John Deere celebrates 100 years of tractors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

John Deere celebrates 100 years of tractors

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A century of evolution.

John Deere is celebrating 100 years of producing John Deere tractors in Waterloo. Company executives and community leaders gathered at the John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum in Waterloo Wednesday to celebrate the milestone. 

The company began manufacturing tractors in Waterloo in 1918, following the purchase of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company that year. Since then, John Deere has manufactured more than 2.8 million tractors in Waterloo.

For the past 100 years, John Deere has revolutionized the industry of farm equipment.

During the celebration, John Deere brought guests on a trip through time, explaining how the company has been on the forefront of tractor innovation. The video showed John Deere's evolution of tractors, from the most basic to today's most-modern day model. 

Global Product Line Director for Large Tractors Tim Murphy says the company has done so, while maintaining and expanding presence in the Cedar Valley. 

"Almost 20 years ago, our tractors and our equipment actually surpassed the space shuttle in terms of the line of code that was in our equipment then, and there's just more of that coming," said Murphy. 

John Deere ships tractors to more than 140 countries around the world, making it a pioneer when it comes to the global market. 

"I've actually seen the mechanization of agriculture in places like China, where there today still people plowing fields with bees-burden with ox and cattle," said Murphy. "And then we have our most advanced 9RX tractor with 620 horsepower and all of that's happening simultaneously sometimes in the fields next to one another. It's amazing to see that and be apart of that." 

As the design and engineering of the tractor changes, what hasn't is John Deere's presence in the Cedar Valley.

'When you take a look over the last several years, putting in a billion and a half dollars in the Cedar Valley, making that commitment to stay here in Waterloo-Cedar Falls-that's absolutely important," said Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart. "So I hope that they continue to be that beacon of hope, not only being able to provide jobs and innovation but helping feed people around the entire world. I am just excited about today and this day is going to be forever important as a monumental day in the city of Waterloo and beyond."

John Deere says they're looking to the next 100 years. 

"Our operators want the most advanced technology and they want to make the operation more efficient," said Murphy. "Simpler, faster and more productive."

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