There is certainly a lot to cover when it comes to the rich 175-year history of John Deere. Aside from the obvious advancements in machinery and product lines, a lot of interesting things have happened to shape the company into what it is today. We are going to dig deeper and explore some details about the company that are not as well known. Check out these 13 interesting John Deere facts and see which ones surprise you the most.
13 Interesting Facts About John Deere
Over the course of nearly two centuries, a lot has changed; new technologies have been invented, societal needs have transitioned, and the face of the agriculture industry has evolved. During every day of these passing years, John Deere has made strides to keep pace with the changing times and, today, the company continues to provide top of the line equipment. Some of the most interesting John Deere facts include:
- First plow was designed for Midwestern farmers
- John Deere solely managed the company from 1852-1858
- John Deere went international in 1912
- 700 tractor models have been designed since 1837
- The John Deere trademark logo has been changed 8 times
And those are just to name a few. Keep reading to learn about the other interesting facts about John Deere.
1. First John Deere Plow was Designed for Midwestern Farmers
John Deere designed his first plow for Midwestern farmers as a 33-year-old blacksmith. In 1837, he invented the first steel plow which was designed to cut through sticky prairie soil, resulting in a demand for Deere to build more over the next five years. Considering the success of this equipment, some may ask, “Why was the steel plow important?” Before 1837, farmers had to regularly take breaks to clean prairie soil off their cast-iron plows. With the introduction of the John Deere steel plow, soil would easily slide off the moldboard, thereby increasing overall productivity.
2. John Deere Solely Managed the Company for 6 Years
From 1852-1858, John Deere only managed John Deere and Company. Then in 1858, Deere’s 21-year-old son, Charles, took over as manager when economic panic struck the United States. Upon his father’s death in 1886, Charles became president and continued to run the company for another 21 years until he died in 1907.
3. John Deere Once Made Bicycles
A bicycle craze swept the nation in 1894, causing John Deere Company to jump at the opportunity. For the next few years, the Deere Leader, the Deere Roadster, and the Moline Special were manufactured but production stopped when the fad lost steam.
4. John Deere went International in 1912
John Deere and Company went international in 1912, beginning with a manufacturing entity in Canada.
Starting in 1956, the company decided to build plants in Mexico, Germany, and Spain. Over the next few years, France, Argentina, and South Africa were thrown into the mix. There are now 109 John Deere locations across the globe, with 43 in the U.S. alone!
5. Almost 700 Tractor Models have been Designed Since 1837
Since John Deere manufactured his very first plow in 1837, approximately 690 different tractor models have been designed, produced, and sold.
6. John Deere and Company Employs 83,000 Employees Worldwide
As of 2024, John Deere employs 83,000 employees internationally. With multiple departments to choose from, there are ample opportunities to work at John Deere—even if you’re not an expert tractor engineer.
Want to learn more about the role of John Deere employees across the globe? Check out this post!
7. The Industrial Equipment Division of John Deere was Established in 1958
Although this division became official in the 1950s, the company had been doing business in that industry for decades. The Deere factory in Dubuque, Iowa rolled out the first industrial-yellow crawler tractors designed specifically for industrial applications.
8. The John Deere Logo has been Changed 8 Times
There have been 8 variations of the official John Deere trademark logo. John Deere registered its first logo, the “leaping deer” trademark, back in 1876. As the company grew, the design was altered several times before arriving at the modern green and yellow image we all know and love today!
9. In 1998, John Deere Reached $1 Billion
John Deere hit a historical financial landmark in 1998 by reaching $1 billion in profit. This was a first not only for John Deere but for the entire agricultural equipment industry.
10. John Deere and Company Started Out Manufacturing of Farm Tractors
While John Deere is widely known for its production of agricultural equipment, the company has expanded over the past century to meet customer needs across multiple industries. This includes residential mowing, golf and turf, Gators and UTVs, commercial construction, and forestry.
11. John Deere’s Green and Yellow Color Combination is Trademarked
Since the late 1960s, John Deere’s green and yellow color combination has qualified as a “famous” trademark. So if you’ve ever had the inkling to paint your non-John Deere tractor green and yellow, it’s best to think again.
12. John Deere Used to Produce Snowmobiles
Throughout the 1970s, John Deere produced their very own snowmobiles, beginning with the Model 400 and Model 500 and ending with the 340 and 440 Trailfire models. Over the course of a decade, John Deere produced almost 250,000 snowmobiles.
13. John Deere and Company Has Only Had 10 Corporate Leaders
During its 175-year history, John Deere has only had 10 corporate leaders across the organization.
Of the many fascinating things there are to know about John Deere and Company, we found these to be the most noteworthy. But as time goes on, more interesting facts about John Deere and Company are sure to arise.