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“John Deere” to Speak in Tiskilwa on March 11

On Monday evening, the community is invited to a private board meeting and celebration of John Deere & Company. The year is 1868 and the founder of the company is retiring and handing over the plowshare to his son, Charles. Believe it are not, this all happens at Museum on Main in Tiskilwa, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on March 11.

In the persona of John Deere, historian and author Brian “Fox” Ellis reflects on the history of the self-scouring plow and shares some of his personal struggles. Mr. Deere then looks into the future and the great changes in agriculture that he foresees in the vision of his son, who will eventually transform the company and farming methods.

Using stories, photos, and facts, Ellis will cover a hundred years of agricultural history and then lead a discussion on the future of farming. Raising issues like the role of technology and mechanization, the family farm, centennial farms, and community service agriculture, this program promises to engage a diverse audience. Turning the old question-and-answer session on its head, a portion of the program involves John Deere asking the audience questions about their family roots in agriculture and where they think the future will lead us.

An acclaimed author, storyteller, historian, and naturalist, Brian “Fox” Ellis’s presentation is sponsored in cooperation with the Illinois Humanities Council. Brian has worked with The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, The Field Museum in Chicago, and dozens of other museums across the country. He and his wife run a Bed and Breakfast, The Twinflower Inn, in Bishop Hill.

Brian’s “3-D History” of John Deere’s life is sure to be both entertaining and informational to history buffs of all ages. His visit to the Tiskilwa Historical Society is made possible through the Illinois Humanities Council, an organization that sponsors presentations throughout our state. Their “Road Scholars” program provides for the speaker’s travel, lodging, and fees. Following the program, the Tiskilwa Historical Society will host a social time with refreshments in the museum galleries.

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