John Deere Opens Olathe, Kansas Facility

Cindy Zimmerman

john deere olatheJohn Deere officially opened a sparkling new LEED-certified sales and marketing center in Olathe, Kansas on Friday with the help of employees, government officials, and other special guests.

“This 126,000 square foot facility has been laid out to enhance the work environment for employees and has the most up-to-date technology so we can communicate and train work groups around the world,” said John Lagemann, Vice President, John Deere Ag & Turf Division.

Dave Everitt, president of the Ag & Turf Division, thanked John Deere employees and dealers for the record breaking performance of the company in the third quarter of this year. “All of our efforts are aimed at rapidly moving in a new global arena to help our customers feed and fuel the world,” he said. “We are investing nearly $3 million a day to get that job done.”

Attending the grand opening ceremony to help John Deere celebrate this additional investment in the Kansas economy were U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Governor Sam Brownback and freshman Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS).

Check out all the photos from the ceremony here – John Deere Olathe Opening Photo Album

john deere olatheOne of the highlights of the ceremony was the unveiling of the new building’s crowning centerpiece that stands at the main entrance – one of the original John Deere deer statues that were first made some time around the early 1900s. Regional controller Mike Snyder explained that an unknown number of the statues were commissioned by the son of John Deere in 1893 to be made by the W.H. Mullins Company of Salem, Ohio. “The statue is made out of hand stamped copper sheets, riveted and welded together and mounted on a steel frame,” he said, noting that Charles Deere saw the statue at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and liked it so much he decided he wanted enough of them to be placed at every John Deere branch office and factory in the country. “Over the years, the importance faded and some were lost but recently company CEO Hans Becherer began a program to find and restore as many of them as possible.” The statue at the Olathe office is one of only 14 the company currently has.

Here is the audio from the opening ceremony, which includes remarks from Barry Nelson, Lagemann, Everitt, Snyder, the congressman, senator and governor. It’s only about 30 minutes long and there’s some pretty good stuff here our farm media friends might like to use: Opening of new John Deere Olathe Facility

See a video of the statue unveiling and ribbon cutting below:

Audio, John Deere, Video