Deere Shareholders Meet in Moline

Feb 27, 2019

After ten years leading John Deere, Chair and CEO Sam Allen is still convinced the company's best days are ahead. At Wednesday's annual meeting in Moline, Illinois, shareholders elected Deere and Company's board of directors and watched a couple of videos.

Michelle O'Neill reports they also listened to a review of past performance, and how the company will meet new challenges.

Ken Golden, Director of Global Public Relations, Deere & Company (file)
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Spokesman Ken Golden says innovation has always been a key part of the company.

Deere has been high-tech for decades.

And automation and digitization are already part of its long term strategy.

For example, a Deere product called Combine Advisor helps farmers improve yield and grain quality. 

During the meeting, a shareholder from Peoria, Lester Bergsten, asked CEO Sam Allen whether Deere is using new technology to reduce emissions from diesel engines. And the answer is, "Yes." 

Lester Bergren (L) and a fellow Deere & Company shareholder
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Allen also told Bergsten for large equipment, hybrid electric and diesel power is still necessary because battery capacity isn't advanced enough.

For example, at an agriculture show in Paris, Deere featured an all-electric tractor powered by batteries alone.

It cost 2 to 3 times more and needed to be recharged after only half-an-hour in the field.

But the company will continue to use new battery technology in small equipment, such as lawn mowers and Gators. One of the videos shown at the meeting is posted below. It's about the "John Deere Strategy."