Creating a lasting legacy

Jimmy Botha and his daughter Lerato are successful vegetable growers on their farm west of Johannesburg. Their business is founded on their family values, so much so that Jimmy’s daughter, Luzzel, who is successful in the corporate world, will join them soon.

Angie Khumalo, host of African Farming, visited the Botha’s farm during the fifth episode of this agricultural television series.

Later in a studio interview she highlighted the fact that John Deere, as a company, has left a true legacy in the agricultural industry for generations. She asked Marc Davids, a John Deere Dealer Representative, to tell her more about the company’s legacy and the role it plays today.

“Part of John Deere’s vision is to help farmers’ build their own business by supporting them in becoming profitable farmers who contributes to our country’s food security.”

John Deere was blacksmith living in Grand Detour, Illinois in the 1800s. He heard about the farmers’ concerns that their ploughs could not function properly in the thick prairie soil. John then fashioned a highly polished steel mould board from a broken sawblade in 1837. In the years that followed the blacksmith grew his business. He built 10 ploughs in 1839, 75 in 1841, and a 100 in 1842, after which the business evolved into a manufacturer.

Over the years the company has been fortunate to have great leaders at the helm. Since its founding in 1837, there have been only eight previous captains of the Deere enterprise. Most have been Deere family members. And, although the past few leaders have not been part of the Deere lineage, John Deere remains a family-oriented company determined to uphold the founder’s core values of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation.

For John Deere quality means delivering value to customers, employees, shareholders and others. Quality is exhibited in many ways – by selling and supporting products and services that delight customers, establishing a work environment in which employees thrive, delivering financial results that meet investor expectations, and maintaining sound relationships to the benefit of our stakeholders.

Integrity means telling the truth, keeping your word and treating others with fairness and respect. It is demonstrated through honest relationships, decisions that consider the balanced interests of stakeholders, and unquestioned commitment to ethical and legal behaviour. Integrity is one of John Deere’s most cherished assets and must not be compromised.

John Deere believes innovation is inventing, designing, and developing breakthrough products and services that have high appeal in the marketplace and strengthen customer preference for the John Deere brand. Innovation extends to using the latest technology to establish world-class manufacturing processes and applying the most advanced information technology tools and practices throughout the company.

And to them commitment means doing their best to meet stakeholder expectations in a predictable, consistent way over time. They recognize that customers, as well as employees and investors, have many options in choosing a company with which to be associated, and their opportunity to serve should be viewed as a privilege that is not to be taken for granted.

For information: John Deere, 011 437 2600.
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