Thousands of antique John Deere tractor enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada will travel to the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois, the home of Deere & Co., in March to attend the 2018 “Gathering of the Green” conference.
This is a biannual event for John Deere two-cylinder and New Generation tractor collectors, restorers and enthusiasts. Over the years, thousands of participants have attended to spend time with fellow John Deere fans.
The 2018 gathering focuses on the 100th anniversary of John Deere entering the farm tractor business through acquisition of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co. in 1918. About 596 different tractor models have been designed, produced and sold during this era, including the revered Two-Cylinder, New Generation and Generation II tractors, which are collected, restored and enjoyed by devotees around the world.
Farmyards of yesteryear
The RiverCenter in downtown Davenport, Iowa, is headquarters for the event. It will be transformed with elaborate displays, focusing on the 2018 theme of “Legend, Made Legacy” to commemorate the centennial year of Deere’s tractor business. The event takes a step back into the American farmyard of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
The following events are offered this year:
• 60-plus technical and historical workshops by top experts, along with sessions for spouses
• tours of John Deere factories, ag-related sites and popular Quad Cities attractions
• evening speakers, including Deere archivist Neil Dahlstrom and Deere’s director of global tractor portfolio development, Graham Thompson
• 80 vendors offering restoration services, parts, memorabilia, books and manuals, tires, decals and signs
• Friday night fun banquet and auction and Saturday’s closing banquet
Conference registration is $40. Go to gatheringofthegreen.com for information on registration, list of workshops, tours and vendors to date. Full conference attendees receive the souvenir program. Single-day registration is available at the door for $10.
If you have questions call or text 563-845-3298, or email [email protected].
Members of the four sponsoring two-cylinder tractor clubs located in central and northern Illinois and eastern Iowa have worked for many months to put together the conference. The clubs are the Deere Valley Collectors, Illinois Valley Two-Cylinder Club, North Eastern Illinois Twin-Cylinder Club and Northwest Illinois Deere Collectors Club.
The Quad Cities is located on the Mississippi River and is made up of the riverfront cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. The area is a 2.5-hour drive from Des Moines and Chicago. It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways.
Source: Deere antique machinery collector clubs