Farmer 'Can Do' with Deere
John Deere held a couple of big events at its Harvester Works in Moline, Illinois, on Thursday. First, company officials gave an Iowa farmer a 'Gold Key' for his new S-670 combine as it rolled off the assembly line. And, a different type of S-Series combine rolled out the door, this one made up of thousands of food donations.
As of Thursday, 350,000 cans of food will now go toward feeding those in need around the Quad Cities area, all thanks to John Deere. On Thursday, Deere's Project "Can Do" -- a sculpture of one of the company's new combines constructed of around 350,000 cans of food -- was completed. The food will go to the River Bend FoodBank in Moline.
"The purpose of Project 'Can Do' is to recognize the vital role American farmers and technology play in feeding the world this harvest season, along with focusing attention on the growing number of families who go without food every day," according to a Deere report.
Bob Herring was in attendance Thursday as Deere officials rolled out their "Can Do" S-Series combine. He actually set the last of the 350,000 food cans in place, completing the sculpture. Herring, a Mechanicsville, Iowa, farmer had a larger role than that Thursday, though.
Herring was the recipient of Deere's latest "Gold Key," an honor the company shares with some of its most dedicated machinery customers. As part of his participation, Herring got to watch his new S-Series combine -- an S-670 -- roll off the assembly line.
"Bob is actually our first Gold Key for an S-Series combine. Typically, once built, the machine will be warehoused for 3-4 days, then the dealer arranges to delivery it," says Jennifer Hartmann of Deere's Harvester Works facility in Moline. "The cab was built and assembled today and the whole machine will be built Monday so he'll have it by the end of next week."
The Gold Key program, Hartmann says, is a way for Deere engineers and manufacturers to share the production process with the farmers who will be using the machinery in the field. Around 1,000 farmers each year earn "Gold Keys" that include a factory tour when their machine is being made.
"Workers requested the opportunity to interact and share what they do with customers," Hartmann says. "Now, we have it at our facilities in Waterloo, Des Moines and all over the world. The purpose is to demonstrate how the machines are built and share first-hand with customers the quality that goes into those machines and give those customers the opportunity to start up the machines right from the assembly line."