A John Deere Publication
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"I was focused on sustainability before I knew there was a sustainability role within John Deere," said Andy Greenlee, who has been called the "earthworm counter" by friends and colleagues.

Agriculture, Sustainability   December 01, 2022

Passion Leads to Impact


Sustainability and Andy Greenlee

Andy Greenlee's kindergarten teacher may have been the first to know his fate. He told her he would one day work for John Deere. Lucky for John Deere, he was right.

Andy grew up on a farm in Illinois, where his family still grows corn and soybeans. With his parents' guidance, he was always looking for ways to leave the land better than he found it.

Andy holds a bachelor's degree in ag engineering, a master's degree in mechanical engineering, and an MBA. He spent 16 years in John Deere's Construction and Forestry Division where he worked in design and quality. For the last seven years, he's been the senior staff engineer for sustainable solutions in Ag & Turf.

"I just really enjoy learning the most I can about sustainable agriculture and am lucky enough to be in a position to help other farmers do the same," Andy said. "If we can do this together, all the while protecting the soil, and yet still be economically successful, everyone wins," he adds. "My role is to be the voice of the customers that are doing these regenerative practices, lowering their impact of growing a bushel of corn—and taking that knowledge and integrating it into John Deere's current systems and products."

An avid reader, Andy has studied agriculture all the way back to President George Washington from the late 1700s, and even Plato (400 BC). "Even then they were talking about soil loss, so you really start thinking about the long term viability of our society. Each year average soil loss in the U.S. is a dime's thickness. It doesn't sound like much but when you think of a stack of dimes and how that adds up, you see the larger impact. How do we help stop that and yet, keep farmers profitable?" Those are the questions that motivate Andy Greenlee.

"His role has really enabled him to turn his passion into impact. He's doing just that within our organization," said Jill Sanchez, Director of Sustainability at Deere. ‡

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