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Congratulations John Deere

on 100 Successful Years

Our People Make T he Difference 104 Blackhawk Street, Reinbeck, IA (319) 345-2713 100 YEARS OF JOHN DEERE

Sunday, June 10, 2018 3


These John Deere tractors were loaded for shipping in March 2012.

How the

WATERLOO BOY became ‘Deere’ to our hearts TEXT | PAT KINNEY


‌ 1918, John Deere needed n to get into the tractor business. Waterloo had a tractor business.‌ The rest is history. Deere bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co., maker of the “Waterloo Boy” two-cylinder tractor, on March 14, 1918, for $2.25 million Deere now has multiple facilities throughout the metro area and 5,000 employees, the city’s largest employer. But the 1918 deal wasn’t a sure thing. John Deere, who was from Rutland, Vt., and COURIER FILE PHOTO‌ founded Deere in 1837 This 1939 John Deere Model B two-cylinder tractor made its debut at the in Grand Detour, Ill. He 1938 National Cattle Congress. The Hippodrome, now McElroy Auditorium, nvented the steel plow, but can be seen in the rear. The tractor driver is dressed like the “Waterloo Boy” needed to start building its in trademark of the “Waterloo Boy” tractor, made by Deere and the Waterloo own tractors or buy another

Gasoline Engine Co., which Deere purchased in 1918.

4 Sunday, June 10, 2018

company — to stay competitive. By 1918, the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co. was “a well-respected tractor manufacturer occupying a unique place in early tractor manufacturing,” author Wayne G. Broehl wrote in his 1984 history of Deere. Deere executive Frank Silloway supported the purchase. “We should have a satisfactory tractor at a popular price, and not a high-priced tractor built for the few,” Silloway told the Deere board of directors. “Here we have an opportunity to, overnight, step into practically first place in the tractor business.” On March 14, when Deere’s board wanted to hold the matter over for a day, “Waterloo’s president called to say that unless the option Deere held (to buy the company) was exercised by that day the deal was off.” The


Deere board unanimously voted to purchase the plant. Deere executive C.E. Velie later wrote company President William Butterworth: “I am more than satisfied we have made the best move Deere & Co. has ever made, and that it was an extremely fortunate thing that we were able to buy this plant.” The first Waterloo-made tractor bearing the John Deere name, the Model D, rolled off the assembly line in 1923 — a company standard for 30 years, through many modifications. In 1926, the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co. was renamed the John Deere Tractor Co. Sentiment for unionization began during the 1930s. In 1942, a majority of the workers approved the United Auto Workers as the bargaining agent. In 1947, Deere’s Waterloo operations became the John Deere Waterloo Tractor Works. Employment reached 7,000 by the end of the decade. Deere began the 1950s with a 110-day strike that included the Waterloo operations. The dispute resulted in the company and union agreeing on a “standard hour” pay system. The company began expanding beyond its downtown Westfield Avenue complex. In the mid-


The original check for $2.1 million that was part of the full $2.25 million dollars that John Deere purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company for back in 1918, on display in the new John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. 1950s the Product Engineering Center and Experimental Farm were established along what is now Deere Road. The Product Engineering Center would undergo a major expansion in 1980. In 1959, the company re-tooled for its New Generation series of tractors launched in 1960. In 1963, Deere & Co. passed International Harvester in total sales and became the leading farm equipment manufacturer in the world. The present-day John Deere Foundry on Westfield opened in 1970. In 1975 the Engine Works on West Ridgeway Avenue opened. Finally, in 1979-80, the company

opened its new tractor assembly division, at Newell Street and Elk Run Road. By 1980, Deere employed 16,000 people in Waterloo-Cedar Falls. Waterloo had became the largest site of Deere’s operations. The 1980s saw a downturn in economic fortunes. Employment at Deere’s Waterloo operations dropped to 6,600 by 1986 and Waterloo saw a similar drop in population. The company and the UAW went through a company-record five-month strike and lockout in 1986-87. The company’s fortunes rebounded in the 1990s, due in large

part to new Waterloo-made Deere tractors. The company reeled off five consecutive years of record profits from 1993-98, and again from 2003-08. On Dec. 7, 2000, Deere announced a massive redevelopment of its Waterloo operations. Several outdated manufacturing buildings along Westfield were demolished; others were renovated or expanded. A couple were set aside for the development of the Cedar Valley TechWorks, an agri-industrial product development and manufacturing center that became the initiative of the Please see History, Page 7

John Deere Tractor Co., in 1940. FILE PHOTO‌


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celebration is June 15-16

‌ June 15 and 16, n John Deere will host its 100th Anniversary Celebration. A series of events have been planned, including activities that will be open to the public.‌The two-day event will feature 100 years of tractor innovation by showcasing 100 tractors between the Waterloo Convention Center and John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. Activities will take place in downtown Waterloo at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, River Plaza and surrounding area. Both venues will include exhibitions, food, activities for the family and more. Multi-media and equipment exhibits will feature tractors and engines from across John Deere’s product lines over the last 100 years from around the world, and include company-owned and customer-owned equipment.

Live music Friday, June 15 4:30 p.m., STACKHOUSE 6:30 p.m., Chasin’ Mason Saturday, June 16 11 a.m., Those Guys


The Waterloo Municipal Band There will be working demonstrations at John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum, including blacksmith, ice cream maker and grain elevator. A kids’ tractor pull/pedal tractor obstacle course and a farm-to-table play area are planned. Main stage activities will take place throughout the two-day celebration. There will be live music, including a performance by country

music artist Joe Diffie. Visitors can park their vehicles and ride a trolley from the John Deere Museum to the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. John Deere Attractions

will install 15 tractors at the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum, John Deere Pavilion and World Headquarters Display Floor. These new exhibits will be in addition to existing permanent displays. In addition, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History will display a 1918 Waterloo Boy and kick off a year of exhibits and events dedicated to

1 p.m., Waterloo Municipal Band will perform “Those Big Green Machine” written in honor of John Deere 3 p.m., Chasin’ Mason 6 p.m., Joe Diffie the history of agricultural mechanization and tractor development Iowa History Museum in Des Moines will host a temporary display this summer. The National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville will open a new exhibit on John Deere toys.

Joe Diffie to perform ‘John Deere Green’ at celebration


‌ e Diffie is a multi-plato inum-selling country artist who continues to write‌ , tour and record.‌ He will perform at 6 p.m. June 16 as part of the John Deere 100th Anniversary Celebration in downtown Waterloo. With more than 20 Top 10 singles to his credit – like “John Deere Green,” “Pickup Man,” “Prop Me Up Against the Jukebox,” “If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets)” COURTESY PHOTO‌ and “Third Rock From The Sun” – Diffie was inducted

Joe Diffie

6 Sunday, June 10, 2018

into the Grand Ole Opry in 1993. The Oklahoma native was named Cash Box male vocalist of the year in 1990 and was nominated for a Grammy award in 1993, and won vocal event of the year for “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” from the Academy of Country Music in 1993. He won a Grammy in 1998 for best country collaboration with vocals for “Same Old Train.” In 2010, Diffie released his critically-acclaimed

bluegrass album, “Homecoming.” Jason Aldean’s “1994” hit name-checked many of Diffie’s 12 No. 1 hits in 2013. In 2017, he embarked on the “Country Unplugged” acoustic tour with Mark Chesnutt and Lorrie Morgan. The video of his most recent single, “Girl Ridin’ Shotgun,” featuring cameos by Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Lee Brice, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban has more than 7 million views on YouTube.





John Deere Wheel Plant, 1930

History From 5

Greater Cedar Valley Alliance. Concurrent with that development was staged retooling and re-equipping of the company’s Waterloo facilities over a number of years, including a new melt operation at the Waterloo Foundry, retooling of manufacturing lines at all plants and continued new product research and development at the Product Engineering Center. New Deere-UAW labor agreements in the late 1990s and early 2000s established a “two-tier” wage and benefit system for new hires that ran contrary to some union sentiments but which Deere officials said allowed the company to

Years of Quality We appreciate our partnership over the past 100 years and look forward to the future.

319-234-4411 | youngphc.com

Congratulations Deere & Co. for 100 years in Waterloo The Cedar Valley is greater because of you! The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber thanks you for your continued contributions to creating a vibrant Cedar Valley economy and for leading the transformation of the Cedar Valley into a center for modern, advanced manufacturing.


Sunday, June 10, 2018 7


John Deere complex in 1973. “repopulate” its plants as workers retired. It also contained contract language that the company would return “outsourced” work back to local Deere factories when practical. Concurrent with the redevelopment, local Deere officials challenged Cedar Valley community leaders to step up their game in education, recreation, housing and other aspects of community life to allow the company to attract and retain quality workers. It resulted in greater regional cooperation and the eventual merger of the Waterloo and Cedar Falls chambers of commerce into the Alliance. The area has seen significant housing growth

and recreation initiatives such as the Cedar Valley SportsPlex and continued grown of the metro area’s sprawling recreational trails system. Deere headed into its 100th anniversary in Waterloo climbing out of a downturn of about three years after three straight years of record profits. That downturn resulted in the layoff of nearly 1,000 workers at the Waterloo operations and other company plants. The company began the year anticipating another significant round of reinvestment and retooling of product lines and a resumption of hiring after calling back a large number of employees. Employment is now at about 5,000.


Model ‘D’ assembly lines in 1924.


Workers assemble a John Deere 8000 series tractor waiting for the finishing touches at the John Deere production plant on East Donald in January 2010.

8 Sunday, June 10, 2018 


A John Deere tractor moves down the line on Jan. 23, 1976.

Automated machines paint parts for a John Deere 8000 series tractor at the John Deere production plant on East Donald in 2010.


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A 1914 Waterloo Boy Tractor from Rochester, Minn., is featured at the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum in Waterloo.

The exterior of the John Deere Tractor Museum in Waterloo. FILE PHOTO ‌

10 Sunday, June 10, 2018 2018 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 


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tep inside the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum and look upon a simple wooden walking plow that built an empire. The plow is an exact replica of John Deere’s own 1837-vintage plow, which hwas built to mark the company’s 175th anniversary in 2012. The plow is one of the first artifacts from the tractor manufacturer’s history visitors can see when they enter the museum, at 500 Westfield Ave., which opened in December 2014. The museum is a two- and three-dimensional tribute to the nearly century-long marriage of Deere and Waterloo, home to the company’s largest manufacturing complex worldwide. The history of that partnership is the essence of the museum tour. Both of the museum’s curators —Joshua Waddle and Rosa Grant, who is now the museum manager — were brought in as much for their expertise in building and COURIER FILE PHOTO‌ running a museum as for their Grill designs through the years displayed at John Deere reverence for Deere. “It’s fun to walk Waterloo Tractor and Engine Museum. folks through here, because they come in thinking they know John Deere and their city, and they walk out with The John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum will be open a new perspective,” said from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Waddle, who earned bachenoon to 4 p.m. Sundays. lor’s and master’s degrees in Admission is free. history at the University of Northern Iowa. For more information about tours and the museum, Waddle and Grant have search at VisitJohnDeere.com or email JohnDeereTracbeen involved in the project tor_EngineMuseum@JohnDeere.com or call 292-6126. since May 2011.

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A 1928 John Deere GP tractor is featured in the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum.


Tractor seats have changed over the years in a display at the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum.

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Many visitors may not know, for instance, that Deere’s entry into Waterloo in 1918 caused apprehension among many in the community, Waddle said. That’s because the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Co. employed about 1,000 of the city’s 35,000 residents, he said. “They really fashioned themselves as being Chicago, an industrial city in the middle of the Heartland,” Waddle said. “Many of them were worried about what might happen,” that they might lose their jobs with the change. The fears didn’t last long. Deere quickly poured millions of dollars into building a modern factory complex on Westfield Avenue in downtown Waterloo. Blueprints of the plan are displayed on a wall in a room dedicated to the original factory site. Visitors also will encounter stories of other key people who guided Deere through its early years in Waterloo as the company led the steady mechanization of farming. One person they will meet is industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss, who designed Deere’s Model A and Model B tractors. “He took things that already existed and improved on them,” Waddle said of Dreyfuss, who also designed the Polaroid Land Camera, the Honeywell circular wall thermostat and Princess telephone and numerous other consumer products. The museum features



To John Deere on your 100th year in the Cedar Valley!

An early grill on a John Deere tractor at the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum.

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A 1967 John Deere 4020 standard tractor in the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum.

John Deere employees display case in the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. 100 YEARS OF JOHN DEERE

Sunday, June 10, 2018 13


A Froelich Traction Engine from the late 1800s examples of a number of his original designs. Tractors are perhaps the most notable artifacts on display, but visitors also will find rooms dedicated to all facets of product and part design, from a drafting manual and slide rule to raw components. The trail through the museum — appropriately, a long green line — begins with the earliest Deere machines and culminates with its largest — a 2018 8400R built in Waterloo for export. The largest John Deere tractors are the 9R Series. At the time of this interview, Grant said the museum was uncertain if it could get an 8R in, “but we have proved we can.” There is a room devoted to dealers, as well, with memorabilia from several, including the Pulaski, Ind.-based J.P. Pulaski Co., which has been selling Deere products for 120 years. The museum has been more than seven years in the making. Planners have been careful to emphasize the marriage of Waterloo and Deere. They said the symbiotic partnership between company and city are the foundation of every exhibit. “The thing that will resonate is that we tell the story in an unexpected way,” Grant said. “People know of John Deere and believe they know

Thank you John Deere for 100 years great years in Waterloo! Iowa’s leading companies know about us. – We’ve become known as “Iowa’s oil company”. We’ve been here for nearly a century and are part of the state’s rich history. Headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa, Northland Oil formulates, manufactures, markets, and distributes premium quality engine oil, lubricants, engine coolants and fluids used through the world. Since 1908, Northland Oils products and customer driven services have been offered to trucking fleets, industrial, automotive, and agricultural markets. We have a well-earned reputation for uncompromising product quality, professional service and technical support. Northland Oil supports the Iowa lifestyle and also encourages economic development throughout the state. We like to help companies “keep things moving”– especially here in Iowa.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018 15

A video plays in the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum.

Museum From 14

the story, and we frame the story in a unique way that’s inclusive of a lot of different types of people. The story doesn’t just speak to farmers or people who own or build John Deere tractors; it speaks to people who work.” In other words, everybody, she said. “It’s a story that speaks to everyone and also including the manufacturing side of it and the making decisions,” Grant said. “That story is not just the John Deere story; it’s the mechanization of agriculture.” It’s also about people, as visitors will quickly note when they encounter an abundance of fully restored vintage tractors on loan from collectors across the Midwest, including Waterloo. Chris Boyens, brand standards manager with Deere and considered an expert on the company, has been involved in the museum project since 2007. “My role has been more in help with directions, to help direct the story from a historically accurate perspective,” he said. It’s been a long process, but visitors will find the work that went into it was worth it, Boyens said. “It’s a true museum experience is what catches my eye,” he said. “They might be ex-

Happy Anniversary You’ve covered lots of acres in the last 100 years. In 1934, the need for an alternative to commercial banks and other for-profit financial institutions was fulfilled when John Deere Employees Credit Union opened. These roots add strength to what members experience at Veridian Credit Union today. We feel honored to be part of your heritage.

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A early John Deere all wheel drive tractor shown at the museum. This tractor is now being displayed at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Ill. pecting a display floor, but in reality, they’re getting a museum.” Dawn Hendershot, whose family has been working at Deere for six generations, has directed the museum project and will manage the facility. “To me, our team has been working very hard at delivering what we think is a very high-quality museum that is going to be celebratory for the community and the company,” she said. “We’ve worked very hard at it, and it’s going to meet expectations. “Now, it’s time to turn it over to the community and let everyone enjoy it.”






Sunday, June 10, 2018 17


Tim Murphy, global director of John Deere’s large tractor product line, speaks at the company’s 100th anniversary in Waterloo at the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum.

Deere marks purchase of



Mike Oberhauser, left, a shop chairman with United Auto Workers Local 838m talks with John Deere Waterloo Works factory manager Dave DeVault about history of John Deere during 100th Anniversary in Waterloo. 18 Sunday, June 10, 2018

‌ hn Deere began its second century in o Waterloo Wednesday — with a look back and an appreciation for the community that made it a world leader in the tractor business.‌ Company executives and community leaders gathered at the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum to mark the 100th anniversary of the March 14, 1918 purchase of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co. The museum is located on that company’s site — which grew into the John Deere Waterloo Tractor Works. “The tractors behind us have literally transformed the world,” said Tim Murphy, global director of Deere’s large tractor

product line. He and attendees were surrounded by Waterloo-made tractors from throughout Deere history, with a modern 8400 R series model in the background behind him, and another current model in the main lobby. Deere’s tractors have revolutionized agricultural production, he said, and will help to feed a growing world population, expected to increase by an additional 2 billion people by 2050. “It’s not just John Deere being in the tractor business for 100 years; we’ve been here in the Cedar Valley for 100 years,” Murphy said. “And we’re really, really, proud of that affiliation and what we have done together.” Deere’s Waterloo operations have grown


“I am more than satisfied we have made the best move Deere & Co. has ever made, and that it was an extremely fortunate thing that we were able to buy this plant.” —Deere & Co executive C.E. Velie, writing to company President William Butterworth on Deere’s March 14, 1918 purchase of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co.

All the people that worked on this 8400R Tractor signed the tractor that is on display at Tractor Cab Assembly Operations. It can be seen on the factory tour.

m n e

d l , -

e n ” , e


Neil Dahlstrom, manager of the John Deere archives, speaks at the companies 100th Anniversary in Waterloo event at the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. 100 YEARS OF JOHN DEERE

Sunday, June 10, 2018 19

A banner as you enter the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum marks the 100th Anniversary in Waterloo. over the last four decades from the single original Tractor Works site on Westfield Avenue to six plants throughout Waterloo-Cedar Falls on 2,400 acres. Deere employs more than 5,000 people, including nonunion salaried employees as well as union-wage workers affiliated with United Auto Workers local 838, the largest UAW union local in the Deere chain of plants. “Those very dedicated employees ensure every day we’re delivering the very best quality in our tractors around the world,” across 140 countries. “They, today, are building the very best quality tractors we’ve ever built in our company’s history,” and contribute 24,000 hours of personal time in volunteer community work. “Over the past 15 years we’ve invested about $1.5 billion in the Cedar Valley in terms of new products and new facilities,” Murphy said, to remain competitive and attract and retain quality employees. Among recent projects, the company in recent years invested $28 million to double the size of its Product Engineering Center in Cedar Falls — the company’s largest product research and development complex, its largest expansion since the original building was completed in 1981. Also the company recently finished a $150 million renovation of the company’s Waterloo Foundry down the street on Westfield. Deere is the only ag equipment firm that has its own foundry. “Between 2013 and 2016 we invested almost $250 million in facility maintenance, modernization and improvements,” Murphy said. “We have co-invested with the people we work with and our fellow citizens here. The Cedar Valley has been an enor20 Sunday, June 10, 2018 


100 on your


anniversary ten decades strong 1918-2018 Blackhawk Automatic Sprinklers, Inc. over 44 Years of Service

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Josh Waddle announced he will lead a tour of John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum during the company’s 100th anniversary event in Waterloo. mous resource for us. The resources in the people and community partners have made this an invaluable place for John Deere to operate. Not only have we persevered through that time, we have really thrived. I would very sincerely like to thank all the employees currently, and the retirees and all of the community that have contributed to our success.” Deere purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co. in March 1918 for a little more than $2 million. Company profits for the most recent fiscal year, which ended Oct. 30, exceeded $2 billion. A year of company and community celebrations are planned to mark the 100th anniversary of Deere in Waterloo, including a community-wide celebration June 15-16.

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Congratulations on 100 years Founded in 1912, Western Home Communities also knows the Cedar Valley is a great place to call home. Join the many John Deere retirees and others who’ve found a fulfilling lifestyle with us! Call Katie, Kim or Maria at (319) 242-5742 to make your move this summer.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018 21


The John Deere All-Wheel Drive tractor was manufactured in 1918 in East Moline, Illinois. Approximately 90 were built. The first one was completed in April, one month after the acquisition of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. This photo shows an All-Wheel Drive near complete in early 1918. The acquisition of the Waterloo Boy line gave Deere a tractor that better suited customer needs.


Waterloo Boy N improved, November 1920.

DEERE through the years ‌What has been deemed “The Long Green Line” of John Deere tractors and other machinery has made an indelible impact on farming and industry. For the last 100 years, the company also has had a profound impact on Waterloo. Here is a look at some early Waterloo Boy and John Deere tractors and equipment.


Plow B140 middlebreaker with unstyled B tractor, 1935. 22 Sunday, June 10, 2018


John Deere Model D pulling model 5C plow, 1925.


No. 1 Combine with D tractor, July 1927, in field


Model B tractor pulling a two bottom plow, 1938.

Terry Johnston’s Deere Model B sits near his home in Stout, pictured on 2010. 100 YEARS OF JOHN DEERE

Congratulations John Deere on your 100th year in the Cedar Valley!


Model 62 tractor, predecessor to the Model L, and Penn mower, June 1937.


Charles Hobson if Kokomo, Ind., drives his John Deere 1954 tractor down Idaho Street for Fall Fest Parade in 2010 in Waterloo.

Developing Strong Local Government T hrough Regional Cooperation Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments 229 E. Park Ave. Waterloo, Iowa 50703 Phone (319) 235-0311 Fax (319) 235-2891

Congratulations John Deere for being such a strong partner in the Waterloo Community for the past 100 years.

CONNECT WITH US DENSO in North America Linkedin.com/company/denso www.denso.com/us-ca/en


At DENSO, we firmly believe where we craft and sell products is more than a workplace. It is our home and we are proud to share this community with John Deere. Sunday, June 10, 2018 23

24 SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018



SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018 25


Todd Fischels attaches parts to engine number 2 million at the John Deere tractor cab assembly plant in Waterloo in December 2016.

John Deere’s Waterloo engine plant delivered its

2 MILLIONTH ENGINE built in December 2016 T


he John Deere Engine Works can now hang a sign that says “More than 2 Million Served.” Deere’s Waterloo engine plant, which began production 40 years ago, built engine No. 2 million in Decem-

26 Sunday, June 10, 2018

ber, 2016, produced for a Waterloo-made Deere tractor. The company marked that milestone as it completed assembly of that tractor, an 8345R model, at the Deere’s East Donald Street plant. The customer watched the final assembly as part of Deere’s “Gold Key” customer program.

“In 1918 we purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co., so our history with engines in the Cedar Valley goes back nearly 100 years,” said Curt Cline, factory manager of the engine works. “The partnership with the community is most significant. In that period of time, our

employees have retained a commitment to building high-quality products in here. So we continue to be a strong partner with the community. It is a milestone for production here in Waterloo.” It isn’t all about tractors. The Please see Engine, Page 28



of Industry Leadership Thank you for positively impacting our community with your innovation, craftsmanship and support.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018 27

The tractor chassis containing engine number 2 million waits to enter the next assembly station.

Engine From 26

engine works also has produced engines for external customers, Cline said. That diversified customer base helps the company and the community when the agricultural economy is down, said Darren Treptow, manager of worldwide marketing support for John Deere Power Systems. That includes engines for generators that heat buildings, air compressors, portable industrial equipment, wood chippers, specialty equipment used for harvesting fruits and nuts, as well as marine engines.

28 Sunday, June 10, 2018

The 2 millionth engine is a big deal for employees at the engine works, said Kenny Hager of Cedar Falls, a 20-year Deere employee and member of United Auto Workers Local 838. Every engine is important, Hager said, but this one is of historic significance. “It’s a milestone for all of us. It’s a really neat thing, because it’s big for the community,” Hager said. “A lot of people asked me over the years, does this affect you? Well it’s brought up three or four generations of my family, working here. They told me the quality of the engine is what made that tractor green. So I take it real seriously. And fact that it’s under one brand

all these years is wonderful, the tractor and the engine. I’m the third generation. My son is the fourth generation; he’s an electrician at the foundry.” It’s as much a milestone for Local 838 as it is Deere, Hager said. “Any time we can reach something like that, especially with the economies the way they are and the world the way it is ... Never lose sight of that. These people are our lifeline,” Hager said. Local 838 member and 12-year employee Kim Elliott doesn’t just build Deere equipment, he uses it. He farms south of WaterPlease see Engine, Page 30


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Jerald Sanders, with AgriNorthwest, the customer buying the tractor containing engine No. 2 million, signs under the cab at the John Deere tractor cab assembly plant in Waterloo in 2016.

Engine From 28

loo. “I use all John Deere equipment on the farm,” he said. Of the 2 millionth engine, Elliott said, “It’s pretty exciting to come and see it put in the actual tractor after you build it. Everyone in engine works has a lot of pride in what they do. I was proud of being a part of building the 2 millionth engine. And I’ve been proud of the work that I’ve done there

30 Sunday, June 10, 2018

for the last 12-1/2 years too.” The engine was manufactured for AgriNorthwest, a large potato farming operation in Washington state. “It’s an honor,” said Jerald Sanders, a farm manager with ArgiNorthwest, which maintains a fleet of Deere tractors. He signed the tractor during assembly, one of the traditions with Deere’s “Gold Key” program. Kevin Pasker, purchasing manager with AgriNorthwest, said, “It’s nice to be part of an organization that has customer ser-

vice and reliability and has similar values as our organization does. John Deere does. That’s why we’ve aligned ourselves with them.” His company has been doing business with Deere more than 20 years. “I think this one we’ll have to hang onto for a little while, “ Sanders said of the tractor with the 2 millionth engine. He has no doubt the company will, based on its experience with Deere products. “Green paint definitely stands up,” he said.



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Blackhawk Engineering helping our customers compete globally for over 40 years. Congratulations to 100 years of Excellence!!

118 Blackhawk Lane, Cedar Falls, IA 319-266-2681 www.blackhawkengineering.com 100 YEARS OF JOHN DEERE

Sunday, June 10, 2018 31

Robotic arms drill holes in molds at the John Deere foundry.


Deere leaping into its second century in the Cedar Valley TEXT | PAT KINNEY Photos | BRANDON POLLOCK


ohn Deere is beginning its second century in Waterloo with a second wind.The Moline, Ill.-based agricultural implement manufacturer, which has its largest North American manufacturing com-

32 SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018

plex in Waterloo-Cedar Falls, is hiring, reaping the benefits of millions in capital investment in facilities. Deere is planning a big community party in June celebrating its 100th anniversary in Waterloo. Deere employs a total of 5,000

people in Waterloo. Company fortunes have rebounded markedly from an ag downturn that resulted in the layoff of about 900 workers in recent years. It’s a welcome contrast from when Dave DeVault became Waterloo operations general manager in 2014.

“Anyone that was laid off in 2014 or early 2015, all employees with potential recall have been recalled at this point,” DeVault said. “We did hire 27 new employees in the foundry at the end of last calendar year. And we’re Please see 200, Page 34



John Deere

on your

100th AnniversAry in Waterloo

We appreciate the excellent partnership over these many years. Sincerely, the Staff of the Waterloo Regional Airport

Keith, Sheila, Rusty, Randy, Troy and Chris

Happy 100th Anniversary John Deere Congratulations on this milestone! Thank you for your partnership with Ronan 3805 West Airline Hwy, Waterloo, IA 319-433-0821 ronanindustries.com 100 YEARS OF JOHN DEERE

Sunday, June 10, 2018 33

Seth Wortinger moves cast parts at the John Deere.

200 From 32

actively looking at interviewing, more so right now to fill up the pool of potential employees. What we’ve found is that it takes a long time to build up a talent pool of potential employees. So we go through the screening and the testing, interviews and medical evaluations.” It takes about three months for an employment candidate to work through that process. “We like to keep a talent pool 50 to 100 deep so if things change one way or another we can go up appropriately in production,” DeVault said. “The type of positions we’re looking at right now, No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 would be skilled trades,” DeVault said. “Mechanical repairmen, electricians, plumbers, pipe fitters, that group. Skilled trades are tough to come by because they’re very good at what they do, and they tend not to want to change employers in their career, which is understandable. So that’s a challenge. And we also hire from the skilled trades into the salaried (management) ranks, because we need good on-the-ground understanding from an engineering standpoint. “We have an apprentice program, and we also have a school-to-work program we’re working with Hawkeye (Community College) on as far as the apprentice (training) goes,” DeVault said. “We’ve gotten that up and running in the past couple of years,

34 Sunday, June 10, 2018


Deere and Waterloo by the numbers ■■ 1. Deere & Co. was 180 years old last

year. It was founded in 1837. ■■ 2. Deere has been in Waterloo 100 of

those years. ■■ 3. On March 10, 1918, Deere pur-

Giant buckets pour molten metal into molds at the John Deere foundry. and it’s good. Really. Not just beneficial, but it’s been good for the community in bringing more and more of that talent into our area.” There’s also a demand for machinists, DeVault said, and Hawkeye Community College is working closely with the company to provide qualified workers with training in computerized numerical control, or CNC, manufacturing. There’s a smaller demand for welders, and assemblers make up the bulk of Deere’s work force. The company is finding enough workers locally, and beyond, DeVault said. “From the schools around the country, we do regular campaigns, regular interview schedules,” DeVault said. “We draw from multiple different schools.” The company has made significant improvements in the foundry over the past several years, said DeVault and Dave Davis of the foundry operations. And those improvements are a sight to see. “A picture’s worth a thousand words. And walking through it is worth a million,” DeVault said. “Starting in the core room, we added some cells that will handle larger cores which go in the castings,” Davis said. “We put in an automated store and retrieval system.” A new massive mold line is known in the plant as the “804 line.” “We’ve been ramping that up for four years, and we’re finally at a pace or a rate we feel pretty good about. The quality is where we need it to be. And with this new line we’re able to produce


chased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co., makers of the “Waterloo Boy” Tractor. ■■ 4. The purchase price was $2.35 million. ■■ 5. For fiscal year 2017, the company posted earnings of $2.159 billion. ■■ 6. A copy of the front page of the March 10, 1918 Waterloo Courier announcing Deere’s purchase is in a case on the display floor at company headquarters in Moline, Ill. ■■ 7. Deere’s original Waterloo manufacturing site on Westfield Avenue was once part of a large Meskwaki village on the Cedar River that extended northwest to the National Cattle Congress grounds. ■■ 8. Deere Waterloo operations, with five plants around town, are the company’s largest North American manufacturing complex.

Congratulations John Deere on 100 years of service to our community!

4802 Sergeant Rd Waterloo, IA 319-226-3700

Sunday, June 10, 2018 35

Giant buckets pour molten metal into molds at the John Deere foundry. larger parts. That was the biggest advantage for us. We’re able to make longer and wider parts than we were on our previous lines,” Davis said. Those parts are sent to plants companywide. The foundry is in hot demand within Deere as the company upgrades and introduces new products. “Right now we have plenty to do,” Davis said. “We have more work than we can bring in as we improve our efficiencies. The next generation of tractors is really going to maximize the advantages we have with this foundry. The size, the technology we have, the complexity of what we can produce is just far better than most others in the industry.” It also has allowed the company to bring work that has previously been outsourced back into the plant. “We have to really be careful on the balance between the new products we’re designing and the current products we’re building, so we keep that balance in the scale of what we can produce at the foundry,” DeVault said. “Now that we have that competency here, we’re able to design larger and more complex castings out of our design community into the foundry. We want to make sure we keep the runway open for that new work coming in.” The foundry also provides staff support to sister factories in Brazil, North Carolina — where greens mowers are produced — and other plants. Expansion of other elements of the Waterloo operation will begin this year, DeVault said. “We’ll start seeing some expansion on the southwest building of drivetrain (operations), the company’s “T-10” building at Westfield Avenue and the Commercial Street extension. We’re going to expand that building for more transmission assembly capability there.” Also, DeVault said, “We’re rearranging the one right on Westfield Avenue, the service parts building (east of the foundry) the ‘1020 building,’ rearranging that one. We are renovating the

Chelsey Weepie cleans off sand cores at the John Deere foundry. building right off River Drive on the back side of Black Hawk Creek, the ‘1010 building.’” The Donald Street site will see infrastructure improvements and “rearrangement of assembly lines, getting ready for different changes coming out over the next three years,” DeVault said. And Deere will be putting a training center in the new Courtyard by Mariott hotel at the Cedar Valley TechWorks campus. “From a company standpoint we’re in the next phase of re-engineering the products and the factories that we do it in,” DeVault said.

“And we got ready for it here five or six years ago with the foundry, modernizing it. We did it in redevelopment back in 2003-10 at drivetrain (Westfield) and tractor cab assembly operations (Donald Street). “Now here we are 10 years later looking at a refresh again. We’ve got the foundation in on the foundry to do what we need to do; we have the foundation in the component part of drivetrain,” and now that will continue with additional work at drivetrain operations and at Donald Street. That’s in addition to new product research and


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on100 years Improving drainage for crop production while managing water quality and environmental requirements is our focus. Innovative practices and custom solutions is our expertise.


36 Sunday, June 10, 2018



Precise measurements of parts ensure consistent size and fit of parts at the John Deere foundry. development at the Product Engineering Center in Cedar Falls. It represents a capital investment, in rough figures, of about $100 million within Black Hawk County. Deere is planning a celebration June 15-16 downtown and at the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum to mark the company’s 100th anniversary in Waterloo. Deere purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co, makers of the “Waterloo Boy” tractor, in March 1918. The museum also has ongoing exhibits marking the anniversary. Tractors produced will be marked with a 100th anniversary logo.

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TEXT | BARB ICKES Quad City Times ‌


‌at a wonderful h surprise.‌ I had no idea the John Deere Corporate Archives exists, let alone right under our noses. In the rear of a plain-looking building on 13th Street in East Moline is a lovingly kept collection of everything you can imagine — and

plenty you can’t — that tells the story of the blacksmith who put Moline on the map and the company that changed the world. From row after row of hightech shelving (it moves and lights up at the touch of a button), to the 70,000 square feet of warehouse space is the vast Deere collection. Legal documents, manuals, advertising, film, toys, tractors, Gators Please see Archives, Page 39


Thousands of films are part of the John Deere Corporate Archives located in East Moline, Illinois.

Happy 100th Anniversary!

Thank you

for your continued commitment to putting food on the table.

Burlington • Cedar Falls • Cedar Rapids • Davenport • Dubuque Mason City • Platteville • Sioux City • Spirit Lake 38 Sunday, June 10, 2018


The emblem on the Deere bicycle dated from 1894 featuring wooden wheels and a horse hair stuffed seat. — even John Deere’s two-piece wool bathing suit — have been carefully collected and stored. HOW IT GOT THERE The John Deere Corporate Archives & History is relatively new, which sounds like an oxymoron. But the collection didn’t exist until 1976. When you consider the company is 181 years old, 42 years of archiving suggests a belated beginning. And it was. “It all started with two boxes, one was marked ‘Keep,’ and the other was marked, ‘Garbage,’” said Neil Dahlstrom, manager of the archives. In the early years, the collection came mostly from employees. And the loot was stored in the basement of the Deere headquarters in Moline. In

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to John Deere anD its relation with waterloo, iowa for 100 years! John Deere, tractors and waterloo have come along way in the last Century! our company; Martin Brothers wholesale started in 1897 and grew along with John Deere. the Martin-anderson family has been involved in waterloo farming and real estate for about a Century and has purchased and used many John Deere products throughout the years. remembering From the Old some of the to the New... pioneers of that ”Waterloo company; Boy” sure harley waldon & has Cal Petersen. evolved Good for Deere - Good for waterloo also thanks to John Deere for their very nice museum. 100 YEARS OF JOHN DEERE

Sunday, June 10, 2018 39

1997, the archive was moved to the East Moline location, where it has grown into a full-fledged museum that still is expanding. Though some employees are granted tours and/or access to records, the archives are off limits to the public. “This is not where records go to die,” Dahlstrom said. “These records are used, and it is our job to know the collection.” And what a job. Consider this: If the acid-free boxes that are stored on the mobile shelving were placed end-to-end, they would match the distance of 400 football fields or the length of 1,537 Model D tractors. “We have about 180,000 catalogued items, but one item could KEVIN E. SCHMIDT PHOTOS, QUAD CITY TIMES‌ contain hundreds of records,” Dahlstrom said. “Research re- Volumes of the Patent Gazette of the United States Patent Office from the 1860s at the John Deere quests we got a few years ago Corporate Archives. that would take us the whole day tains row after row of mobile now take just a couple of minutes, shelves, stocked with thousands of thanks to digitization.” acid-free containers — each about WHAT THEY DO‌ The archives are managed by a six-person staff, led by Dahlstrom. The half-dozen brains each stores a specific collection of knowledge. No one person could ever contain it all. For instance, when we were studying shelves full of John Deere toys, collections manager Nathan Augustine pointed out that some pieces that were thought to be toys were, in fact, prototypes. How, I asked, could they tell the difference? “There are six of us with different areas of expertise,” Dahlstrom said. “We can recognize and identify toys and prototypes, because we’ve looked at so many.” While archivists serve a high enough purpose, the John Deere staff does much more. They are historians, librarians, curators, media producers, muscle, spokespeople and tour guides. “We collect in real time,” Dahlstrom said, meaning the archive is being constantly updated as new products are introduced. “But you can only have so much shelf space. For instance, we have operator’s manuals in dozens and dozens of languages. “Our goal is not to have one of everything but to have a representative sample.”

40 Sunday, June 10, 2018

Hand carved wooden pediments that once adorned the doors to the boardroom in the former John Deere building now reside in the John Deere Corporate Archives.

The ornate latch on one of the doors to the boardroom from the former John Deere building now residing in the John Deere Corporate Archives. In fact, the old records get new uses pretty much every day. For example, the archive staff spent two years preparing historical material for the upcoming celebration of Deere’s 100th anniversary in

the tractor business and a kickoff event at the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum in Waterloo. THE DOCUMENTS‌ The archives’ main office con-

twice the size of a shoe box. Dahlstrom randomly pulled a box from a shelf and opened it, carefully pulling out an advertisement from 1919. He did this several times, revealing catalogues and sales brochures. Even if you have zero interest in a John Deere-VanBrunt Grain Drill with Double Run Feeds, you’d have to appreciate the quality of the image. These documents were and are, literally, pieces of art. The colors are beautiful, and the images transport you right into the fields, next to the farmer. “Our goal — and we’re successful in most cases — is to have two copies,” he said. “That’s because you have to cut the spines to digitize, and it destroys the document.” The manuals and sales materials are priceless to John Deere collectors and collectors’ clubs. “If you’re restoring an old tractor, and you’re not sure what color the rims are supposed to be, it’s all in here,” he said. “We could tell you what day many tractors were built, based on the serial number.” Also vast is the patent collection, which is comprised primarily of copies of the voluminous Patent Gazettes; printed from 1790 Please see Archives, Page 42


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Sunday, June 10, 2018 41

Archives From 40

to 2002. Also occupying considerable shelf space is the archive’s collection of 8,000 to 10,000 (16mm) films, many of which also have been digitized. The light-and-temperature controlled document library also contains Charles Deere’s papers; the company’s second CEO. TEMPORARY HOME On the floor in an aisle between sections of the massive shelving, a couple of pieces clearly were out of place. Called pediments, the large, carved-wood pieces once sat atop oversized doors in the board room when the Deere headquarters was downtown Moline. Located at 1325 Third Ave., the building sat roughly where the Radisson at John Deere Commons sits today. Built in 1891, a fourth floor was added in 1921, which is when the board room was built. The archives contain several items from

42 SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018

the old board room, including pillars, sconces, chairs, desks and the doors that were centered below those pediments. A pair of the doors were leaning on a wall at the end of a row of shelving. Augustine, the collections manager, pointed out something intriguing: “If you look at this side of the door — the plain side — that’s what the employees saw. Then look at this side of the door — the really beautiful, ornamental side — that’s the side the board members saw.”


Above: A Deere bicycle dated from 1894 featuring wooden wheels and a horsehair-stuffed seat at the John Deere Corporate Archives. Top: Manager, Corporate Archives & History for John Deere Neil Dahlstrom points to volumes of the Patent Gazette of the United States Patent Office from the 1860s at the John Deere Corporate Archives.


John Deere Collections Manager Nathan Augustine talks about the variety of items housed in the company archives. MISCELLANEOUS The archives’ stockpile of vintage toys would make a collector weep. The pieces share shelves with Deere & Co. awards, ashtrays from dealerships, salesman samples, license plates — you name it. But there’s a trick to it. With the salesman’s samples, for instance, many did not survive. Since salesmen couldn’t very well haul tractors around to dealers, they took small models. And, since they were so often used and handled, many were discarded, because they were in poor condition. That’s not the case with John Deere caps. Neither Dahlstrom nor Augustine would even venture a guess as to how many company caps have been made over the years, and there would simply be

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Sunday, June 10, 2018 43


The first Model 110 Lawn & Garden Tractor (1963), lower left, and the NASCAR Pontiac Grand Prix, John Deere sponsored #23 driven by Chad Little, stored at the John Deere Corporate Archives located in East Moline.

Congratulations John Deere on your 100th Anniversary Oriental tapestries are part of the thousands of pieces of art work included in the John Deere Corporate Archives.

Original advertising for a John Deere No. 40 Tractor Plow dated 1920 in the John Deere Corporate Archives. 44 Sunday, June 10, 2018 

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Various pieces of equipment deemed historically important to the company are housed in the John Deere Corporate Archives warehouses in East Moline.

Archives From 42

no way of collecting and storing them all. AMAZING ART While the Corporate Archives contain many pieces of art, the company correctly keeps most of it on display in locations around the world. One of the most fortunate such locales is the John Deere World Headquarters in Moline. Deere’s sixth president, William Hewitt, was responsible for the creation of the administrative center and was heaped with well-deserved praise for its celebrated architecture. It was completed in 1964, and Hewitt took it upon himself, Augustine said, to furnish the socalled “Glass Palace” with a vast and varied art collection. While most of Deere’s art is on display, a considerable collection resides in a row of racks in the archives. “He wasn’t just doing tractors and agriculture (art),” Augustine said. “He was making people think ... including abstract impressionism from the 1960s. “We also have five Grant Wood drawings, and one Wood painting — with a John Deere plow front and center.” THE WAREHOUSES‌ We toured one of two equally-sized warehouses that contain a combined 70,000 square feet.


on celebrating 100 years,

John Deere! Many thanks from all of us at Casting Cleaning, Inc.

Shannon Closson – President Bob Closson, Jr. – Vice President

5604 Westminster Drive Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613 Sunday, June 10, 2018 45


Manager, Corporate Archives & History for John Deere Neil Dahlstrom talks about a safe used in a John Deere dealership that now sits in one of two warehouses used for storing historical items relevant to the company.

A John Deere Model #1 Corn Sheller in the corporate archives.

A sign dated from 1932 donated from a Deere dealership in Kilmarnock, Kentucky, housed in the corporate archives.

A 1942 John Deere Model “101” in the John Deere corporate archives. 46 Sunday, June 10, 2018

One of the original John Deere trademarks in the John Deere Corporate Archives.

Many of the large pieces in the warehouse — along with the artwork and some documents — are treated the same as pieces in any museum collection. They are rotated in displays and made available to others after loan agreements, appraisals and insurance matters have been settled. Many pieces of equipment in the archives never were used and were snatched up right off the assembly line. But some pieces, affectionately called “Shop Mules,” were used in factories for 30 or 40 years, he said. ON THE WAY OUT‌ One thing that strikes you in touring the Corporate Archives is the number of acquisitions accomplished by Deere & Co. over so many years. Part of the company’s genius has been its ability to spot opportunity and potential anywhere in the world. As everyone knows, the polished-steel plow was John Deere’s claim to advanced-technology fame. It delivered pioneering farmers from the struggle of clearing cast-iron blades of the heavy prairie soil that clung to them. He made life easier.


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WATERLOO CELEBRATION Fri., June 15 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Sat., June 16 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Waterloo Convention Center and John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum

MAIN STAGE SCHEDULE & CELEBRATION EVENTS Our emcee will entertain you as a game-show host, musician and part guru between musical acts.

Friday, June 15 Stackhouse | 4:30 p.m.

Popular local favorite band Stackhouse is a non-stop, high-energy, rock with a hint of country.

Chasin’ Mason | 6:30 p.m.

Rooted in country and laced with rock ‘n’ roll, this high-energy group has a variety of influences to create their rockin’ edge.

Saturday, June 16 “Those Guys” Acoustic Duo | 11:00 a.m.

Playing a variety of oldies, new stuff and top 40 - you name it, “Those Guys” play it!

Waterloo Municipal Band | 1:00 p.m.

Performing a composition titled “Those Big Green Machines” in honor of John Deere.

Chasin’ Mason | 3:00 p.m.

Rooted in country and laced with rock ‘n’ roll, this high-energy group has a variety of influences to create their rockin’ edge.

Waterloo Convention Center and Public Market Courtyard

�John Deere Through the Decades in Waterloo �100 Years of Tractor Innovation Showcase �UAW Local 838 Display �John Deere Retiree Zone �Inflatables �Face Painting �Farm & Tractor Temporary Tattoos �Food and Beverage Vendors

John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum �Blacksmith �Kid Tractor Pull �Pedal Tractor Obstacle Course �Working Demonstrations �Photo Booths �Farm to Table Play Area �Farm-Themed Water Color Workshop

Joe Diffie | 6:00 p.m.

The chart-topping artist known for his mix of contemporary country, ballads and legendary “John Deere Green”.

Free admission. Food and beverages available for purchase. Trolleys available for easy transportation.

Profile for Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

John Deere Tractors at 100  

The Legen Runs On

John Deere Tractors at 100  

The Legen Runs On