Deere Leaders


John Deere moments that became milestones

John Deere's consistent support for community, safety, health, and the environment is nothing new. Throughout our history, there have been special moments – milestones – that highlight that support. A sampling of those achievements and the recognition we've received for our efforts are listed below by decade.


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1901 - 1949

  • 1901 Deere implements voluntary workers' compensation program. This is ten years before the first U.S. Workers' Compensation statutes.
  • 1920 Deere designs and builds its own cloth-screen filtering system to clean exhaust from plow-grinding operations.
  • 1936 First foundry equipped with air pollution controlled molding equipment.
  • 1938 Product safety committee formed; warning decals placed on corn pickers; shielding for power take-offs introduced.
  • 1940 Power take-off shields installed on tractors and made available in retrofit programs for tractors produced after 1932.
  • 1947 Corporate industrial safety department established.
  • 1949 First boiler equipped with a device to control fly-ash emission at Waterloo Tractor Works. Planter Works, Moline, Illinois, installs a wetcap to control cupola emissions.

1950 - 1969

  • 1957 John Deere adopts strict water-effluent standards – nearly as stringent as those mandated 10 years later by the Illinois Water Board.
  • 1960 Tractor fuel tanks relocated for improved safety, ahead of the radiator and away from the engine.
  • 1963 Starting interlock for lawn and garden tractors developed.
  • 1965 Decals with international symbols introduced for improved worldwide identification of controls on all product lines.
  • 1966 Roll-over protection devices made available to the industry.
  • 1967 First corporate environmental policy established.
  • 1968 Department of Environmental Control established, responsible for coordinating company-wide pollution-control efforts.

1970 - 1989

  • 1970 Tractor dual-beam headlamps with dimmer switch developed for improved highway-transport lighting.
  • 1970 Computerized injury-analysis system initiated.
  • 1972 roll-over protective structures made available for almost all tractors manufactured since 1960.**
  • 1972 Sound-Gard™ tractor cabs introduced, reducing operator exposure to noise, and airborne particles.
  • 1972 PowerGard™ shielding for power take-off (PTO) drive lines introduced.**
  • 1973 Formal energy-management program started, ten months before first OPEC oil embargo.
  • 1973 Deere initiates special effort to locate landfills and other processes for reliable disposal of chemical and solid wastes.
  • 1975 Management by Objective program established as foundation for continuous company improvements in safety.
  • 1982 Hinged PTO master shield for tractors introduced.**
  • 1983 Traction interlock system for lawn and garden tractors developed.
  • 1983 Off-the-job safety programs started for employees and families.
  • 1984 Bypass-start override valve developed to prevent bypass starting.**
  • 1984 Ergonomics efforts formally introduced at Deere units.
  • 1985 Roll-over protection made standard equipment on tractors.
  • 1989 Lock 'n Load closed chemical-handling system for planters co-developed by Deere.
  • 1989 Operator Presence System designed for cotton pickers and combines.


**Patents freely given by John Deere to the industry to help prevent accidents and injury, regardless what model or make of machinery is used.

1990 - 1999

  • 1992 Power take-off-alert operator-presence system designed.
  • 1992 Recyclable containers ('Envirocrates™') introduced for lawn and garden products in North America.
  • 1993 Phased out Freon air conditioning in new products ahead of automotive industry.
  • 1995 Paint before assembly introduced at John Deere Davenport Works, Iowa, construction equipment factory.
  • 1996 Deere & Company received the Hammer Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for achieving a 67 percent reduction in the release of certain toxic chemicals over a five-year period.
  • 1998 Implemented formal Environmental Management System. Introduced new operator enclosure that provides quiet and clean air; sprayers that reduce drift from crop applications.
  • 1999 Turn-signal module connecting tractors and implements announced.
  • 1999 Introduced 2-stroke engine innovation that reduced emissions 70 percent while improving fuel economy 30 percent with only a minor cost increase.

2000 - 2004

  • 2000 The U.S. Department of Energy recognized John Deere Power Systems, Waterloo, Iowa, through the Clean Cities National Award for promoting the use of alternative fuels in the marketplace.
  • 2001 Deere & Company is named a charter member of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Product Safety Circle.
  • 2002 The minister of Environment and Traffic from Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, recognized John Deere Werke Mannheim for "outstanding environmental performance". The Mannheim factory was selected from almost two dozen entrants who participated in intensive audits to qualify for the honor.
  • 2002 Business Ethics magazine named Deere one of its 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2002, ranking the company 64th on its annual list, up three places from its 2001 ranking.
  • 2002 Along with 16 other companies, John Deere was recognized as one of America's Safest Companies by Occupational Hazardsmagazine, a national publication for occupational safety and health professionals.
  • 2003 John Deere was named as one of 44 recipients for the newly created MATERIALICA award, given by iF International Forum Design Hannover, Germany, for major advancement in the field of new and renewable materials.
  • 2003 Business Ethics magazine again named John Deere one of its 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2003. In 47th place, Deere's ranking is improved over its 2002 ranking by 17 positions.
  • 2003 John Deere Brazil was honored with the "Top Ser Humano" award from ABRH - Brazilian Association of Human Resources for its ergonomics program.
  • 2003 John Deere Jialian Harvester Company Ltd., Jiamusi, China, was selected as the most environmentally conscious company in Jiamusi.
  • 2003 John Deere Power Products, in Greenville, Tennessee, was awarded the Volunteer STAR award by the state's Department of Labor and Workforce development.
  • 2004 John Deere begins a formal company-wide safety and health audit program, conducted by teams of Deere safety personnel and independent third-party auditors.
  • 2004 Deere & Company ranks sixth on Business Ethics magazine's annual listing of the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" – marking the fifth consecutive year Deere is featured on the list.
  • 2004 Rainwater collection and a reuse environmental process at John Deere Fabriek Horst BV is recognized as an environmental best practice by Industry Week magazine.

2005 - 2010

  • 2006 Safety and Health measures are integrated into Deere Production System audit process, allowing for more frequent audits of unit Safety Management Systems.
  • 2006 The United Soybean Board presents John Deere with its Outstanding Achievement Award for the company's biodiesel factory fill program.
  • 2007 Deere & Company is among the top 10 percent of 1,100 publicly-traded U.S. companies ranked as corporate citizens by CRO (Corporate Responsibility Officer) magazine. John Deere appears in the top 100 for the seventh time in eight years.
  • 2007 Deere & Company is chosen by Ethisphere Magazine for its list of the World's 100 Most Ethical Companies, recognizing Deere's commitment to ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility.
  • 2008 Deere & Company achieves its highest rank ever in the annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list, which scored Deere 4th among more than 1,000 publicly-traded, large-cap U.S. companies. The yearly evaluation is compiled by CRO magazine, a journal of The CRO, a membership organization for corporate responsibility officers.
  • 2008 Deere & Company announces plans to further reduce its total global greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent per dollar of revenue from 2005 to 2014. The company committed to the reduction goal in conjunction with its participation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Leaders program, which Deere joined in 2007.
  • 2009 John Deere ranks second in CAREERS & the disABLED magazine's annual list of "Top 50 Employers." The list ranks organizations that magazine readers say they would prefer to work for or that they consider progressive in hiring people with disabilities.
  • 2009 John Deere joins the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay Transport Partnership, a government and industry collaboration to improve fuel efficiency and reduce environmental impacts of freight transport.
  • 2009 John Deere earns the 141st spot in Newsweek's inaugural "Green Rankings" of the 500 largest U.S. companies. Newsweek assessed companies in three areas: environmental impact, based on more than 700 metrics; green policies, based on corporate initiatives; and a reputation survey conducted among CEOs, environmental officers, and academic leaders.
  • 2009 Company develops and deploys three safety ambitions: standardized Safety & Health programs, an off-the-job safety program, and a safety-risk assessment tool for Continuous Improvement Teams worldwide.
  • 2009 For the third year in a row, John Deere is listed as a Best Diversity Company in a survey of readers of Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology magazine. The list recognized companies for their support of minorities and women, attention to work/life balance, and commitment to supplier diversity.
  • 2010 Thirty-two John Deere units surpass 1 million employee work-hours without a lost-time injury.
  • 2010 John Deere Cylinder Division hits 15 years – 7,951,752 hours – without a lost-time injury.
  • 2000-2010 More than 200 awards from the National Safety Council are presented to Deere locations.