The passion generations of Australian farmers have for their John Deere tractors is set to be celebrated with a mass gathering of fans in a sea of green and yellow at Henty this year.
Australia’s biggest gathering of John Deere fans in the one spot will be attempted at 11am at The Stump on Thursday, September 20.
People of all ages are welcome to help set the record attempt, and wear their favourite article of John Deere branded clothing to add to the celebrative atmosphere.
The brand is marking 100 years of tractor manufacture with special guests, John Deere Limited – Australia/New Zealand managing director Peter Wanckel and sales and marketing manager Steve Wright, cutting a centenary cake at 11am.
Die-hard John Deere fans are invited to nominate themselves via the HMFD or Hutcheon & Pearce Facebook pages to win the title of Mr JD and Ms JD for 2018.
To be decided by public vote, the winners will receive great prizes from Hutcheon & Pearce, and invited to a VIP lunch with John Deere dignitaries.
CWA member Lyn Jacobsen, Albury, has sewn five collectible John Deere quilts for the celebrations and will auction one at The Stump to raise funds for CWA of NSW Drought Aid.
Albury strongman competitor Scout Symons, 26, will attempt to pull a John Deere tractor at the Hutcheon & Pearce site at 9.30am on the Tuesday and 10am on the Thursday.
As the field days biggest exhibitors, Hutcheon & Pearce boast an expanded site frontage of 180m this year with more machinery from ride-on mowers to the new John Deere S780 harvester, plus the range of merchandise and toys.
Visitors can go in the draw each day for “100 years of John Deere manufacturing” gift packs, to be drawn on Hutcheon & Pearce’s site at 5pm daily.
Human resources staff will be available at the recruitment corner on-site about career opportunities in the team across southern NSW.
There will be daily walk-arounds of the new John Deere R Series self-propelled sprayer at the machinery demonstration area (adjacent to the agronomy plots), and Hutcheon & Pearce will play a role in the indoor and outdoor John Deere themed vintage machinery display.
The display will also include a 1800hp John Deere “smoker’’ pulling tractor and a 700hp John Deere 6030-V16GM from Allan Arthur, Albury.
The indoor display, featuring collectible tractors, memorabilia and a collection of John Deere quilts sewn by Lyn Jacobsen, Albury, is in site 350 Block I.
Hutcheon & Pearce sales operations manager Andrew Watt said more than 50 Hutcheon & Pearce staff would attend this year’s field days.
“We’ll have a working Waterloo Boy tractor, which is the original model tractor John Deere ever produced, at Henty,’’ Mr Watt said.
“These are extremely rare, with only a handful of working models in Australia.
“Owned by John Kirkpatrick, of Lake Goldsmith, this one was built in April 1918, just two weeks after John Deere began tractor manufacturing at the Waterloo Gasoline Company.
“We’re also looking forward to having George the Farmer with us again this year with daily performances at 11am and 2pm.
“We’ll have some virtual reality goggles there so people can do a 360 degree virtual walk around some of our products.’’
John Kirkpatrick will be a guest speaker on the Waterloo Boy at a VIP luncheon on the Thursday along with John Deere Limited – Australia/New Zealand managing director Peter Wanckel.
Mr Wanckel joined John Deere Limited as chief financial officer in 1999 and was appointed managing director of John Deere Water – Australia/New Zealand in 2009 to consolidate global acquisitions of irrigation companies.
He took up his current position in 2012 and will outline the company’s 181 year history and where to from here.
Hutcheon & Pearce are donating five John Deere side-by-side UTVs for use by the HMFD Co-operative during the field days.
Andrew Watt was full of praise for the HMFD committee.
“We have a close working relationship with the committee and each year happily supply all the Gators for the committee and volunteers to use during the event – with 105 ha and 1200 sites to cover, they’re a necessity,’’ he said.
“We’ve been working with the committee for at least six months to plan this year’s field days.
“We were hoping to mark the 100 years of John Deere tractors in some way, but (HMFD media manager) Kim Woods just came out of the gates with heaps of ideas, and we’re really excited to be involved.’’
Caption: (images 32A0150/37A0155) Andrew Watt, Hutcheon & Pearce sales operation manager, and Kim Woods, HMFD media manager, prepare for the John Deere celebrations at the 2018 Henty Machinery Field Days.