Despite being a fan of the hashtag #ForeverRoyal, I’ve never really jumped on the bandwagon of our championship Kansas City baseball team. But even though sports aren’t my thing, you will find me cheering loudly for a farmer’s “home team.”
In the world of agriculture the rivalry between Case IH and John Deere is as hotly disputed as the Yankees versus the Red Socks. I’ve never posted a picture of my family proudly posing in Case IH red without receiving a few helpful comments from people who would take up arms for John Deere’s signature green.
And like sports rivalries, it’s all in good fun.
While there are other players on the field, (Kubota, New Holland) John Deere and Case IH represent the two largest makers of farm equipment. They manufacture huge tractors to lawn mowers, combines, planters, etc.. They also often represent different ways to solve a problem. Like a few years ago when the big push was to reduce emissions in tractor engines the two companies went in very different directions. But often as not a farmer’s allegiance has more to do with what his grandfather bought!
John Deere is a great American success story, with a bankrupt blacksmith opening a new shop and solving a major problem for Midwestern farmers. When demand for his self-scouring steel plow outgrew his little shop he opened a factory– then another and another. During the depression, the story goes, John Deere did not repossess a single piece of equipment from farmers going through hard times. And thus John Deere loyalty was born.
Case’s following was earned in a different way. The company began as a maker of steam engines and has bought and acquired various companies like Farmall and International Harvester along its not-quite 200 year journey. The history isn’t as easy to trace, but its commitment from customers can often be found in its prices. Most often you’ll hear farmers saying “I can’t afford to pay more for green paint.” If John Deere is Apple then Case would be Android.
Actually, I’d say the rivalry between farm companies is even more intense than sports teams. When was the last time you invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on a sports team and then depended on them for your livelihood?
So root for your home team. Leave a comment and tell me to whom are you #ForeverLoyal.