artwork that displayed just that message, like the mural below depicts.  It all started with some dirt, a plow sheer, and an idea of how something could be done just a little bit better.


I don’t have any photos of the actual manufacturing being done, they didn’t allow for photos to be taken while in the factories.  I will say though that the level of efficiency and production was truly incredible.  And if you ever find yourself back in Iowa or Illinois I would take the time to check out what is happening in those small little towns with such large factories.


IMG_0689Also I wanted to extend a big thank you to Pape Machinery & John Deere for hosting such a great event.

Good ‘ol Days.


This may look like some old time farming, but really it’s my dad just a few days ago…sometimes the old ways are still the best for the job!

Tractor Driving Contest

We finished up harvest on Wednesday, I was looking at my first Sunday off from work in over 5 weeks.  So what to do…what to do…well the rest of the responsibilities in my life crept right back up and I headed off to the state fair to help judge a tractor driving contest.  This might seem totally normal to about half of my readers, to the other half this might seem like a completely ridiculous thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, either way, I was headed out to go and help my Young Farmer and Ranch State Committee find the best FFA Tractor driver in the state.

Corduroy Jackets Filled the Tent yesterday

Slowly the tent started to build up with participants, some had driven hours that day just to put on their blue corduroy jackets, ties with black pants and shoes just to show off their maneuvering skills.  The contest has different pieces, a written multiple choice exam, a tractor identification section, and then the actual driving of tractors.  We had an area where they had to drive a course without hitting steaks in the ground, hook up to an implement, balance on a teeter totter of sorts, and move a pallet that had a bucket full of water from one side to the other.

The day went great!  It was also nice to see a lot of great old friends who I never see during the summer days of harvest!  Getting back together and catching up is always a fun time with this group.  We haven’t announced the winner, that will be today at 2pm, but I think everyone did great and we all had a lot of fun!

Catching up with Kathy Hadley

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