February 7 marks 200th birthday of Mr. John Deere
MOLINE, IL (January 22, 2004) — John Deere, a man who helped change the course of history, was born 200 years ago on February 7th in Rutland, Vermont. His self-scouring plow helped expedite agricultural development of the rich soil in the midwestern region of the United States.
John Deere was founder of Deere & Company, which grew from a one-man blacksmith shop in Illinois to a global enterprise that is today the world's leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment and a business leader in other equipment lines and service offerings.
"The name John Deere for many people symbolizes a certain way of life and connects them to a set of great values," said Robert W. Lane, Deere & Company's chairman and chief executive officer. "We believe these values that clearly defined John Deere's life are time-tested and still evident today in everything we do in the name of John Deere as we create products and services that help improve the productivity of our customers around the world."
To celebrate the 200th birthday, Deere & Company has created a special section on its website (www.JohnDeere.com) to provide information on the company founder. Deere has also worked with the U.S. Postal Service to offer an opportunity for collectors and others to save a piece of history from this special day.
The special website details the man's history from his birth to his leadership of the company he founded. Along the way, research shows that John Deere built his business on the enduring values of quality, innovation, integrity and commitment -- values that sustain the company today 200 years since John Deere was born and 167 years since he started in business.
Additional information on the Deere & Company website provides little known facts of John Deere's life and offers images and screensavers of John Deere, his family and residences and other details from his life.
John Deere fans can also celebrate the 200th birthday with a commemorative postal cancellation available exclusively at the Moline, Illinois, U.S. Post Office from February 7 - April 6. Individuals may mail items to the Moline Post Office (514 17th Street, Moline 61265) for the special cancellation; affix first-class postage to all items and include a stamped, self-addressed envelope for return. In addition, other commemorative items will be offered at participating John Deere dealers and the John Deere Store in Moline.
After learning his blacksmithing skills in Vermont, John Deere moved to Grand Detour, Illinois. It was there that John Deere fashioned the world's first successful self-scouring plow, allowing farmers to cut through the sticky, thick Midwest soil. In doing so, Deere helped ensure agricultural progress in the region known now as America's breadbasket.
From these early machines, continued progress was made and eventually the mechanization of agriculture would be cited as one of the most important advances in the 20th century, allowing farmers to produce more crops with fewer workers as large numbers of people left the work of agriculture to join the industrial revolution.
For further information, the news media should call:
Manager, Public Relations
Deere & Company