HANDS IN HISTORY
ONE READER LOVED OUR EXCLUSIVE TOUR OF JOHN DEERE’S ARCHIVES.
Getting access to people and special places comes with being part of the Successful Farming editorial team. Earlier this year, we asked – and got – access to a tour of the archives and historic equipment stored at John Deere’s facilities in Moline, Illinois. Our team was all over it: Executive Editor Dave Mowitz, Digital Content Editor Natalina Sents, and our video crew jumped at the chance to share this one-of-a-kind, behind-the-scenes view of this “national treasure,” according to one reader.
Lowell Carlson of Maquoketa, Iowa, was a college student and did his master’s thesis on the history of row-crop tractors in the winter of 1967-1968. He, too, was lucky enough to get access to the John Deere archives.
“A wonderful woman who headed up the company’s research library granted me the run of the archives, ” Carlson wrote to me. “She saw to it that product development photos and images of prototypes of primitive motor cultivators were reproduced for me. One morning on the way up to the library, [Deere CEO] William Hewitt got on the elevator with me and made small talk. It was a highlight for me.
“The archives were like dying and going to heaven for a young man steeped in John Deere heritage, thanks to my father using green and yellow tractors and machinery on our farm in eastern Iowa.”
You’ll want to see the complete coverage we provided, including in this magazine (December 2017) and in a sister publication, Ageless Iron Almanac (December 2017), along with video coverage on our Facebook page, and a special 30-minute TV special on the Successful Farming Show on RFD-TV. You can find all of these reports on our website, Agriculture.com.
Our extensive John Deere coverage was a great memory for many readers, including Mr. Carlson. “Count yourselves among the lucky, for sure,” he told me. “It is a national treasure – historic developments compressed into a small spot that have affected how we feed and clothe humanity through engineering and manufacturing.”
Here’s to a successful October.
HOMETOWN USA Successful Farmingeditors go back to their hometowns and write about what's changed, what's new in a series of articles looking at the state of Rural America. See their online reports at Successful Farming at Agriculture.com.