Quad Cities & John Deere World Headquarters

Several weeks ago (yes I’m muy behind!) I went on a business trip to the John Deere world headquarters in Moline, IL.  And yes, this was one day after returning from New York–I won’t plan back-to-back trips like that again!  I wanted to write a blog about it in case I, or any of my co-workers, want to reference this again.  I had an excellent tour guide, my “mentor” and colleague from work, CG.  He worked at the world HQ for 13 years, so he showed me all the best places, both to eat, and to see some of John Deere’s illustrious history.

Day 1: I flew from Greensboro to ATL to Moline, which only took about 5 hours, so I was there in time for lunch!  We met up with CG’s friend RL for lunch at the world HQ (they have their own cafeteria–with very tasty food too!)  First, we did a quick tour of the display floor and Deere & Co.  They have a huge display of original documents, plus many of the models that Deere builds–a 210G excavator was there, from our company in Kernersville:

After lunch and an afternoon of tours and meetings, I checked into the Radisson on John Deere Commons before we headed to Habaneros on 4th Ave (had to revert to Plan B when The Captain’s Table was closed.)  Excellent Mexican food, and a fun meal with CG and his wife D.

After dinner, we took a quick trip up to John Deere’s gravesite, at the Riverside Cemetery.  It was just before dark, so we got there in time!  It was pretty cool (and extremely cold & windy!) to see where the founder of such a world-class company resides today, along with his family:

The one hour time change, plus my weariness from traveling back from NYC, got me in bed super early that night!

Day 2:  We fueled up on an awesome b-fast at the Radisson (complete with my fave, waffles!) and headed over to John Deere Harvester Works.  After a productive meeting, CG and I got to take a riding tour of the facility–complete with 2 tour guides just for us!  The combines made there harvest over half the crops in the world (if I remember correctly) and can harvest up to 350 acres a DAY, which is incredible!  Pics from Harvester Works:

Time for lunch, so we headed to the Belgian Village, for a famous Reuben.  We had to split the VandeReuben because it was so huge!

On the way to John Deere Davenport Works, we saw the Deere family house, the Deere-Wiman house, and COL Butterworth’s house–all descendents of Deere, and all kept the company going until the 1980’s, when CEO’s began to be selected from outside the family.  We crossed the Mississippi River and ventured into Iowa, passing The Lodge where CG and D stayed for awhile after they sold their house.  Davenport Works was just as impressive as Harvester, and we got a lot of good info there as well.

On the way back, we made a quick stop at Whitey’s Ice Cream, where I had a deeeelish Chocolate Peanut Butter Revel cone.  Our next stop was the John Deere Pavilion, where there are more pieces of equipment and fun facts on display:

I did a little damage–er, I bought some gifts–in the John Deere store, then had some time to talk to my boys on Skype before dinner at Biaggi’s in Davenport.  I had the pork chops, which were very good, but my salad was sort of lacking in veggies so I wouldn’t recommend a salad there.  However, the tiramisu made up for it 🙂  CG and D, RL and his wife, and another couple joined us, and the group was hilarious–plenty of good stories!  I was once again pooped, and still fighting a cold, so into bed early again!

Day 3: Nothing notable, other than CG tried to show me Rock Island Arsenal (again) and we got denied (again).  I guessed it was something about North Korea acting a fool, because I noticed the base was at FPCON Alpha, so perhaps they just weren’t letting in any civilians.  Oh well, I didn’t really care to see any more Army bases in my life, lol 😉  We had meetings at the Southwest Office building, before I headed back home.  It sure was nice to see my little guy again when I picked him up from daycare!  Then I was reunited with my papa bear shortly thereafter 🙂  Travel sure does remind me how lucky I am to have such an amazing family!  I had a great time in the Quad Cities, but nothing beats home.

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