The annual awards meeting of the Quad City Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) recognizes individuals in the region who help to advance the sector through the use of innovative practices and dedication to their specific craft.
The Geneseo Republic reported that the 2012 awards recognized two Geneseo, Illinois, residents, as Anne Ryerson was named “Young Member of the Year,” and Tom Hitzhusen was named “Member of the Year.”
According to the news source, Ryerson served as the section’s chair this past year and is a product safety and compliance engineer with the John Deere Harvester Works and Seeding Group.
Ryerson values her time working for the agricultural company, and spends her time outside of work volunteering with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and has also been active in programs in the area that help to generate interest among young girls for engineering careers and entering the industry.
According to the Republic, Ryerson is a member of the College of Engineering advisory group at the University of Iowa, her alma mater and a school that helps to sustain the agricultural industry through its many programs related to the sector.
Hitzhusen is an engineering consultant that got his career started with John Deere, as he was employed at the Des Moines, Iowa, Works after graduating from Iowa State University. The “Member of the Year” went on to work for the iconic brand for 23 years years and retired as manager of future combine engineering for the company.
According to the news source, Hitzhusen has served as the chair of both the Iowa and Quad City Sections of ASABE, again showing the level of interaction that John Deere employees have with both the local community and the agricultural sector.
Having used John Deere farm equipment, along with engineering the products for the company, Hitzhusen used this expertise to help develop the agricultural equipment exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. He has also served as the director of the Deer Valley Collectors and the Antique Engine and Tractor Association.
John Deere employees often come from farming backgrounds or have used the equipment, as many times they look to pursue a career in the sector that they love. The company offers a variety of programs to attract students, ranging from the John Deere TECH program to a number of scholarship opportunities available for higher education.