John Deere enthusiasts from across the U.S. and at least three foreign countries are meeting in eastern Iowa this week. The semi-annual “Gathering of the Green” opened Wednesday night and continues through Saturday in Davenport. One of the organizers, Ken Reese from McHenry, Illinois, says the convention features historical and technical workshops, tours, guest speakers, and vendors of “everything John Deere” — from old parts and tires to clothing and art.
Reese grew up in a small town near the Quad Cities where his grandfather was a Deere Dealer for nearly 50 years. Reese spent his career as a school counselor and administrator in the Chicago area. “Nearing retirement, I decided that I needed to get back into some of that old green stuff,” Reese said. “So, I bought an old tractor, brought it home, and started restoring it on the first day I retired in 1997. Four years later, I finished it.”
That 1939 Model B Deere tractor is on display at this year’s convention. Reese estimates more than 2,000 people will attend the Gathering of the Green, either for a day or all four days.