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A Gold Key Tour for a Florida family and delivery of their new 8245R John Deere tractor – the first 2018 tractor made in Waterloo, Iowa – has kicked off a series of events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of John Deere entering the tractor business.

Deere hosted the Wade Purvis family of Naples, Fla., for the Gold Key event, during which customers can watch the final assembly of their newly purchased machine. The new tractor includes a commemorative badge that will be appear on several models of 2018 John Deere tractors including the 6 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series and 9 Series machines. Deere entered the farm tractor business in March 1918 through the acquisition of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company.

At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the museum’s American Enterprise exhibition will mark 2018 as the year of the tractor. The museum’s 1918 green, yellow and red Waterloo Boy tractor will be installed at the entrance of the business history exhibition in January. Within the exhibition, a new display on “Precision Farming” will examine a more contemporary story of disruptive technology in today’s agriculture industry with the use of technology including a GPS antenna donated by Deere.

“John Deere is excited the Smithsonian has chosen to present one of Deere’s most iconic tractors in the context of technological change in America. The display provides an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of agricultural innovation,” said Neil Dahlstrom, Manager, Corporate History and Archives at John Deere.

The company has been producing innovations in farm machinery for nearly two centuries, helping customers feed the world. But for the past 100 years, John Deere tractors have been the machines that best portrayed agricultural productivity. To commemorate its centennial for the tractor business, John Deere is planning several activities to celebrate the historic anniversary.

John Deere will be placing iconic tractors on display at the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, the John Deere Pavilion and John Deere World Headquarters in Moline, Ill., as well as at the John Deere Forum in Mannheim, Germany.

In June, 2018, 100 John Deere tractors and engines will be displayed at the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum and the Waterloo Convention Center. Both venues will include exhibits, food and family-friendly activities. The displays will include a mix of company and customer-owned equipment and will feature tractors and engines spanning across John Deere product lines and from around the world.

Beginning in January, the National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville, Iowa, will tell the story of John Deere via the history of farm toys.

In addition, the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines will feature John Deere tractors and equipment to tell the story of the last 100 years of agriculture in Iowa.

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