I remember counting up the sides in second grade. We were almost all farm kids, except for Val who’s dad owned a little Ford tractor- which immediately put her on the opposing team, and Alla who chose a side based on color preference. But, even with such faulty reasoning, the John Deere team still had the lead, and I was an unwavering supporter.
A lot has happened since second grade, I hope I’ve grown a bit in my reasonings. I still find myself in an occasional good natured debate, the lines aren’t always so clear anymore. Regardless, I remain an unwavering supporter.
A week with John Deere in Germany has done nothing to hinder that support.
I still can’t believe I got in on the adventure. One sunny day in September, Father came on the radio and I heard about two words “Jeff” and “Germany” and I was on board. Every fall, John Deere hosts fly-ins for their Forage Harvester customers, and so we went.
Our group was small and delightful. We represented a handful of states and our leadership team did an unbelievable job at making sure we were well cared for.
We traveled by train most of the time- which was a big thing for me since I’ve never traveled by train (and incidentally train travel was #25 of the #30for30 project.) The train glided along at a high of 152 mph and we rode in comfort after Nick (one of the JD guys) spent 10 minutes evicting locals from our reserved seats. The only stress point was that the train occasionally came in backward from what it was supposed to be, and our group of 25 plus luggage would wind our way over hill and dale, through a number of coach cars, past the dining car, and around until we found our reserved section. But it was a very positive experience.
Other highlights from the week included:
-Agritechnica Read about that here
-Exotic, lengthy dinners. Somethings were amazing and others 😬 Well… 😏 The breads were so delicious!
But some of the meat platters- like sausage that is mildly raw, and blood sausage-hmmm. 🙈 The jar of mushed chicken liver is what almost did me in. To add insult to injury- I thought I’d get rid of the taste/texture by sampling the garnish of parmesan cheese, only to discover that it was horseradish. 🤨Regardless the food was really a fun culture experience!
The “Tarte Flambee” experience was quite memorable. Envision really thin crust with a wide variety of toppings to choose from, baked in a wood fired oven. I made the mistake of calling them pizzas. 🙊 Ooops. The typical group eats 2 Tarte Flambees/person. Not sure if I held up my end of the deal or not, but I tried.
-Touring multiple John Deere plants and learning what all goes into creating a piece of equipment that we appreciate so much. Definately it was an honor to spend part of the afternoon with several of the engineers of the machine discussing ways to improve, answering whatever questions we had, strengthening relationships between the farmers and the JD Team-it was really personable and so much fun.
-Experiencing lots of typical European weather…
Blessings to you,