Deere and Company holds annual meeting

Despite the snow, hundreds of shareholders came to Deere and Company for its annual meeting. Wednesday morning at world headquarters in the Quad Cities (Moline), they voted on routine business, watched videos, listened to the CEO, and asked a few questions. 

Deere retiree and shareholder, Jerry Miller of Moline, asked Chairman and CEO Sam Allen why he doesn't hear more about the company's investment in irrigation equipment. Miller says Deere may own the best factories and produce the best equipment. But without enough water to grow crops, farmers won't buy anything. 

Allen told him by 2050, the world's farmers will need to produce twice as much food with even less water, and the company recognizes the need for new irrigation equipment. Spokesman Ken Golden says Deere has invested in "precision drip irrigation," which is part of the agriculture and turf equipment division. 

 Former Rock Island County Board member and Deere retiree, Virgil Mayberry, asked about the John Deere Foundation, saying he'd like it to give to more organizations and a more varied group of Quad Cities charities. Allen told him the foundation focusses on helping feed the hungry, and has doubled its contributions over the last five years. He also said giving to the United Way is the most efficient and effective way to help people. The routine business included re-electing 11 directors and approving an outside auditor.