A combined 150 years of dedicated service, roughly 287,682 hours on the clock, three loyal John Deere Waterloo employees; Roger Poock, Dick Brannon and Gaylord Converse have all attributed to the devoted John Deere workforce.
In 1967 a gallon of gas was $0.33. Just like the price of gasoline – John Deere has made some significant changes over the last 50 years as well. One aspect that remains a constant, is the commitment and pride you’ll find among employees.
Never Too Old To Learn Something New
Roger Poock prides himself with 50 years at Deere and not one trip to medical for an injury.
“The key to remaining injury free is taking your time, keeping your area clean and wearing the right equipment.” He shared “we are never too old to learn something new.”
Today, Roger works as a Tool Grinder at Service Parts Operations in Waterloo, IA. He too says the company has come a long way when it comes to safety. He shared the use of personal protective equipment such as gloves and ear plugs make all the difference in the long run.?Poock also shared while moving to a different department at John Deere, he was worried he would end up working the weekends.
This would interfere with his band he was in at the time, but thankfully his supervisor assured him this would not happened. Poock spent a lot of his time in a band, owning a local bar, and, even impersonating Elvis Presley. In addition to his musical hobbies, he is proud to have raised three children with his wife Becky.
They Call Him Mr. John Deere
Dick Brannon, while an experienced employee of John Deere—is also an avid Deere fan and collector. Visitors have referred to him as “Mr. John Deere.” He collects and shows off his John Deere memorabilia throughout his home with pride. Brannon is now an Unloader for Tractor Cab Assembly Operations, driving a fork truck throughout the factory, moving and delivering material.
Brannon has seen many years of technologic changes since beginning his career at John Deere. ?He’ll be the first to tell you he isn’t always a huge fan of personal technology, such as the use of cell phones. He has a strict no cell phone rule in his home–and he enforces it.
The technology concerning farming has come a long way. He even expects some day to have customers driving a tireless tractor. Through his years he’s seen a lot. One piece of advice he shares with newer employees is to always “think actions through and be accountable in the factory environment.” Brannon loves the day-to-day interactions with fellow employees throughout the Waterloo factory.
Farming Is A Way Of Life
When asked what his favorite John Deere memory was, Gaylord Converse responded with, “Every day.”
2017 has been a busy year for Converse. He celebrated his 50 year anniversary with Deere, 50 years of Farming, and 44 years of marriage to his wife Vicky. Reliable and hardworking, farming is a way of life for Converse. During the farm crisis his job at Deere kept the family’s farming operation running and ensured the bills were paid. Of course his farm wouldn’t be complete without some green John Deere equipment in the shed.
For the first several years of his career at John Deere, he thought he’d just keep his job long enough to help his family and their farm. However, as the years went by, he realized he truly enjoyed the company and his position at the factory. His work at Deere helped his family get through some tough years on the farm. Converse has seen 50 years of changes to technology since being hired at John Deere.
Today, Converse maintains a 500-acre farmstead along with his son, and continues to stay active on the farm as well as at the factory. In the past he helped set up machines, however, today you’ll find him at the factory checking to ensure the tractor gears and pinons match.
Celebrating The Milestones
Devoted, hard-working, and safety-oriented are a few words describing these charismatic 50-year Deere employees. Their passion, work ethic, and commitment have helped guarantee their many adventures at John Deere Waterloo Works. Roger, Dick and Gaylord have over 150 years of combined years of service supporting the best tractor in the world through roles at John Deere—now that’s something to celebrate!