Thursday, March 17:
Featured Evening Speaker - 7 pm.
"Farm Shows, County Fairs & John Deere Days"
When the 2020 theme, "It's Fair Time", was selected and planners began organizing the conference, one gentleman came to mind whose experience with expositions was a part of his responsibilities with John Deere - that was Ken Buell. Ken's work experience as Manager, Sales Promotion in the Kansas City Branch included demonstrations, county fair exhibits, and John Deere Days. These activities have been part of Ken Buell's life since before he started his career with Deere & Company.
Ken's presentation on Thursday evening will include some of the great pictures he has collected through the years relating to Farm Shows and County Fairs. Ken's experience as Manager, Sales Promotion in the Kansas City Branch of some of the large Farm Shows ought to be educational and as always entertaining. Surely you will chuckle at a few of the behind the scenes activities, before and during the shows.
Ken Buell graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1974 and began work for Deere & Company as a John Deere Days film producer and has held positions as Territory Manager in Norman, Oklahoma; Retail Credit Supervisor; Supervisor, Legal Services; and Manager, Sales Promotion in the Kansas City Branch. He retired as the Manager, College Partnerships, John Deere North American Ag Marketing Center, Olathe, Kansas.
Friday, March 18:
Doubletree by Hilton Ballroom
5PM - 6:30PM
BEER & BULL GEARS
Would you like to meet John Deere's great, great, great, grandson? Join our Gathering Chairman, Tony Knobbe for an interesting conversation with Alexander "Sandy" Hewitt, son of former Deere & Company Chairman, Bill Hewitt.
Sandy and his sisters, Anna and Adrienne, grew up with their parents Bill and Patricia (Tish) Hewitt in Moline, IL. The family actively participated in equestrian sports, owning Friendship Farms near the Deere headquarters. Tish was an accomplished Arabian horse trainer, which led to her involvement with the Japanese Olympic equestrian team. Friendship Farms was sold to the Tournament Players Championship (TPC) in the 1990s and is now known as Deere Run, home of the John Deere Classic.
Our format for the evening will be interview style, with pictures from the family albums on the screen. Tony and Sandy will engage in conversations that will gin you a glimpse of growing up in a Deere chairman's household. Stories of products, manufacturing, and the construction of Deere’s Worldwide Headquarters, its leadership, and family travels will be shared.
Enjoy the buffet dinner at Cafe 111 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Ballroom before Beer & Bull Gears, and then move on to the Fun Auction at 7PM.
Saturday, March 19:
Banquet Keynote Speaker 7 pm.
FENCE or HURDLE
Don "Mac" McKinley returns to the 2022 Gathering as our banquet keynote speaker. Mac is a walking encyclopedia of agricultural history, an excellent speaker, retired elementary school principal, two-cylinder and implement restorer, collector, longtime Gathering planner, and co-creator with his son-in-law, Marvin Huber, of a 1930s agricultural museum on their acreage in Quincy, IL.
Mac will recount some personal choices he made in the past which helped shape his world today. He will take a look at John Deere history where in 1912, the choices of a very few led to the John Deere Co. we know today. He will help us examine how our thoughts and choices can affect the future of our hobby. Are we "fenced" or can we "hurdle" the fences? What will our choices create?
Don McKinley was born and raised on a 300-acre farm in southwest Iowa just outside of College Springs. He left the farm to attend Monmouth College in Illinois and after successful years as a teacher, Don was appointed principal of an elementary school in Quincy, Illinois, a position he held for 33 years. After retiring, and with the help of his son-in-law Marvin Huber, Don restored and maintained a 1936 John Deere Model B tractor and eventually surrounded the old "B" with some 45 John Deere implements manufactured during or before the 1930s. The implements, tractor and hundreds of other items typically found on a Midwest farm in the decade of the 1930s are housed in the museum. Researching and labeling the items in the museum has led Don to become knowledgeable about the history of agriculture in the United States.
Plan to attend the banquet on Saturday night for an enjoyable evening as Mac addresses his assessment of the hobby along with some personal stories of his numerous experiences.