Gathering of the Green


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"Gathering of the Green"
A biennial nationwide conference for
John Deere collectors, restorers & enthusiasts.
RiverCenter, Davenport, Iowa
March 18-21, 2020

"Gathering" Speakers

I wish I was the SPEAKER


     Hi, I'm Meli. One of my duties as hostess of the "Gathering" web site is to tell you about the scheduled activities and attractions of the conference.     I am now pleased to announce some of our evening speakers:


Thursday, March 17:
Featured Evening Speaker - 7 pm.

"LIFE IN THE DEERE LANE"

Who are we and how will we be known as we influence the next generation of GREEN enthusiasts?

Ken Buell will talk tractors on Thursday evening.... you are in for a treat! His family heritage and years as a manager with Deere & Company brings with him many interesting stories about his experiences. His humorous and interesting encounters over the years will support the 2014 "Gathering" theme, "Preserving America's Heritage:" As an avid collector who has interest in tractors, implements such as corn pickers, antique cars and trucks, Ken will share his perspectives on our hobby and the importance of understanding how our role of enjoying things of the past influences the future, knowing that for many of us it's more than a hobby, it's almost a way of life. You will enjoy hearing stories about living in a "house divided" (tractors of different colors) and how that's okay if you pass on the knowledge to further our heritage. So, whether you are tractor-focused, interested in implements, enjoy literature or toys or just all things John Deere, you will enjoy your banquet evening with the man who has been in the Deere Lane most of his life.

Ken grew up on a diversified farm in southeast Nebraska and his interest in agriculture was nourished by his active membership in 4-H on the state and national level. While attending the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, majoring in agriculture, he became active in several campus organizations, advisory boards, search committees and the university flying club. While at the U of N, he was employed at a local television station, starting as a camera operator for sporting events and later becoming a technical director. Ken was named one of six graduates to be honored with the "Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award" by the University of Nebraska in 2006. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, Ken's first position with Deere & Company was as a film producer for John Deere Day and product introduction films. He won several awards for short film clips with the National Ag Marketing Association including "Texas Longhorns:' Positions with Deere as a territory manager in Oklahoma, supervisor with John Deere Credit and manager of Sales Promotions, brought him to the position of Manager, College Partnerships in Lenexa, Kansas which he held until his time of retirement.

Ken is a member of the Illinois Agricultural Education Council, Kansas State Agricultural Engineering Advisory Board, and the Pittsburg State University Automotive Technology Advisory Board. He is a local 4-H leader, a volunteer auctioneer for organizations such as Cystic Fibrosis and the American Heart Association. Ken and wife, Julie, are active members of their church and in a program to provide tractors for Haiti.





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 small acreage in Quincy, IL.

Mac will discuss some Deere history, REGARDING THE pros and cons of entering the harvest equipment business in 1912. Perhaps our hobby today can profit from looking closely at the dynamic forces involved in that 1912 board meeting. He will share his thoughts and insights about the present and future of our collectors/restorers pastime. Are we "Fenced" or can we "Hurdle?"

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 experiences over the past twenty-five years.






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