Yesterday I climbed up onto a John Deere tractor and mowed a large field. I had plenty of time to think about my machine and the work we were doing. My mind wandered to the past, and to the story of John Deere. His story is the story of America. His opportunity for success is what we call the American dream.
He was born poor, Vermont, 1804. He apprenticed to a blacksmith. He moved west in search of opportunity and made his new home in Illinois. He had an idea for a better plow - highly polished and properly shaped so it would scour itself as it cut furrows. He took risk. He made plows for inventory instead of on order. He imported better steel from England. He invested money in his business and time in his community, serving in public office and church leadership. Throughout his long life he never lost sight of his customers' needs. In his own words, He built a company "dedicated to those linked to the land." 175 years later, it is still true that nothing runs like a Deere.