Successful Farming - - ACROSS THE EDITORS DESK -

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.

Dave Kurns Ed­i­to­rial Con­tent Di­rec­tor [email protected]­ith.com Twit­ter: @dav­ekurns

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