John Deere opened its Kansas City branch office 150 years ago, where it quickly became the largest distribution center and sales hub for the rapidly growing company that was founded in 1837. This week, company employees, retirees, community leaders and guests gathered at the historic John Deere Plow building located in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Mo., to celebrate the 150-year significant physical and economic milestone in the company’s history.
Once opened, the Kansas City office provided John Deere with a gateway to expanding new markets in the west. “Its proximity to roads, rivers and rail systems helped John Deere grow and keep pace with a rapidly growing country,” said John Lagemann, senior vice president for John Deere. “As our company has continued to grow, Kansas City, and the surrounding area, have played and continue to play a key role.”
Today, the John Deere Ag Marketing Center, in Olathe, Kan., is home to a variety of marketing, accounting and dealer support functions for the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The company’s iconic green and yellow equipment is sold at numerous independent dealerships across Missouri and Kansas where John Deere employs more than 1,500 people and another 1,100 of its retirees also live.
Several dignitaries attended the event on Thursday, including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas who proclaimed August 22 John Deere Day.