"Gathering of the Green"

A biennial nationwide conference for
John Deere collectors, restorers & enthusiasts.

TRIPS & TOURS - 2018

These are the highlights      Hi, I'm Meli, your tour guide. Below are the schedule and brief descriptions of the trips and tours.

IMPORTANT Information related to tours of John Deere Factories:

  • Tour participants must be 13 years of age or older
  • Participants must wear closed toed shoes - no sandals allowed
  • No cameras, videos or cell phones permitted inside the factories.
  • Due to changes in factory schedules, tours are subject to cancellation
  • There is no charge to tour John Deere factories but the “Gathering” will apply a charge for transportation.


Wednesday, March 21

Sindt Museum / Johnson County (IA) Museum – Keystone / Coralville, IA This tour takes you to two collections –

Sindt Tractor Collection One of the buildings that you will tour is where Darold Sindt started his career as a John Deere mechanic. From that humble start, Darold moved forward to become a multi-store Deere dealer. While pursuing his career, he developed a talent for finding rare and unusual tractors. On this tour, you will have the opportunity see most of them.

Johnson County Museum There is something for everyone here – cars from 1900’s to the 1950’s, a vintage gas station, and a model railroad layout with the opportunity to visit with the layout builders. A section of the museum is dedicated to the history of Johnson County, with many pictures, stories and farm memorabilia.

The coach bus(es) will depart from the RiverCenter at 8:00 AM and will return at approximately 4:45 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 90. Cost for the tour, transportation, and lunch is $48.00.

John Deere Harvester Works – East Moline, IL (Sorry, sold out.) Visit the East Moline location where the world-famous John Deere combines are made. This tour takes you right to the assembly line where these giants are assembled. See how the machine starts as a frame and ends up a harvester. Visit the viewing area and see them painted. If you want a tour with lots of action, this is the one to take. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 12:00 Noon, and will return at approximately 2:45 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour transportation is $7.00.

Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center – Moline, IL (Sorry, sold out.) In 1872, Charles Deere built the Deere-Wiman house for his wife Mary and their daughters. The home sat high on the hill and overlooked the John Deere Plow Works. It survived a fire in1899 and served as home to four generations of Deere descendants.

Butterworth Center was built by Charles Deere in 1892 as a wedding gift for his youngest daughter Katherine and her husband, William Butterworth. Over the years the home has had three major additions, tripling it in size. The home has one of the largest residential pipe organs in the Midwest. This tour will give you the opportunity to see the lifestyle of the wealthy in the Mississippi River Valley.

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 1:10 PM, and will return at approximately 3:30 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour and transportation is $15.00.

Thursday, March 22

John Deere Harvester Works – East Moline, IL Visit the East Moline location where the world-famous John Deere combines are made. This tour takes you right to the assembly line where these giants are assembled. See how the machine starts as a frame and ends up a harvester. Visit the viewing area and see them painted. If you want a tour with lots of action, this is the one to take. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 7:30 AM, and will return at approximately 10:15 AM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour transportation is $7.00.

Kinze Manufacturing / Jon Kinzenbaw Tractor Collection – Williamsburg, IA (Sorry, sold out.) This tour will take you to the Kinze Manufacturing facility to see how they produce farm equipment, as well as the Kinze Innovation Center. This tour will also include an opportunity to see Jon Kinzenbaw’s personal tractor collection. YOU WILL BE IMPRESSED! The Gathering of the Green thanks Jon for allowing us to have a tour of his personal collection.

In 1965, 21-year-old Jon Kinzenbaw opened a small welding shop. Through hard work and a talent for inventing things, Kinzenbaw has created a manufacturing giant. Jon is also famous for his “Kinze Repowers.” In the late 60’s and early 70’s when American farmers wanted more powerful tractors, Jon filled the need by installing higher horsepower V8 diesel engines. In addition to the manufacturing, Jon farmed and collected tractors.

The coach bus(es) will depart from the RiverCenter at 7:40 AM, and will return at approximately 5:45 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 80. Cost for the tour, transportation, and lunch is $48.00. (Note all tobacco products are prohibited on both tours.)

John Deere Seeding Group – Moline, IL This tour will give you a close look at how the world-famous planters are built. The planter is a very important step in the process of growing a crop and John Deere strives to be #1. This is a walking tour, so keep that in mind when you sign up. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 7:40 AM, and will return at approximately 9:45 AM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour transportation is $7.00.

John Deere Dubuque Works / National Farm Toy Museum – Dubuque / Dyersville, IA

John Deere Dubuque Works In 1947, this Deere factory opened and produced the famous “Dubuque Tractors,” the favorite of many collectors. Today Deere manufactures construction and forestry equipment at the Dubuque Works, including crawler dozers, crawler loaders, skid steers, backhoe loaders, along with forestry track feller bunchers and knuckle boom loaders. This tour will give you an excellent opportunity to view the manufacture of several different types of machines. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

National Farm Toy Museum This stop will make all of you say, “I had one of those or I always wanted one of those,” as you view the toys that somehow survived the children’s playing and attic cleanings. Seeing some of the survivors may make you wish when mom said, “Do you want any of these old toys?” that you would have said yes. Although focused on “farm toys” that survived, there are other children’s toys and custom-made farm equipment replicas on display.

The coach bus departs from the RiverCenter at 8:00 AM, and will return at approximately 4:00 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 50. Cost for the tour, transportation, and lunch is $38.00.

A Museum & Shopping Trip to Geneseo – Geneseo, IL This trip will take you to nearby Geneseo, IL. The first stop will take you to the Geneseo Historical Museum, a home built in the 1850’s and used as a hotel. In 1867, it was purchased by two brothers for their two families to live in. The building has been restored and is home to the Geneseo Historical Museum. The museum is filled with furnishings and artifacts dating back to the 1860’s.

After your museum visit, you will be free to visit shops and restaurants nearby for a few hours. (Lunch is on your own.) At about 1:30 PM we will board the bus and proceed a short distance to the C&S Antique Mall. We will visit the antique mall for about an hour and a half. Remember there are large storage spaces under the bus to bring your treasures back with you.

The coach bus departs from the RiverCenter at 9:30 AM, and will return at approximately 3:30 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 50. Cost for the tour and transportation is $17.00.

John Deere Harvester Works – East Moline, IL Visit the East Moline location where the world-famous John Deere combines are made. This tour takes you right to the assembly line where these giants are assembled. See how the machine starts as a frame and ends up a harvester. Visit the viewing area and see them painted. If you want a tour with lots of action, this is the one to take. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 9:30 AM, and will return at approximately 12:15 AM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour transportation is $7.00.

John Deere Davenport Works – Davenport, IA This tour will take you to the manufacturing site of the Deere articulated dump trucks, four-wheel-drive loaders, motor graders and log skidders. You will have the opportunity to see these machines being built – from the logistics of getting parts from other locations at the key time to seeing massive steel parts fabricated into the end product.

This tour is not normally available to the public, but Deere and Co. has offered us a limited capacity tour. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 9:30 AM, and will return at approximately 12:00 Noon. Maximum tour capacity is 20. Cost for the tour transportation is $7.00.

Friday, March 23

Kenny Kass Collection / John Deere Engine Works – Dunkerton / Waterloo, IA (Sorry, sold out.)

Kenny Kass Collection The tour of Kenny Kass’ collection will take you several different ways. From stationary engines, to large prairie gas tractors, on to rare John Deere two-cylinder tractors and ending with what I believe is the largest collection of John Deere Waterloo Boys. You will be amazed at the number of rare tractors and engines he has collected over the years. Don’t miss this opportunity!

John Deere Engine Works The John Deere Engine Works is where Deere machines, assembles and tests the world-famous John Deere engines. You will see the amazing speed and perfection of the machining and assembly process. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

The coach bus(es) will depart from the RiverCenter at 7:30 AM and will return at approximately 5:00 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 90. Cost for the tour, transportation, and lunch is $40.00.

John Deere Harvester Works – East Moline, IL Visit the East Moline location where the world-famous John Deere combines are made. This tour takes you right to the assembly line where these giants are assembled. See how the machine starts as a frame and ends up a harvester. Visit the viewing area and see them painted. If you want a tour with lots of action, this is the one to take. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 7:30 AM, and will return at approximately 10:15 AM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour transportation is $7.00.

John Deere Tractor Cab Assembly Operations / Waterloo Tractor & Engine Museum – Waterloo, IA

John Deere Tractor Cab Assembly Operations This tour will take you to the plant where Deere makes their 6R, 7R, 8R/8RT, and 9R/9RT/9RX Series tractors. You will see the assembly process for these machines. The building of today’s John Deere tractors has changed dramatically since the John Deere Waterloo Boy assembly line. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

Waterloo Tractor & Engine Museum The Waterloo Tractor & Engine Museum will show you the history of John Deere tractor manufacturing. Located on the site where Deere tractors were made until the 1970’s, it holds a spot dear to the heart of those who worked there. When you look at the pictures and see the size of the old tractor plant, it is amazing.

The coach bus departs from the RiverCenter at 7:40 AM and will return at approximately 5:15 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 50. Cost for the tour transportation and lunch is $38.00.

The Village of Amana – Amana, IA In the mid 1800’s, German settlers purchased a large tract of land (26,000 acres) in south central Iowa. They established seven villages on this land in a communal-type lifestyle. In the 1930’s, the communal lifestyle was not working and privatization of the colony began. The village of Amana was home to a large textile mill and the Amana appliance operation.

Today, Amana has many antique shops, craft shops and restaurants. This trip offers lots of shopping and dining opportunities. (Lunch is on your own.)

The coach bus departs from the RiverCenter at 8:30 AM and will return at approximately 4:30 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 50. Cost for the tour transportation is $25.00.

Shopping Trip to DeWitt – DeWitt, IA Emma Rae's Antiques & Uniques in DeWitt, IA invites the Gathering of the Green to spend the day with them! Emma Rae's is an antique mall with over 10,000 square feet and 100+ vendors. They offer antiques, collectibles, artisans, primitives, crafts and more! A variety of their vendors offer discounts in their booths. Have a cup of coffee and chat in Ellie Jeans Veranda. Free snacks and drinks provided for the day! Other shops and eateries within the three-block area of downtown DeWitt will also be offering discounts.

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 9:00 AM, and will return at approximately 3:00 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the transportation is $16.00.

John Deere Harvester Works – East Moline, IL Visit the East Moline location where the world-famous John Deere combines are made. This tour takes you right to the assembly line where these giants are assembled. See how the machine starts as a frame and ends up a harvester. Visit the viewing area and see them painted. If you want a tour with lots of action, this is the one to take. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 9:30 AM, and will return at approximately 12:15 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour transportation is $7.00.

John Deere Harvester Works – East Moline, IL Visit the East Moline location where the world-famous John Deere combines are made. This tour takes you right to the assembly line where these giants are assembled. See how the machine starts as a frame and ends up a harvester. Visit the viewing area and see them painted. If you want a tour with lots of action, this is the one to take. (John Deere tour policy applies.)

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 12:00 Noon, and will return at approximately 2:45 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour transportation is $7.00.

Saturday, March 24

Big River Resources – West Burlington, IA This tour will take you to an ethanol plant in West Burlington, Iowa that produces more than 100 million gallons of ethanol each year. See how the forty million bushels of corn are turned into ethanol and tons of distillers grain byproduct. Learn and view the process of making ethanol from corn.

The coach bus departs from the RiverCenter at 8:15 AM and will return at approximately 2:45 PM. Maximum tour capacity is 50. Cost for the tour transportation and lunch is $37.00.

Cinnamon Ridge Farms Tour – Donahue, IA This unique farming operation is operated by the John and Joan Maxwell family. To say the Maxwell’s are progressive farmers is an understatement. They produce 300 bushel/acre corn yields, and run a completely automated milking operation for 250 Jersey cows, a cattle feeding operation, as well as a hog feeding operation. You will find the Maxwell’s excellent hosts on this tour.

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 8:20 AM and will return at approximately 11:15 AM. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour and transportation is $20.00.

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum – Walcott, IA This museum is a tribute to trucking in America. This is not a tractor collection, but trucking was a large part of the success of farming. From seed, feed and fuel delivery to the farm, to milk, livestock and grain delivery to the consumers, trucks are a large part of our farming community. See how the trucking industry progressed, just as farming has progressed from the Waterloo Boy.

The bus departs from the RiverCenter at 9:00 AM and will return at approximately 12:00 Noon. Maximum tour capacity is 45. Cost for the tour transportation and museum donation ($3.00) is $12.00.

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