To celebrate the release of John Deere’s S-series combine, the machinery company created a replica of the combine out of over 300,000 cans of food. It was a celebration of farmers helping to feed the world with technology improvements and huge hearts.
The project took over a year to plan, more than 500 volunteers to construct, a team of architects from Chicago, the help of Hyvee and the vision of two passionate employees to come to life. Nicole Schneider, a project manager for John Deere, says that she and Richard Williamson, an art director for the harvesting division, came across the idea for the combine while sitting in a conference room brainstorming the perfect release party for the S-series. She says among several other great ideas, out came this project and after some Google searching to see if it was even possible, the pair set out to create not only a great event, but a prime example of agriculture reaching into the community to help those in need.
The cans of food will be donated to the River Bend food bank in Moline, Ill. Mara Sovey, President of the John Deere Foundation and director of Corporate Responsibility, says that this project was unique and extremely special because it is in true alignment with the company’s mission of helping to feed the world.
"At John Deere we support communities around the world," Sovey says. "We are truly blessed to help our customers to feed the world, our higher purpose is just that, helping to feed the world."
According to Sovey, by the time all is said and done, between 700 and 900 employees will have contributed their time to this project. Tieing the entire event together, Bob Herring, a gold key customer and farmer from the area, placed the last can on the structure and appropriately said, "That’s one small can for man, one giant can for Project Can Do!"
The structure which was designed and built by RTKL, a company who donated their time to the cause, will stay standing until December 11, when all the food will be distributed to needy families in the area by the River Bend food bank.