Shareholders seemed happy with what they heard today at Deere & Company's annual meeting. New CEO John May gave his first presentation to the board of directors and a packed house full of shareholders, including many retirees.
Luz Helena Upegui, a shareholder from Coal Valley, is pleased Deere has continued to earn profits over the past ten years, even when equipment sales were down.
Deere Spokesman Ken Golden says the company will focus on three areas to remain profitable, precision agriculture, aftermarket parts, and improving efficiencies. That will include evaluating assets and improving performance in markets that haven't been as successful as others. The goal is to become a "smart industrial company and employer."
Golden also says Deere has procedures in place to respond to the virus outbreak in China, where the company makes farm and construction equipment. And Deere shut down its plants when the government asked it to. Many employees are working remotely, and the company is working closely with suppliers to prepare for getting production going again.
Another challenge Deere and Company plans to address is attracting and retaining young, tech-savvy employees.